Bankrobber
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Bankrobber

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada | SELF

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada | SELF
Band Pop Rock

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The surf guitar continues in CFUV’s No. 2 pick, Life’s Nutso by Bankrobber. This time the shiny, echoing surf guitar is paired with far-away, almost eerie vocals, and electronic sound effects. Some tracks take a more in-your-face approach, relying more heavily on gritty guitar and pounding drums while bringing those vocals quite a bit closer. A quirky album of rich arrangement that manages to sound cohesive even with such genre bending between tracks. - CMJ


Any band that names themselves after a song by The Clash is worth a listen, especially in this case. Jordan Minkoff (Wetface), Tanner Matt (Mood Hut) and Aden Collinge (Babysitter) make up Bankrobber. The three piece put together their junior full-length at the Noise Floor with Jordan Koop about a year ago. Life’s Nutso, released early August, is a delicious array of dark silken Nicky Thomas vocals, moody energy, and suspenseful guitar flings. ‘Boym’n’ initiates the 7-tracked album with a tonic bang. Dirty guitar, brazen vocals, and powerful drums like that of Gary Powell hit hard and plunge through the track. The sound resembles a more upbeat Night Beats with obvious hints of Minkoff’s main project, Slam Dunk. Equally as bubbly, ‘Soon’, comes next. Minkoff sings with such vitality, you feel as if you are watching the band jump around live. You can almost see the guitar-fuzzed air and smell the drum roll sweat. ‘JD’, their single, also found on the Pop Alliance album, is a masterpiece. Tribal rhythm, gypsyesque horns and fiddle pound through the speakers accompanied by Joe Strummer style wails and yells. The track spins into a correspondingly fervent, ‘Tanner’s Tower’, my personal favorite. The guitar riffs bleed into the ghostly vocal notes with deep tom drum beats, making for a haunting but heartwarming piece

The diversity of the album makes it hard to determine where the sound fits, it’s far from any cookie-cutter genre. It’s smoother than garage rock, sassier than alt, and cooler than pop, I’d coin it nomad wave or perhaps, nothing other than really really good. A groovy bass line like that of The Babyshambles, ‘French Dog Blues’ begins a beachy fresh, ‘Bankrobber’. The track picks up the beat with airy guitar hurls, catchy beats and soft, melodic vocals. The band throws down a folky, orchestral piece in, ‘Aden’s Song’. The celtic violin and danceable beat makes for a perfect late summer’s sunset jingle. ‘The End’ wraps up the list with Minkoff’s humming and speedy instruments. The song reminds me of a less chilled out ‘What Do I Want To Be When I Grow Up’ by Fthrsn. If you want to take my full advice, either buy Life’s Nutso on tape when it comes out next month, download it now or both. Oh and don’t miss their shows, they put on a good time. - Discorder Magazine/A Music Blog, Yea (Sept 2013)


Bankrobber embodies everything that’s great about modern folk music. They have a hugely diverse range of sounds and can do the raspy jangle of The Tallest Man On Earth just as easily as they do the neo-hippie sound of Devendra. That being said, it is obvious that this band takes no cues from anywhere other than their own brilliant creative vision. A new voice for a new decade. On their criminally under appreciated album Midjuly, their sound is lush, rich and evocative when it needs to be without losing the ability to be sparse, delicate and contemplative at times as well. As a band they have a real sense of progression, fearlessly adhering to their own experimental style. This is a band that embraces the changes independent pop music has seen in the last decade and willfully looks towards the future with their own sound, a quality quite rare for any artist, let alone folk artists these days. For being a true independent, it’s amazing to me just the sheer amount of peculiar sounds and abstract atmospheres layered into the production on this album. Every song is a totally unique sentiment; unlike anything I’ve ever heard, and yet as a whole the album works masterfully. One thing is for sure, this album was not easy to make, something this powerful and original is only the product of many laborious hours. In that sense, it’s a shame that this album is being released for free (though what a testament to the character of these individuals), hard work like this deserves compensation. Regardless, I give this album my highest recommendation, and urge people to take advantage of the artist’s generosity and download this free masterpiece right now. - Yukon Recon


This week, we head to lovely Vancouver to pilfer work from Bankrobber, the full-band brainchild of typically solo artist Blank, or BLANCK (after he was sued by the litigious German techno group who already claimed the “Blank” moniker), or just Jordan Minkoff if you want to go with the birth name. (I’m pretty sure he also played in a band called Immaculate Machine, too.) Anyway, the Bankrobber project has already yielded a five song EP called Midjuly and is on their way to full length mode.

“The End” opens Midjuly in folksy style, with drum brushes, acoustic guitar, and distant, ghostly background “ahh”s that rise and quiver amid Minkoff’s lead. There’s a catchiness of Edward Sharpe and a gravity of Port O’Brien here, and Minkoff’s vocals are strained and weary in that countrified Delta Spirit or Tallest Man on Earth kind of way. The backwoods, campfire spirit of “The End” is charming and the overall tone of the song is one uplifting (“Live in peace and love and patience / Fuzzed by dreams and child sensations”).

One of the nice things about Midjuly is that it doesn’t lock itself into the neo-folk style. “Tripe” finds its joy in a more synthy, world-music influenced sound. The track opens with light handclaps and drum machine beats before bursting forth with a “Yeahhhh” and bits that sound sampled from African tribal dance music. It’s uplifting as well, but in a totally different, sunnier way (if that makes sense). Although it’s become cliché to use Animal Collective as a point of reference, it’s hard not to note similarities between the vocal play of “Tripe” and that of Avey Tare and Panda Bear. - Crawdaddy Magazine


Canada's Bankrobber has undergone quite a few changes since its creation. Formerly known as Blank, the then-solo project of Jordan Minkoff has since bloomed into a fully-fledged band. They've got a 7" coming soon on Fan Club Music Club and are currently recording their debut full-length. "The End," however, is taken from their most recent EP, Midjuly. It’s quite cheerful, with all the scratchy vocals, thumping bass, and saloon keystrokes. It's got a real Tallest Man sound going on at points, but where Kristian Matsson implements even more acoustic guitar, Bankrobber fills in the gaps with just the right amount of electronic instrumentation. (via The Road Goes Ever On)

- Altered Zones (via The Road Goes Ever On)


Discography

Luminious Piles Of Fir - 2008

MidJuly - 2010

Lifes Nutso - June 2012

Photos

Bio

From Vancouver, BC. Formed in 2010 by Jordan Minkoff of (kinda) well known Canadian band Slam Dunk. Guitars, drum and bass. Influences range from T.Rex, The Clash, Built To Spill to old reggae music, soul and surf. New album "Lifes Nutso" self-released in September 2013. Other members are Tanner Matt (Bass) and drums from Babysitters (Aden Collinge). Some bands they have played with include The Strange Boys, Built To Spill and Tune Yards.

CMJ (August 2013) says:

" ...This time the shiny, echoing surf guitar is paired with far-away, almost eerie vocals, and electronic sound effects. Some tracks take a more in-your-face approach, relying more heavily on gritty guitar and pounding drums while bringing those vocals quite a bit closer. A quirky album of rich arrangement that manages to sound cohesive even with such genre bending between tracks"

A Music Blog, Yea? (August 2013)

"...The diversity of the album makes it hard to determine where the sound fits, it’s far from any cookie-cutter genre. It’s smoother than garage rock, sassier than alt, and cooler than pop, I’d coin it nomad wave or perhaps, nothing other than really really good..."