The recent success of New York groups such as The Strokes and
The Walkmen has catalyzed the national emergence of garage-rock
bands once relegated to endlessly touring the East Coast club
circuit. Suburban New Yorkers Robbers on High Street, with their
debut EP Fine Lines, ride the coattails of those before them.

Music Reviews

Sounding like a Northern version of Spoon, the band effectively
creates simplistic hooks involving nothing more than simple
drumming and guitar strumming. The band’s crispness, echoing
lead singer Ben Trokan, allows the band to do much with so
little.

Unfortunately, the lack of substance or ingenuity leaves the
Robbers lost in the crowd of garage-rockers. Unlike the
aforementioned Strokes or Walkmen, Robbers create no distinct sound
that warrants attention. Their lone positive is their ability to
create a catchy hook, as evidenced on “Hot Sluts (Say I Love
You)” and “How It Falls Apart.” On the rest of
Fine Lines, the songs appear noticeably repetitive with little
depth or imagination.

The band does attempt to diverge from the typical garage-rock
path. On “Opal Ann,” the group uses a piano that
amplifies the crescendo of the vocals and drums, and reveals a
possibility that the Robbers might be able to break the monotony of
their songs.

As their first release, not too much was expected of the Robbers
and nothing exceptional is given. Instead, Fine Lines becomes yet
another release to be forgotten in the future. The group does show,
however, that it has the potential to differentiate itself. The
Robbers’ ability to create catchy hooks and their willingness
to attempt new things gives hope that on their first full album an
enjoyable band with its own identity will emerge.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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