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Crobot is a hard-rock band from Pottsville, Pennsylvania. The band formed in 2011 and have released three full length albums: Something Supernatural in 2014, Welcome to Fat City in 2016, and their latest release, Motherbrain in 2019. The band has extensively toured in support of their albums and the “Beardos” put on a live show that is both highly entertaining and energetic, with their style of dirty, groovy-rock. If Clutch, Alice in Chains, and Soundgarden had a genetically engineered, designer baby, the unholy result would probably look and sound a little bit like Crobot. The band wear their influences on their sleeves, but also transcend them with their own unique sound.
“consistent with Crobot’s best work”
After signing with Mascot Records last November, the band put out their most recent album, Motherbrain, on August 23, 2019. The album is a headbanger from start to finish, characterized by crunchy guitar riffs, tough, high-flying melodic vocals with a sense of humor, and a solid rhythm section. The album has that distinctive Crobot sound created by vocalist, Brandon Yeagely, and guitarist, Chris Bishop, the two original core members. They are joined on the album by Dan Ryan on drums, and James Lascu and Eddie Collins share the role of touring bassist. Here’s the tracklist:
Keep Me Down
Stoning The Devil
Chris Bishop’s guitar sound is unique, making use of several effects pedals which make his sound so recognizable. His style is latent throughout the whole album, providing all kinds of groovy riffs. The album is laden with slow, heavy grooves like on opening song Burn, the darker sounding Drown, and the super heavy track, Stoning the Devil. Some of the album’s crunchiest riffs can be heard on Destroyer and Keep Me Down, which also has a hilarious music video. Some of the best headbangers on the album are the aforementioned Destroyer, and Gasoline, which has a softer touch on the verses.
Brandon Yeagely’s vocals are stylish and very versatile, with a highflying range that can also reach super low, and it’s always good to hear intelligently written lyrics with plenty of puns and wordplay. There are classic-sounding Crobot fight songs like Keep Me Down and Destroyer, as well as some full-blooded tracks like Burn, Blackout, and Hive. Consistent with the themes of their earlier releases, darker lyrics are explored on tracks like Drown, and Stoning the Devil, which both feature some awesome vocal harmonies. Yeagely’s vocal range can really be heard well on tracks like Alpha Dawg and Hive. Unfortunately, most traces of their earlier sci-fi and stoner rock lyrics are absent on this album, leaving something to be desired for most stoner-rock fans.
The rhythm section is tight throughout. Even on more mainstream sounding tracks like Lowlife (which also features a music video) and Blackout, the band spices it up with complex sounding rhythmic changeups. The driving, chunky bass can really be heard well on Blackout and Destroyer. The drums are punchy sounding and the cymbals have a crispy, rock sound. There’s plenty of tight double kick work, as well as some awesome fills at the end of Gasoline, and even a rim-tap tip of the hat to ZZ Top on After Life.
“highly entertaining and energetic”
Motherbrain is a solid album, with plenty of opportunities to sing-along, headbang, and rock out. Consistent with Crobot’s best work, it’s a good followup to Welcome to Fat City, though it never quite reaches the level of the otherworldy lyrical matter or heaviness of Something Supernatural. The sound of the album is also a little more produced than earlier releases, noticeably in the slightly over-compressed drum sound. Overall though, the album still has that dirty, almost raw sound that Crobot is renowned for and it’s also safe to say that Crobot’s sound is definitely as heavy and dark as ever. Check out Motherbrain, today.
OCT 15 The National – Richmond, VA
OCT 16 Theatre of Living Arts – Philadelphia, PA
OCT 18 The Fillmore Silver Spring – Silver Spring, MD