NEPA Scene Staff

Pottsville groove rockers Crobot play album release shows for ‘Motherbrain’ Aug. 21-Sept. 1

Pottsville groove rockers Crobot play album release shows for ‘Motherbrain’ Aug. 21-Sept. 1
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From a press release:

After signing with Mascot Label Group last year and releasing two new music videos this year, Pottsville groove rock band Crobot is finally ready to debut their fourth studio album, “Motherbrain,” with a string of release shows that kick off next week.

The short run begins with two nights in Brooklyn, New York on Aug. 21 and 22 and hits New Jersey, Ohio, and Illinois before wrapping up in Wisconsin on Sept. 1. The only Pennsylvania stop on this tour is SkookStock at the Andreas Sporting Club (1 Andreas Rd., Andreas) on Saturday, Aug. 24 with tourmates Fate’s Got a Driver, a new post-hardcore band featuring former Taking Back Sunday guitarist Eddie Reyes that recently played in Scranton.

Crobot’s fellow Schuylkill County natives Faith in Exile, Bad Maggie, Look Alive, Japan 4, Mahantongo, and Apollo 88 are also playing the all-day outdoor music festival with vendors, food, drinks, and live comedy. Tickets, which are $25 for general admission and $20 for designated drivers, are on sale now via Big Tickets. Kids ages 12 and under are free.

“Motherbrain” will be available in stores, digital retailers, and on streaming platforms next Friday, Aug. 23.

“Motherbrain” album release shows:

Wednesday, Aug. 21: Album Release Party at Duff’s, Brooklyn, NY
Thursday, Aug. 22: Saint Vitus, Brooklyn, NY
Friday, Aug. 23: Debonair Music Hall, Teaneck, NJ
Saturday, Aug. 24: Skookstock, Andreas Sporting Club, Andreas, PA
Sunday, Aug. 25: Asbury Lanes, Asbury Park, NJ
Wednesday, Aug. 28: Ace of Cups, Columbus, OH
Friday, Aug. 30: The Q&Z Expo Center, Ringle, WI
Saturday, Aug. 31: Top Fuel Saloon, Braidwood, IL
Sunday, Sept. 1: Taste of Madison, Madison, WI

Like food of the gods, rock ‘n’ roll nourishes the soul. Offering holy communion, Crobot proudly personify a trinity of “meat, strings, and emotion” within their music and during the raucous and raging gigs they remain known for. Striking a delicate balance between hard-charging riffs, ass-shaking funk, and out-of-this-world reflective stage attire, the Pottsville, Pennsylvania group – Brandon Yeagley (lead vocals, harmonica), Chris Bishop (guitar, vocals), and Dan Ryan (drums) – satisfy starvation for sonic sustenance on their fourth full-length and 2019 debut for Mascot Records, “Motherbrain.” James Lascu and Eddie Collins share the role of touring bassist for Crobot.

“When we were making the record, it was all about ‘meat, strings, and emotion’,” Bishop affirms. “It explains the thought process. We’d usually start the day with chicken biscuits from Chick-fil-A. Obviously, I would play the strings. The emotion comes from the sheer power of me playing.”

“It had nothing to do with the chicken biscuits,” Yeagley laughs.

Regardless, Crobot continue to fill a void. Since emerging in 2011, the band has quietly cemented themselves among the rising rock vanguard. Following the 2012 debut “Legend of the Spaceborne Killer” and 2014’s “Something Supernatural,” the musicians made waves with “Welcome to Fat City” in 2016. Consequence of Sound praised the title track as “a stomping slice of doom,” and Classic Rock bestowed a coveted 4-out-of-5 star rating on the album, going on to claim, “‘Welcome to Fat City’ is a mighty leap forward for Crobot, an ebullient masterclass.” Not to mention, they received acclaim from AXS, New Noise Magazine, and more as total album streams surpassed the one million mark. Along the way, Crobot toured with the likes of Anthrax, Clutch, Black Label Society, Volbeat, Chevelle, Motorhead, The Sword, and more in addition to appearing on ShipRocked and at numerous other festivals.

During late 2017, the boys started to write what would become “Motherbrain.” Signing to Mascot Records, the group went from writing at Bishop’s spot in Austin, Texas to Marietta, Georgia, where they holed up in the studio with Corey Lowery (Seether, Sevendust, Saint Asonia, Stereomud) for a month. The producer’s direction to embrace the dark side took life while Yeagley delivered some of the most emotive recordings Crobot has delivered to date.

“I think it’s a much darker record, musically, lyrically, and thematically,” the frontman says. “It’s some of the heaviest material we’ve ever done, but it’s also some of the funkiest. We’re widening the Crobot spectrum even more. It’s the catchiest too. It’s less about wizards and dragons and more about everyday turmoil and the struggles of life. Corey made it digestible and appealing for not just dudes with beards or chicks with dicks.”

They heralded the record with the rabble-rousing “Keep Me Down.” Meanwhile, the first single “Low Life” shows the scope of this expanded palette. Featuring chunky guitars and a howling hook, it sees the band co-write with Johnny Andrews and deliver a bold banger.

“It’s a song we never would’ve written by ourselves,” Bishop continues. “That makes it cool. It took us out of our comfort zone.” “It’s an anthem about this outside perspective on the definition of a lowlife,” Yeagley explains. “There’s a misconception that being a touring musician without a lot of money makes you a lowlife, but how is that really any different from the rest of the world? And, if that does make you a lowlife, we’re OK with it!”

Co-written by Brian Vodinh of 10 Years, “Burn” nods to “the power of Stone Temple Pilot’s ‘Dead and Bloated’” and siphons it through “a Crobot filter.” Elsewhere, “Drown” tempers a muscular groove with a magnetic melody, while the “funkiest song” of the bunch, “Alpha Dawg,” pays homage to a “funky werewolf mofo” inspired by “Teen Wolf.” Then there’s “Stoning the Devil.” So catchy it might be Satanic, the tune flips tradition upside down.

“I wanted a different spin on the act of stoning the devil,” Yeagley states. “Muslims take a pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia to throw stones at these pillars. The act is supposed to ward off evil spirits and cleanse one’s soul. It’s a different culture for the devil’s storyline in our genre.”

In the end, “meat, strings, and emotion” might just be what rock ‘n’ roll needs in 2019 and beyond.

“When people hear this, I hope they say, ‘Yeah, that’s Crobot,’” the singer leaves off. “We want to maintain our identity from record to record. We always want to be genuine. It’s going to evolve, but it will always be Crobot.”