New Music - Robbers On High Street

I’ve always had this image of Poughkeepsie NY as a particularly dreary city. Besides being the namesake of songs by The Lemonheads and Devendra Banhart, as well as the home of the Bardavan 1869 Opera House, the city has contributed little to the history of popular music. Located halfway between Manhattan and Albany, it’s a town that grew because of its location - a prime trading post on the Hudson River. It’s most famous claim to fame is probably that that’s where I did my fastest ever 100 Freestyle (good enough for a 3rd place finish! Woohoo!) during the 1998 MAAC Conference Championships at Marist College. No one will ever forget that, right?

The members of Robbers On High Street hail from this city on the river, growing up and starting their band there. In 2004 they relocated to NYC and released an EP called Fine Lines, then a debut full length in 2005 called Tree City. This summer saw the release of their sophomore record, Grand Animals through New Line Records on July 24. Maybe growing up in a place like Poughkeepsie forces you to create high energy, spirited pop rock songs, because Robbers On High Street have done just that. The album is loaded with memorable hooks and interesting arrangements - guitars and pianos intersect with a deft rhythm section and plenty of strings and horns.

Spoon is a band that gets mentioned often when trying to compare the sound of Robbers On High Street to another, but while this isn’t completely off base I’m not really hearing that. The Robbers seem more interested in traditional melodies than Spoon, and Grand Animals boasts more orchestral sense of production than just about any Spoon record I can think of. I’m hearing a bit of George Harrison in there (“You Don‘t Stand A Chance”), maybe some Tom Waits on the more unconventional songs (“Guard At Your Heel“), a dash of Spoon (only a tea-spoon….HA!), and some of the New York revival rock acts of the past few years (The Strokes, etc.). Check out a few songs from the new album:

MP3 :: Across Your Knee
MP3 :: You Don’t Stand A Chance
(from Grand Animals. Buy here)
Stream :: Spanish Teeth
Stream :: Japanese Girls
Stream :: Montefiore
(from Tree City. Buy here)

Robbers On High Street myspace for more music and tour dates

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i completely agree. you always hear the spoon thing with this band and i just don't see it. somewhere there's an interview with britt daniel that i read and he was asked about them and he was like, 'yeah, i heard it and don't get it.' or something like that.