Home Read Albums Of The Week: Crobot | Feel This

Albums Of The Week: Crobot | Feel This

The Pennsylvania rockers celebrate better times with their fifth full-length — while channelling the finest moments of Montrose, Sabbath, Soundgarden and others.

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “Riff-monsters Crobot conjure up the kind of rock ’n’ roll that has grooves so powerful they throw you around the room, and hooks high enough to shake the heavens. They take the sweet-sounding nectar of the gods and pour it down your throat until you’re wailing along like a banshee.

With tens of millions of streams, countless shows and near-universal acclaim, Brandon Yeagley (vocals), Chris Bishop (guitar), Tim Peugh (bass) and Dan Ryan (drums) realize their vision like never before on their fifth full-length Feel This, the followup to 2019’s Motherbrain.

“This is the record we’ve been wanting to do ever since we started,” exclaims Brandon. “We’ve always thought of ourselves as a live act. When Jay Ruston described his process of recording, we were beyond excited about getting in and getting our hands dirty. It involved performing live as a unit and finishing all instruments on a song before moving on to the next. We recorded 16 songs in 21 days, which is a feat in itself.”

Feel This is a tale of perseverance. “Through constant struggles, we learn more what it’s like to be human. Our shortcomings and strengths alike make us a unique species,” Brandon reflects. “Feel This very well may point to our biggest strength of all, our ability to feel emotion (for better or worse).”

Human nature is threaded throughout the album, from volatile relationships (Dizzy) to imperfections and learning from mistakes on Holy Ghost. Its warbling harmony wraps around the wah-drenched guitar straight out of Seattle; Brandon’s grunge-y wail rings out on the hook, “I am not the holy ghost. I won’t ever save your soul.” There’s “believing in something so much” on Set You Free, which spirals towards a seismic crescendo and emotionally charged guitar lead from Bishop.

Around the psyche-digging lyrics, they are never far away from thunderous rock ‘n’ roll. Electrified kickstarts the album as a rip-roaring livewire anthem. “It’s your classic rock ‘n’ roll tune about Frankenstein boots and being invincible!” Brandon says. There’s an epic anti-hero tale on Without Wings, and then there’s Dance With the Dead. Forgetting your troubles over an irresistible groove, the song struts with high-register harmonies and the infectious chant of “Let’s go dance with the dead. They know how to kill it!”

Golden is a soaring homage to a god-gone-too soon. “When it came to the lyrics, we collectively wanted it to be a tribute to Chris Cornell,” says Brandon. “We’re so influenced by everything he and Soundgarden have done. We ran with the song in honor of his legacy.”

Crobot made waves with Legend of the Spaceborne Killer (2012), Something Supernatural (2014) and Welcome To Fat City (2016). But Motherbrain (2019) took it to a new level. They’ve crisscrossed the world road-warrior style, playing with the likes of Anthrax, Black Label Society, Chevelle, Clutch, Volbeat and more. They’ve lit up festival bills and rock cruises. “We tour the pockets off of our pants and sleep in our van for half of the year. To some, that may seem like misery, but to us, it’s heaven, baby!” the frontman says. And something they highlight on the song Livin’ On The Streets.

2019 ended with a U.S. tour supporting Steel Panther, and then Covid punched the world in the face. As the pandemic descended, Chris and Dan hunkered down in Austin to cut demos, sending ideas to Brandon back in Pennsylvania. 2021 saw the boys enter Orb Studios in Austin with producer Ruston (Stone Sour, Anthrax). Since the world has begun to open up, the band have not stood still. The Rat Child EP dropped last summer and featured VIPs like Frank Bello (Anthrax), Howard Jones (Light The Torch/ex-Killswitch Engage) and Stix Zadinia (Steel Panther). They’ve also headed out on headline tours, played ass-kicking performances at festivals such as Rocklahoma, Aftershock, the Jericho Cruise and supported Halestorm.

You’ll feel rock ‘n’ roll come to life in Crobot’s hands. “We never want to make the same album twice,” Brandon says. “There is something for every Crobot fan out there as well as newcomers. At the same time, we’re having fun. We want to be taken seriously, but not too seriously — because this is monkey hour after all.” Agrees Bishop: “That’s the fucking line right there. We want you to walk away smiling. If I can make you smile, I’ve done my job.”