Robber Robber

Wild Guess

Contact Jacob Daneman, Ahmad Asani about Robber Robber

Burlington-based band Robber RobberNina Cates (vocals / rhythm guitar), Zack James (drums),  Will Krulak (lead guitar), and Carney Hemler (bass) — announce their debut album, Wild Guess, out July 26th, and share the single/video “Backup Plan.”


All movement — and consequently, a lot of art — is a product of tension and release. Robber Robber’s debut album, Wild Guess, feels more like an exercise in tension and release than an indie record. For all of its nods to its post-punk predecessors and the eclectic Burlington music scene that fed into it, the album feels more like an attempt to translate imagery into sound, communicating all the shades of light and dark you could visualize — and it’s better for that reason. Co-produced by Cates and James and recorded with Benny Yurco (Grace Potter) and Urian Hackney (The Armed, Rough Francis, Iggy Pop), the group have honed in on the most fully-realized version of Robber Robber to date, capturing the tangible group dynamic they’ve cultivated on stage.


Following lead single “Sea or War,” today’s single “Backup Plan” is mechanical and methodical — the back-and-forth ringing of guitars are eventually clouded by fuzzier layers that seem to war with each other in a test of endurance. Cates elaborates: “I wrote ‘Backup Plan’ while I was helping a friend through a sticky relationship moment and was reflecting a lot on when it’s worth putting in the effort and when it’s best to call it. The song explores the feeling of unease that arises when you know there’s something unaddressed, yet you’re unsure if it’s worth stirring things up. I find this relevant in close friendships as well as relationships.”


James and Cates have been playing music together since they were kids. Immersing themselves in the local DIY scene, they began writing songs and formed Robber Robber. The past few years has given the project time to live and breathe: “With this approach, we were able to really conceptualize and fine-tune what we wanted Robber Robber to be,” says the band. “This project is very conceptual, and therefore can be difficult to pinpoint, and that’s part of what we find refreshing about it.”


Robber Robber is driven by sheer curiosity and loose, if any, creative parameters. A person’s twenties is guaranteed to be a tumultuous time in their life anyway, regardless of who they are or what they do, but the members of Robber Robber found themselves in a world that’s maybe never been more chaotic or difficult to move through. It’s a chaos that’s evident in what they create — in even their most polarizing musical moments, you get the sense that these are gut reactions being expressed, that truth is the grist of the overflow.


Even if you’re not listening to Robber Robber play from a stage, Wild Guess still begs you to lean in and wait for permission to relax, to overwhelm you before it subsides in glorious, delightfully eclectic fashion. It sounds like human interaction even if you’re alone in the room – all unpredictable movement before it lets you out of its mechanical grip.


    May 29, 2024
    Brattleboro, VT
    The Stone Church