Monday, January 21, 2008

fake gold

you might recall that i didn't sound particularly impressed with team robespierre when i saw them last, opening for yeasayer at the friction party. that's because i wasn't, and one of the band's singers really (really) needed a shower. but i really liked their aesthetic, living on the fringes and loving it, and i bought a t-shirt and picked up a sampler the band was handing out, because, hey, sometimes these things grow on you. lucky i did, because fake gold, the bruising 5 song sampler/ep, has been in my headphones all week, and i just can't get team robespierre out of my brain.

where does their appeal come from? i'm not a fan of punk, but that's the clearest architect of team robespierre's sound, a fierce, infectious blend of joy and anger. understandably disenchanted with the global web of deceit spun by authority figures, team robespierre is striking back with an arsenal of spastic electropunk songs that rarely clock in at more than a minute and a half. sometimes furious ("big deal") and sometimes wry ("88th precinct"), fake gold is as much an observation as a critique, but team robespierre don't let their resentment get in the way of having a hell of a good time. some of the choicest lyrics on fake gold are in "ha ha ha," where they yell "i'm not looking for a job / i just wanna be a heartthrob!" that shit is priceless.

one of team robespierre's punkest tendencies (and most appealing qualities) is their almost universal lack of musical ability. the band has two lead singers who play instruments (and trade off on the mic), and two musicians who sing backup (and a drummer who dives off his kit), so song structure isn't the team's strongest suit. generally, it seems that whoever doesn't sing plays an instrument, so some songs have guitar ("ha ha ha") and others have keyboard ("black rainbow"), and some have both ("laika"). one quality common to all of team robespierre's songs is how badly they make you want to get into a stinky sweaty mosh pit and dance your heart out in a physical cacophony of elbows and knees.

more a cathartic release than music you listen to on headphones, team robespierre is really intended to be heard in a live environment, where your face can be dive-bombed by any member of the band. their energy is infectious, but the team's members are their own biggest fans - they rock the hardest and dance the jitteriest, and crowd surf as much as possible. i was really excited when i found out they were opening for foals (who i've also been enjoying lately), and i really hope the crowd at bowery ballroom is gonna be down for some serious spazz-dancing. if you can't wait that long (or doubt the danceability of bowery), team robespierre is having a record release party on february 1 at death by audio. be there or be a stooge.

team robespierre's debut full length, everything's perfect, will be released on 1/22 on impose records. (thanks for the tip mike!)

1 comment:

Mike said...

hey mr mams...
you forgot to mention that all the songs on FAKE GOLD (a sampler made for the Team Robes tour last summer) are coming out this Tuesday on the album EVERYTHING'S PERFECT on IMPOSE records.