During the launch party for RBRBR’s The Bobby Masicks EP, the five-piece band is joined on stage by a dancing ninja. Two conclusions can be drawn from this fact. The first is that the band members don’t take themselves too seriously, and the other is that they are not afraid to do things that are a little outside of the box.
Opening track Maff’s hook is a descending distorted vocal part, and its joy is a catchy bass loop, which plays against peppery saw-tooth wave synth parts. The overall effect is something like Hot Chip with better and more Scottish vocals. The title is a reference to the tired US cliché phrase “do the math”, which also acts as the chorus refrain for this song.
Golden Tomorrow makes healthy use of natural bass and guitar sounds, and then layers synthetic loops over the top. The influence of 70s disco and soul is seen here in the drum beat and high-pitched backing vocals. The song’s downfall might be the medium tempo, which makes this song difficult to place; it’s too slow for dancing, but too fast to fully absorb the texture of all the sounds involved.
On the third track, an artificial voice states that he has “27 Russian Friends” over and over; the band play with a set of artificial voice samples while the music twirls chaotically but in perfect time like a gothic clockwork flea circus. It’s on the back of this song that the band has earned a reputation as the cheeky chaps of indie-electro.
Masicks' Blues, a call back to the EP’s title, is a Kraftwerk-esque electro piece that flirts with dissonance and Red Hot Chili Peppers-style guitar work, without ever really settling. This track would be well-placed at any strobe rave, and while not as memorable and catchy as the other tracks on the EP, this is the one that’ll get the hips shaking and the glow-stick jewellery out.
For a long time Edinburgh's electro club scene has flourished, while the live music scene has fought to keep its head above the water. It's bands like RBRBR, who are entirely comfortable in both environments, that can thrive in our oft-harsh cityscene.