Robbers - Flesh (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Flesh (2009)


Robbers is a Long Island-based quintet operating entirely under the radar on the west side of the isle. Word on the street is one such member is the brother of Vin Accardi, Brand New guitarist, which makes sense considering Robbers recently did a few support dates for them, playing before some of their biggest crowds yet. While there are some sonic similarities between the two (you can't deny lineage, and half of this EP was recorded by long-time BN comrade Mike Sapone), it's clear that Robbers are destined to stake out their own territory with Flesh.

Flesh is six inherently atmospheric and ambitious tracks that best call to mind an incredibly restrained -- and I do mean restrained -- blend of Colour Revolt circa their self-titled EP and mewithoutYou's Catch for Us the Foxes (the former an apparent big influence on their frontman). It takes a lot of careful listening to take in the textured layers and the blinding amount of tension withheld here. The former is captivating and the latter leads to a surprising lack of release, but it sort of seems to be Robbers' forte. If any moment defines them letting loose, it might be the Isaac Brock-nodding speak-barking two minutes into opener "Stay Together." Sporadic songs mark terrain where it's slightly poppier and a little less stressful sounding, like "Swear" and "Desert and Tree," the latter touched with a tasteful acoustic brush.

But when Robbers are pulsing with plotting and pensiveness, it's just plain pulchritudinous. Three minutes into "Eager" comes one of LI's better ex-girlfriend laments in recent memory: "I told you once that I'd like to get married. / You told me once that you'd like that. / I told you once that I'd like to get married but now / all I'm trying to do is get you on the phone." The three members responsible for vocals all pitch in here and it's a collaborative chant that's distinct and haunting. "I Stole from My Own Flesh and Blood" and "Hey There" toys with more falsetto vocal parts pulled off pleasantly, the latter flexing its creative muscle and sprinkling in guitar delays, post-rock flecks and one false stop to help hit the seven-minute mark.

The half-hour-long Flesh is a fairly cathartic and accomplished release for something that's only supposed to provide temporary satiation. There's something to be said for being left wanting more and hopefully Robbers have the response.

Stay Together
I Stole from My Own Flesh and Blood
Hey There