The bouncy bass first heard during “The Fatalist” works well alongside a very angular approach by the Robbers on High Street. What results is a style of music that relies heavily on a eighties sound even as the band wedges themselves into the retro style of rock that is played by acts like The Killers and The Charlatans UK. The vocals are catchy during a song like “The Fatalist”, but ach different part of the band contributes heavily to the overall sound of the Robbers on High Streets. Hints of The Cure’s “Lovecats” come forth during “The Fatalist” as well, ensuring that the Robbers have a good pedigree coming into the disc’s second track, “Married Young”.
“Married Young” starts with the same tinny sounding guitar lines, while the vocals unite with the guitars to create a cohesive sound. The drums are bassy and provide a counterpoint to the guitars and vocals, making the track a fuller sounding one. The catchiness that was present during a track like “The Fatalist” does not kick in during “Married Young” until the band moves forward to the chorus. Even on a disc that only has four tracks, the Robbers on High Street are able to cultivate a very coherent sound. Hopefully, this will be something that the act can transfer into a longer album. The disco beat that is present in small amounts during “Married Young” is the high point of the track, something that is only challenged by the vocal harmonies that confront listeners during the chorus of the song. Robbers on High Street seem to go back to the halcyon dates of the early nineties with their “Major Minor”.
During “Major Minor”, there seems to be a slyness to the compositions that are present even as the brooding instrumentation lays a bottom line on the track. The progression of the arrangements during “Major Minor” is complex and will confuse individuals if they don’t listen in; while the band could move into radiodom, individuals would do well to actually sit down and focus on this track. The Robbers on High Street need to find the right combination of vocals, instrumentation, and arrangements on their next album to reach the level that I know that they are capable of. While the tracks on “The Fatalist and Friends” are all catchy and strong in their own right, the band after finding their missing piece will be able to break it big.
Top Track: The Fatalist
Robbers on High Street – The Fatalist and Friends / 2006 New Line / 4 Tracks / http://www.robbersonhighstreet.com / http://www.newlinerecords.com / Reviewed 20 May 2007