Robert+Karen – Maximum Love Vibes EP

Robert+Karen
Maximum Love Vibes EP

Robert+Karen hail from the San Fransisco area, and in the brief existence of this three-piece have put out one other EP. This band includes two brothers, and they pride themselves on creating different textured poppy noise. The band uses many different ingredients to create their musical stew that keeps your ears perked up. They create interesting noise behind Michael Ulrich’s spoken vocal style, that is a little reminiscent of early era Pavement.
“A Date with Dethtiny” starts the disc off with some cascading spacy guitar work that adds an interesting component. Ulrisch’s vocals sound kind of out of place with his unusual vocal style that contrasts with the music too much. “Heat Seeking Missiles, Seek Heat” has some sharp-stabbing guitar work mixed with a sparkling keyboard performance. This song is a high point on this record with its quirky approach and good vocals, and it moves rather quickly thoughout. “In Lieu of Xmas Blues” starts off as a more mellow spacy piece of pop that is much less out of control. Ulrich uses some chirps in his vocals adding a new effect, and then the band reverts back to the free for all musical aesthetics that fill this outing.
Robert+Karen seem to enjoy making music that is mostly out of control and spontaneous. That fact ultimately hurts the band. They are able to create intersting noise when they can harness everything, but that infrequently happens. Most of the time the songs come off as unfocused and eventully lose momentum, making it hard to take. At their most focused portions, this band has a very quirky charm that leads to some interesting listening. With a little more focus this band coul hit the mark, but with this EP they aren’t there yet.