NEPA Scene Staff

Pottsville groove rockers Crobot play as a duo at World of Brew in Pittston on March 17

Pottsville groove rockers Crobot play as a duo at World of Brew in Pittston on March 17
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From a press release:

Kingston-based artistic promotion and production team Camp Rattler is bringing two members of Pottsville groove rock band Crobot – vocalist Brandon Yeagley and guitarist Chris Bishop – to play as an acoustic duo at World of Brew in Pittston on Saturday, March 17.

Signed to Wind-up Records, home of many major national acts over the years, Crobot is currently working on new music with a new rhythm section after touring with Sevendust and Royal Thunder performing at festivals like Chicago Open Air and Rock USA last year. They even created a sci-fi comic book based on their music.

The St. Patrick’s Day show starts at 8 p.m., and tickets are $7 at the door (170 Laurel St., Pittston).

Following the release of their debut album, “Something Supernatural,” in 2014 , Crobot tore up the road with the likes of the legendary Motörhead, Anthrax, Volbeat, Clutch, The Sword, and more in addition to performing at festivals such as Download, Shiprocked, Motörhead’s MotörBoat, Rock on the Range, Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, Graspop, and Rocklahoma, to name a few. Along the way, they landed coverage from Paste Magazine, Rolling Stone, Yahoo! Music, Revolver, and many others.

Towards the end of 2015, the boys began plotting their next move. During downtime with Motörhead, they carved out a week for pre-production with Machine (Lamb of God, Clutch, Gym Class Heroes) in Austin, Texas, sowing the creative seeds for their follow-up, “Welcome to Fat City.”

“We played so many shows since ‘Something Supernatural’ came out,” Yeagley said. “Going into ‘Welcome to Fat City,’ we knew what worked on stage and what didn’t from the last record. First and foremost, we boil down to a live band. If something doesn’t feel good up there, we push it aside. That helped pave the way for this new music.”

The guys would return to Austin in late January 2016 and properly commence work on the new tunes. Over the course of five or six weeks, depending on who you ask, they cut 11 tracks and blew up countless beer cans.

“Machine is super detail-oriented,” Bishop noted. “He puts the songs under a microscope and really helps us expand them. He brings the sheen to the production!”

Following the recording, they turned to Alan Moulder (Foo Fighters, Wolfmother, Royal Blood, Led Zeppelin, Nine Inch Nails) for mixing. Now, the opener and title track shuffles between a big drum beat, wah-ed out guitar lick, and howling vocal delivery.

“That set the tone, and it established the spectrum for what would become ‘Welcome to Fat City,'” Yeagley admitted. “It’s heavier. It’s funkier. It’s bluesier. There are so many grooves and big moments. We’re maturing as songwriters and looking at things from a new perspective.”

In 1970, Hunter S. Thompson infamously campaigned to be elected Sheriff of Aspen. He proposed that the snowy locale’s name be changed to “Fat City” in order to “prevent greedheads, land-rapers and other human jackals from capitalizing on the name ‘Aspen.'” He lost the election, but a short 46 years later, his proposed moniker would perfectly suit Crobot’s second full-length album. Stirring up down ‘n’ dirty rock ‘n’ roll, swaggering blues, doomy metal, and strangely sexy funk into a grimy cauldron, the Pennsylvania quartet make rock music gonzo again by blasting it to outer space.

“As far as the story goes, I thought it might be cool to write about a planet called Fat City,” Yeagley explained. “It’s a place where all of the sleazeballs of the galaxy can go and be themselves without any regard for morals or anybody else’s well-being. On the last record, a lot of the themes were supernatural and took place on Earth. This one goes intergalactic.”

The first single, “Not for Sale” steamrolls with an aggressive energy that T-bones on a big, brash, and bombastic chant about, “standing up for yourself as a human being and not letting anyone take advantage of you,” as the vocalist puts it.

Meanwhile, “Hold on for Dear Life” seesaws amidst a rumbling groove and six-string squeals under a soulful hook. “I thought the chorus, ‘hold on for dear life until I get it right,’ was a cool philosophy,” Yeagley said. “That one is along the lines of being galaxy pirates.”

Everything concludes on the stampeding crunch of “Plague of the Mammoths.” Hinging on an ominous bass line and swell of feedback, it emits a thundering send-off.

“That’s a metal riff,” Bishop smiled. “We were in Europe talking about how the mammoth became extinct. We thought it would be so awesome to have a song about it.”

Ultimately, Crobot carve out their own corner of the galaxy with “Welcome to Fat City.” You might never want to leave either.

“We write music we want to hear,” Yeagley left off. “We want to have fun doing this. It’s what we live and breathe. That passion comes through.”

“When I discover a band I really like, I get inspired to play guitar or write something,” Bishop concluded. “I hope people feel the same way when they hear us.”