Pennsylvanian rockers, Crobot, have just released a new EP with a couple of ‘off-cuts from the superb Motherbrain (review available here on Bluesdoodles) sessions and a couple of new ones. They also, worryingly at first, have some stellar guests who, thankfully, have helped reinforce Crobot’s abilities rather than change the sound we know and love.
There is one disappointment straight away: it’s only an EP, and only four tracks…be grateful for small mercies, as they say.
Opening with Mountain, Frank Bello adds some tasty bass to swell the great Crobot groove that this one has…it has a depth that takes a few listens to appreciate fully. The drum patterns and cymbal-bell work are outstanding; the riff is weighty quality, the vocals as strong and melodic as always… a pity there’s no guitar solo!
Kiss It Goodbye is next that has Howard Jones (rest easy, not the one with the synth-y hit singles in the 80s) appearing on vocals but complements Brandon very well; before that we get a seriously heavy, powerful song with some guitar work on the faster section to savour.
Slightly surprising is the near, key led (courtesy of Stix Zadina) ballad that will immediately bring Queen to mind…from their (in my opinion) best, Night At The Opera era. There are even harmony guitar phrases a la Mr May. Mind you, at the risk of upsetting most of the planet, I much prefer Brandon to Freddie…sorry! In their hands, it works as pure Crobot…quality.
The final track on this lamentably short offering is the title track, Rat Child. On this, over layers of neat percussion, they lay a light layer of funk over a bluesy, thudding bass and simple but very effective riff; it all adds up nicely and is topped off by a couple of short but neat solos.
As always Crobot deliver the goods with their trademark heft, visionary approach, originality and skilful execution…now when’s the next album due guys?
Bluesdoodles rating: 4 Doodle-paws – a wonderful album of varied, tasty rock that is cliche free, even with the Queen comparison…this is quality with a capital Q: pity it’s just an EP.
Kiss It Goodbye
Brandon Yeagley: lead vocals, harmonica
Chris Bishop: guitar, vocals
Dan Ryan: drums
Frank Bello (Anthrax)
Howard Jones (Light The Torch/ex-Killswitch Engage)
Stix Zadina (Steel Panther)
(iTunes decided I needed reminding of Crown Of Thorns and their fine, self-titled album from 1993; their cover of a Sweet track (No You Don’t off Sweet Fanny Adams) shows what a good heavy rock band Sweet was and how good CoT are too.