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Robbers on High Street

The Fatalist and Friends

(New Line; US: 14 Nov 2006; UK: Available as import)

People were quick to slag Robbers on High Street, accusing them of being an empty Spoon rip-off and little else, primarily because they play snappy post-punk-inspired, piano-tinged pop rock, but while the post-punk wave has long since crested, the underrated Brooklyn band is still persevering, and this four-song teaser EP shows us there’s still some life left in these guys. The two tracks from the band’s upcoming 2007 album hold up well: “The Fatalist” effectively channels the tetchy energy of the Walkmen with the Clash-infused sounds of the dearly-departed Libertines, while songer/keyboardist Ben Trokan delivers a charismatic vocal performance during the catchy “Married Young”. Tree City outtake “Major Minor” might have clashed with the rest of that polished album, but its lackadaisical sound (reminiscent of Pavement) works well on its own here. Most surprising is the ebullient cover of Paul McCartney’s ram rarity “Monkberry Moon Delight”, which shows just how fun the Robbers can be when they sidestep the circa-2003 indie sounds.

Rating:

Adrien Begrand has been writing for PopMatters since 2002, and has been writing his monthly metal column Blood & Thunder since 2005. His writing has also appeared in Metal Edge, Sick Sounds, Metallian, graphic novelist Joel Orff's Strum and Drang: Great Moments in Rock 'n' Roll, Knoxville Voice, The Kerouac Quarterly, JackMagazine.com, StylusMagazine.com, and StaticMultimedia.com. A contributing writer for Decibel, Terrorizer, and Dominion magazines and senior writer for Hellbound, he resides, blogs, and does the Twitter thing in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada.


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