Due to Rock’s diverse span since its very creation, bands like Robbers on High Street hailing homage to the legends are a welcome arrival.
Ben Trokan and Steve Mercado founded the band, both hailing from Poughskeepsie, New York. Shortly after teaming up in Manhattan 2001, Robbers on High Street were discovered by Scratchie Records’ owners, ex-Smashing Pumpkins guitarist James Iha and Fountain of Wayne’s Adam Schlesinger. The band released their Fine Lines EP in 2004, which critics widely hailed as similar to the Strokes’ material, where the band hears more current comparisons to Spoon.
Joined by producer Peter Katis (Interpol), the Robbers on High Street have released their first full length, Tree City, an album filled with finely executed 1-2 lyric setups and swooping guitar solos, resulting in one of the year’s best albums.
Several tracks hint at Ben Trokan’s ex-lovers, from the upbeat “Amanda Green” to the somber pining of “Beneath the Trees.” “Dig the Lightning” is the album’s standout track, providing Trokan on keyboards and lyrics.
Comparisons to the Beatles or Rolling Stones are well-deserved; Tree City definitely puts Robbers on High Street within their caliber.