NEPA Scene Staff

Pottsville hard rockers Crobot ‘Feel This’ dirty groove on new album and national tour

Pottsville hard rockers Crobot ‘Feel This’ dirty groove on new album and national tour
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

From a press release:

The riff monsters in 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 acclaim from the likes of Metal Hammer, Classic Rock, Kerrang, BBC Radio, SiriusXM Octane, Loudwire, Guitar World, and more, the Pottsville hard rock group – Brandon Yeagley (vocals), Chris Bishop (guitar), Tim Peugh (bass), and Dan Ryan (drums) – realizes their vision like never before on “Feel This,” released today via Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group, home to artists like Volbeat, Black Stone Cherry, 10 Years, Joe Bonamassa, Warren Haynes, Gov’t Mule, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Yngwie Malmsteen, P.O.D., and more.

Their fifth full-length is the follow-up to 2019’s Top 10 Heatseekers album “Motherbrain,” whose cumulative streams have surpassed 30 million. 20 million of those were from the goliath single “Low Life,” a U.S. Top 10 hit on active rock radio with a lengthy 29-week run on the Billboard Mainstream chart.

“This is the record we’ve been wanting to do ever since we started,” Yeagley exclaimed.

“We’ve always thought of ourselves as a live act. When [producer] 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,” Yeagley reflected. “‘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 grungy 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 live wire anthem.

“It’s your classic rock ‘n’ roll tune about Frankenstein boots and being invincible!” Yeagley said.

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,” Yeagley noted. “We’re so influenced by everything he and Soundgarden have done. We ran with the song in honor of his legacy.”

The Schuylkill County natives made waves with “The Legend of the Spaceborne Killer” (2012), “Something Supernatural” (2014), and “Welcome to Fat City” (2016). However, “Motherbrain” (2019) represented a high watermark. They’ve crisscrossed the U.S. and the world in road warrior style, playing with the likes of Anthrax, Black Label Society, Chevelle, Clutch, Volbeat, and more. They’ve lit up festival bills and the annual ShipRocked cruise.

“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 enthused. This is something they highlight on the new song “Livin’ on the Streets.”

2019 ended with a U.S. tour supporting Steel Panther, and then COVID-19 punched the world in the face. As the global pandemic descended upon the country, Bishop and Ryan hunkered down in Austin, Texas to jam and cut demos, sending ideas to Yeagley back in Pennsylvania (who recorded some star-studded jams under quarantine). 2021 saw the boys enter Orb Recording Studios in Austin with Ruston.

Since the world has begun to open up, the band has not stood still. Their “Rat Child” EP was released last summer and featured a mighty cast of guest stars – Frank Bello (Anthrax), Howard Jones (Light the Torch/ex-Killswitch Engage), and Stix Zadinia (Steel Panther). They’ve also headlining some tours; played ass-kicking performances at festivals such as Rocklahoma, Aftershock, the Chris Jericho Cruise; and supported fellow Pennsylvanians Halestorm.

After opening for the legendary Danzig and Cradle of Filth last month and playing an album release show at the Mercury Lounge in New York City last night, they’re back on the road with labelmates Shaman’s Harvest and Any Given Sin through the end of June. Rock ‘n’ roll simply comes to life in Crobot’s hands.

“We never want to make the same album twice,” Yeagley left off. “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.”

“That’s the fucking line right there,” Bishop agreed. “We want you to walk away smiling. If I can make you smile, I’ve done my job.”