Welcome to Fat City

Crobot are a hard rock band from Pennsylvania, formed in 2011, and my current musical obsession. Members include frontman and founder Brandon Yeagley, guitarist Chris Bishop, bassist Jake Figueroa and drummer Paul Figueroa. They describe their own music as being dirty groove rock, and they definitely sound the part.

According to their Wikipedia page, they’re recommended for fans of Wolfmother, Queens of the Stone Age, Rage Against the Machine and Soundgarden, which I somewhat agree with- in terms of guitar work, I can hear a clear Rage influence including a couple of ripped Morello licks in the solos. But Crobot is definitely dissimilar to rage vocally- Yeagley delivers high energy, soaring vocal lines aggressively and artfully over top of the band’s thick, dirty riffs.

Though Crobot is considered a hard rock band, they walk with poise along the tightrope of a border between hard rock and metal, and those who fall privy to the worship of thick riffs and dirty tone are sure to enjoy the band’s work greatly- specifically the singles from their upcoming album. Doom fans, this is for you.

Not For Sale (Until September 23rd)

Crobot’s second full length effort, Welcome to Fat City, is due to drop September 23rd, and will include the four singles Not For Sale, Plague of the Mammoths, Play it Cool and the title track Welcome to Fat City- and based on these four fragments, I for one am highly anticipating the alum in its entirety. What has been released so far is without a doubt the heaviest work they’ve done to date.


Not For Sale

The first single released off of the upcoming album was Not For Sale- a short but energetic song which appears to be about people who throw away fulfillment in favour of money. This song gets right down to business (no pun intended)- a fast paced paced riff creates a suitable intro, breaking into the first verse of the song, where the energy levels are brought down in order to make way for the explosive chorus that makes the stance on the issue clear- my soul is not for sale. This is definitely a song that showcases Yeagley’s immense vocal prowess, accompanied by some venomously impactful lyrics that are brief and to the point.

Welcome to Fat City

This is one case where the album’s title track stands a fair chance of being the best of them all. Welcome to Fat City is the heaviest of the four singles released so far, which can be attributed to the fact that every member of the band could refer to this track as being a great showcase of what they’re capable of. The song kicks off immediately with a heavy riff powered by both bass and guitar, and proceeds into a wah-soaked intro solo by Bishop that works perfectly with the context. The verses are truly the moments for both Figueroa brothers to shine, as the rhythm section truly settles into a great groove here, setting the scene for the huge riffs that rip into the song through the chorus. Yeagley’s explosive vocal command soars overtop everything like crunchy icing on the world’s dirtiest cake.

Plague of the Mammoths

A simple bass line leads the way for the next single of the album, carrying a simple yet effective theme throughout the entire song. Accompanied by the occasional accent and a brief solo by Bishop on guitar, this is a very percussive track that runs exactly three minutes in length. Simple is key here, with high points of the track being the chunky riffs and the great performance by Paul Figueroa on drums, who lays an unwavering foundation to a song that would be very easily ruined by an excess of fills.

Play it Cool

This brand new single was just released this morning, premiering exclusively on Crave. Appropriately titled, Play it Cool is far more laid back than the other singles released so far. Largely powered by guitar, this track sets itself apart vocally in that it sounds like Yeagley was trying something new. And indeed, the difference is welcome, and even includes moments that reflect a Zappa-like playfulness. Contextually, I can see this fitting in midway through the album to serve as a point of reflection- a break in order to emphasize the possible heaviness of the surrounding tracks.

• • •

Welcome to Fat City is out September 23rd through Wind-Up Records.


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