Some bands are just made for the radio. Robbers on High Street is definitely one of those bands. Their second release, Tree City, is exactly what pop-rock radio ordered. Tree City has the easy-listening capabilities of a Matchbox 20 record, and the catchiness and quirkiness of a Harvey Danger or Fastball single. This is not to say that they aren’t good; it’s just that they are almost too good at what they do. Songs like “Descender” and “Love Underground” begin and end without as much as a ripple or a jolt. Before you know it the album is over, leaving you standing in the middle of the seasonal dishware section at Pottery Barn, wondering what happened to the music that was making shopping feel so effortless.
Not that there’s anything wrong with shopping at the Pottery Barn, but I think Robbers on High Street are in actuality trying to appeal to the Urban Outfitters crowd and missing the mark. Each song is the same: catchy, well rounded, and between two and three and-a-half minutes long. Predictability can be a good thing for a band, but it helps to have a larger fan base first. Then if you are predictable, at least you know a couple of people out there are still listening.
I want to give Tree City an A+ for effort. Robbers on High Street did the best they could. This may be good for some listeners, possibly those with less discriminating tastes. However, if you are looking for a record this year that has a little more than your cookie-cutter pop song, don’t purchase this album.
New Line Records