ALBUM REVIEW: Robocobra Quartet – Plays Hard To Get | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Released: 25.05.18





I was first introduced to Belfast’s Robocobra Quartet as an astonishing live spectacle. Plays Hard To Get is the closest the band have come to capturing their jaw-dropping live presence on record.

The movement of the songs is practically symphonic, and each burst of brass or plaintive moment of woodwork feels immaculate. Chris Ryan’s lyrics – closer to the American beat poets of the 1950s than most contemporary rock and pop – are fascinating in their denseness. Moments of lightness steer the record away from the self-indulgence it occasionally threatens; I Shouldn’t Have Watched The Film What Lies Beneath (When I Was Twelve) has a ludicrous, knowing sense of melodrama about it.

The album takes disparate influences and assimilates them into something interesting, direct and emotional.




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