Robbers on High Street are an American rock band from Brooklyn, New York. Robbers on High Street began performing publicly during the summer of 2002, but the band's roots stretch back much further. Ben Trokan and Steve "Sparky" Mercado have been friends since their preteen years growing up in the upstate New York town of Poughkeepsie. Both Mercado and Trokan shared a recent familial relocation from the Bronx and Manhattan, respectively, and a love of Led Zeppelin. Ten years later Trokan returned to New York City for college and through mutual friends met and began playing with drummer Tomer Danan. In Poughkeepsie, Mercado reconnected with Jeremy Phillips, an old school friend. Robbers on High Street—the name came from a lyric of one of the band's early, discarded compositions—was officially born when the four began playing together.
The band was quickly signed by Scratchie/New Line Records at the end of 2003. Fine Lines, the band's debut EP was released in March 2004 and was co-produced by Peter Katis (The National (band), Interpol, Mercury Rev), as was their first full-length album, Tree City, with additional production from Britt Myers (Dressy Bessy, Chairlift). Tree City was released in February 2005 and Phillips was replaced shortly thereafter by Florida native Morgan King. In addition to playing bass, King is proficient in brass instruments and occasionally plays them on stage. The band toured for most of 2005 with Cake, Hot Hot Heat, Sloan, and Brendan Benson. The album met with strong reviews and several songs off Tree City (Love Underground, Big Winter, and Japanese Girls to name a few) landed in several films, TV shows and commercials; as well as two appearances on the Carson Daly Show.