Ever heard of CROBOT? That was the same question I got a couple days ago when The Maestro offered me the opportunity to review their debut album, Something Supernatural, out now via Wind-up Records. And boy, am I glad he did! On my first impression, I thought of WOLFMOTHER, SOUNDGARDEN, and a bit of RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE, which, almost comically, was very similar to how they describe themselves on their website.
From the first track, “Legend of the Spaceborne Killer”, I knew I was in for a treat. This opener starts off with a bit of ominous feedback, which swirls around, finally manifesting itself into a monstrous groove, offered up by Chris Bishop on guitar and Jake Figueroa on the four string variety. My foot immediately started tapping; my head quickly following suit. You just can’t get past the massiveness of the groove, which has a very WOLFMOTHER feel, I think, due to the sound of Brandon Yeagley’s powerful voice and incredible range. The thing about that band, who I like quite a bit, is they’re fairly hit or miss. A handful of good tracks on the last album I picked up, but that was about it. CROBOT on the other hand, I can listen to the entire album, multiple times, back to back. Just about every one of their songs has something that gets stuck in your head for the rest of the day. Track two for example, “Nowhere to Hide” has a hellishly catchy melody. I’m sure my coworkers were starting to wonder about me today, as I sat typing e-mails and bobbing my head to this rocking song.
“The Necromancer” followed shortly thereafter. Unexpectedly, this one opened with a Blues harp, which made several appearances throughout. I’m also impressed with Paul Figueroa (the second half of the Figueroa brothers) on the drums. He really pulls off a brilliantly driving track. Now, a lot of drummers seem to adopt the, “If one is good twelve is better” mentality, and simply add too much. Not so with Paul. Not over the top, but with a very full, rounded, driving sound…I think much to the benefit of this tune, as well as the rest of the album. “La Mano de Lucifer” was next up, which is an awesome, grooving, bluesy number, (once again, I found myself bobbing) which was a nice change of pace from the first three songs, just long enough to let you catch your breath for “Skull of Geronimo”, which, unsurprisingly, is very catchy.
“Cloud Spiller” was next, with an appropriately soaring vibe. Almost too catchy, this one, and definitely one of my favorites off the album. And it just kept grooving. “Fly on the Wall” is another good demonstration of the strength and range of Brandon Yeagley’s voice. This song has bit of a slower, rolling vibe, which slots in nicely between “Cloud Spiller” and ‘Night of Sacrifice”, which was up next. I really like the funky groove this one pumps out, particularly when Mr. Bishop pulls out the Wah Wah pedal for a rocking, classic-sounding solo that can’t be missed.
My absolute favorite was next in “Chupacabra,” a properly raucous song! Honestly, I dare you to listen to this one and not move around. I even found myself annoying my office-mate with my high pitched attempt at a harmony to the chorus. And I’m still singing it my head as I’m writing this. “Wizards” is particularly fun, with an ominous intro that leads into an epic story of two diabolically opposed wizards, with witty wordplay and yet another great groove. The closer “Queen of the Light” starts off with a slow, drifting melody, working into a rocking chorus. The solos in the middle have a great, soaring sound, and then it’s back to that driving chorus; all the more interesting because of the dark story. I have a feeling you will be singing this one for a while too. All in all, I’m pretty stoked about this album. And you should be too! Go check it out.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Chupacabra”, “Queen of the Light”, “Cloud Spiller”, “Wizards”