Robbers On High Street

Robbers On High Street

Fine Lines EP

New Line

I had every intention of catching this New York-based quartet this year at South by Southwest, the annual music biz confab in Austin. But with so many bands on the menu, it’s impossible to see everything. Fortunately, the band’s debut six song EP gives me an idea of just what I missed.

Brittle, off-kilter guitars, danceable herky-jerky rhythms, plenty of punk-y energy and an underlying creepy atmosphere make Fine Lines a keeper. Opener “Hot Sluts (Say I Love You)” may include lines like “Let your body move,” but those words don’t exactly sound like a cheery invitation to dance as they’re coming out of singer Ben Trokan’s mouth.

Robbers will likely receive a lot of comparisons to fellow New Yorkers The Strokes, but they already seem less like one trick ponies than those guys. That’s never more true than on “Opal Ann,” a stark piano ballad that builds to a cool guitar grind.

I don’t remember what I was seeing at South by Southwest when I should have been catching these guys, but I won’t make the same mistake again.

Robbers on High Street: • New Line:

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