“We never want to do the same album twice.” Every album CROBOT experiment and venture into new territory, and every time it pays off just that little bit more. Feel This is no exception, and instead culminates into a ball of every lesson they’ve learned over the years. Their music and songwriting constantly matures whilst still retaining that groovy stoner swag of phat riffs that makes them such a joy to listen to and even more intense to witness in a live setting.
To capture the onstage lunacy of vocalist Brandon Yeagley, guitarist Chris Bishop, bassist Tim Peugh, and drummer Dan Ryan, the Pennsylvanian dirty groovers enlisted the help of producer Jay Ruston. Recording each track one by one, as a unit, Feel This features tales of perseverance wrapped up in a fuzz-filled blanket and anecdotes of flange-fuelled fun.
Yeagley’s screech of “electrified!” acts as the starting gun in this malicious drag race. The taunt of “when lightening strikes my engine amplifies” only encourages Bishop to hit the gas pedal, before taking it easy in cruise control for the pre-chorus. CROBOT’s signature use of futuristic oscillators takes the stage on Dizzy, the perfect match in matrimony for Bishop’s Tom Morello-styled guitar licks between dive-bombing verses.
From wizards to werewolves, aliens to mammoths, CROBOT continue to take leaps from mythological fables to relatable, heartfelt narratives throughout the timeline of their material. We’ve heard CROBOT pen a ballad or two before, but the clean guitar plucking and soft, subtle piano notes on Set You Free are hauntingly otherworldly. Yeagley’s switch between soft pleading and the outburst of pain mirrors that of the agonising struggle we often face when it comes to love and all of its synonymous emotions; the good and the bad. A crash of METALLICA’s distorted and urgent chugging shatters the elegant front, yet the catchy vocal melody of “I’ll give you my faith just so you believe / Run through the darkness so that you can see“, reiterates the suffering of a broken heart.
Feel This features a trilogy of tracks that take inspiration from the idea of flying, both physically and metaphorically. Set You Free, Golden, and Without Wings bear the mark of sombre musings against a backdrop of scorching guitar solos and squelchy soundscapes. Ryan‘s drumming doesn’t just hold down the fort on Golden, but the minuscule intricacies with sly cymbal strikes amidst a barrage of tom beats shines through on this tribute to the late Chris Cornell.
Yeagley’s cheek-slapping harmonica work on Better Times pulls you out of the post-pandemic slump, and Livin’ on the Streets employs gang vocals and an upbeat southern blues twang that’s reminiscent of SLASH’S SNAKEPIT. Dance With The Dead solidifies CROBOT’s place as fast-rising groove masters, but it’s Never Break Me’s violently funky bass lines, killer guitar solo, and muffled drums that takes home that grooooovy trophy. Holy Ghost has such a big, full, thicc sound, allowing Yeagley’s howling voice to penetrate the ear canals against your will. An unsuspecting acoustic bridge does a great deal to hammer home just how gut-punching this flangey track is.
Staring Straight Into The Sun comes as the longest track and album closer, and is the fuzziest five minutes yet. A five-minute-fuzzy, if you will. The weight of the lyrics is felt through the laborious chugging, crooning licks, and spiralling bridge that induces flashbacks from earlier material.
The band’s fourth full-length offering takes elements of days gone by, throws them onto the operating table, and coagulates into a Frankenstein monster of all the best bits. Feel This sees CROBOT have their space cake and eat it. And they’ve saved us a slice too.
Feel This is set for release on June 3rd via Mascot Records/Mascot Label Group.
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