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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Robbers on High Street
Fine Lines EP
Scratchie Records

Rating: 6.5/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Is dance rock an attitude? Has New York patented it yet? Where are we at this juncture: Tired of NYC rock, or thoroughly enjoying the ride?

I don't think I know the answer to that last one. All I know is that when I hear a good record, I'm bound to enjoy it, regardless. The Fine Lines EP may sound like Spoon or those crazy, forgotten Strokes, but it's got quality and class enough to love in spite.

What one might first notice is singer Ben Trokan's voice, which sounds remarkably like Robert Pollard. While that may very well be his real voice, knowing that Pollard falsifies a British accent when he sings makes it feel like Trokan is faking a fake.

In fact, a notable pitfall of the EP is that it tries too hard and puffs up its chest in self-importance. When they go experimental on "How It Falls Apart" and A Night at Star Castle," they seem too aware, too conscious.

That's not to say the Fine Lines EP is disposable - far from it. It is deceptively easy music that thinks hard out of necessity. Tracks like "Hot Sluts (Say I Love You)" and "If You Let Me" are positively cemented by monstrous hooks, choppy punk influences and crooked lines. They realize the extent of intelligence it takes to truly adore the Kinks - to get past the immediate connection and love the artistry. They attempt to emulate the same illusory charm, and to a large degree, they are successful.

When witnessing the high-fashion gangster scene of "Debonair," you know Robbers on High Street are, if nothing else, adventure seeking. They fluctuate between roaringly simplistic and unapologetically complex, but do so in a fog of blood and handclapping. At the messiest point of this process, when matters are most desperate, they bear unexpected new life. This is where they differ from the rest - as others are busy recreating, the Robbers simply create.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters

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