Robbers on High Street, ‘Grand Animals’ (Scratchie/ New Line)
This New York band still use the staccato guitar rhythms that made their debut album, Tree City, such a jagged wrecking machine. But here, that tight, compressed punch is augmented by subtle orchestrations whose airy ambience hints at the chameleon funk of David Bowie and the dance-floor minimalism of early B-52’s. Piano fuels both Ben Folds–style lightweight pop (“Across Your Knee”) and sentimental balladry (“The Ramp”), while on “Guard at Your Heel,” a horn section shifts Robbers in a Tin Pan Alley direction that’s reminiscent of the society-observing Kinks of the mid-’60s.
Now Hear This: Robbers on High Street – “Crown Victoria” STREAMING MP3