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July 14, 2024

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The Robustos
Introducing...The Robustos (Ska Satellite Records)

By: Alex Steininger

The Robustos are an Atlanta based traditional ska band fronted with female vocals. Their debut CD is now available on Moon Ska's off-shoot, Ska Satellite Records.

"Big Spender" starts out the music. The horns chop through the song softly, while the guitar serves up an upbeat that you can dance with. The keys make an appearance now and then, swiftly adding a touch of spirit to the music. The drums are soft, keeping the music in good time. And with the mouth organ swimming through the song, the music is quite solid. Leading the music is the female vocals. They're able to hit the notes nicely, and can control the pace of the song easily. Very seductive at times, they also portray a lot of gentleness. With all this combined, the outcome is a very catchy song that you'll dance and sing along with. The lyrics are nicely done as well, which is really a plus. "Miles To Go" is another nicely done number. The horns start out very choppy, and then they exit the song, coming back with some soulful parts. The guitar serves up a very hot upbeat that will drive your feet wild, and the hammond pours its heart into the music, keeping everything (and everyone) on their toes. This time around though, the vocals are backed up by a male's voice, which adds a tired, deeper touch to the song. "The sun came up again at 6am, why do I have to go to work again. I'm still tired from the night before, I don't know if I can do this anymore," is sung, and with the male vocals backing up the female vocals, you really believe what they're saying. You even relate to it, smiling at how they hit it right on the bullseye. "Bobbo Deniro" is a nicely done instrumental. Although I don't like their instrumentals as much as I like the ones with vocals, this one is done nicely. The horns are full, and the rhythm section tight. The music is hot enough to dance with, so the energy is still high. "Hecho-A-Mano" is another instrumental. Although there is some shouts and talking in the background, the music is generally an instrumental. I found this song to be very boring and repetitive, and I started longing for their vocalist to come in. I also got very tired of the final track, "Exit." A slow, lounge number, I found the vocals to be too distant in the music, which really took away from the music. It sounded more like a hidden track than an actual track. Half way through it they tone the music down, and you get to hear a car roaring off. Not my idea of good music. And not a way to cap off a good album either.

The Robustos have some very shining moments on this album, but they also seemed to get tired in a few spots. However, the "tired" moments are kept to a minimum, so the general tone of this album is an up lifting, happy pace that you'll dance and have fun with. I'll give this album a B.

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