Robbers On High Street : The Fatalist and Friends EP

<img src="" alt=" " />Before their second album drops in early 2007, Robbers On High Street whipped up a four-song EP to tour and test with.  <i>The Fatalist and...
8.0 New Line

 Before their second album drops in early 2007, Robbers On High Street whipped up a four-song EP to tour and test with.  The Fatalist and Friends shows off some nimble streetlight/alley rock, a quick-whipped jam, and a grouphug reggae stomp.  
With a raw, minimal, distinctly New York sound, the band is basically a Spoon-Interpol hybrid, able to pull off a variety of moods while letting gruff croons and stark, addictive rhythms do the work.  A couple of the songs are already tipped for the album and are definitely a promising peek into the future. 

The first track, "The Fatalist", is downtempo and spiky – on the edge of pessimism but vigorous enough to carry its own stagger.  It begins with a slow, stabbing guitar and simple snare, eventually busting out a quicker, thicker riff and rambling beat.  It’s the darker side of the EP, and would surely be one of the more low-key tracks on the album.  The second track, "Married Young" immediately introduces a lawn-sprinkler guitar, which gets neatly mixed with a Wild West-style pluck, rolling "Ah ah ah"s and agile bass.  The riffs are infectious, and provide a great contrast to the opening track.  

"Major Minor" is a slow, hestitation-driven bounce that has the EP’s densest moments, complete with claps and cymbal-splashed Britpop crests.  "Monkberry Moon Delight", the most open track of the four, has background singers join the band on a semi-swampy, bouncy McCartney cover.  It’s one of those studio sing-a-longs that involves repeating the last line a few dozen times cause it’s just so much fun, and every instrument tries to solo when it can.  The atmosphere is great and it’s a great closer.  

While Robbers are like The Walkmen without all the screaming, and they go even more lo-fi than Spoon at times, they’ve done well to create their own niche in the raw-ternative indie genre.  The Fatalist and Friends as good a four-song release as any, and should be a long, strong diving board to bounce off of for the new album. 

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