Crobot, Only Living Boy, Vagina Panther
1120 Manhattan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY, 11222
This event is 21 and over
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 Pennsylvania quartet—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’,” affirms Chris. “It explains the thought process. We’d usually start the day with chicken biscuits from Chik-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,” laughs Brandon.
Regardless, Crobot continue to fill a void. Since emerging in 2011, the group have 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 1-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 Chris’ spot in Austin, TX to Marietta, GA 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 Brandon delivered some of the most emotive recordings Crobot has delivered to date.
“I think it’s a much darker record, musically, lyrically, and thematically,” says the frontman. “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,” Chris 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,” explains Brandon. “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 okay 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,” states Brandon. “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 frontman 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.”
Only Living Boy
Only Living Boy eats raw hearts for breakfast. Fueled by life's stunning brokenness, the band's distinct rock sound offers listeners an authentic and poignant experience. The trio's unrivaled style is a combination of psych rock inherited from their parents' vinyl and the alternative rock of their own MTV adolescence, woven together with threads of blues, reggae and punk. Thanks to its hometown's suspension between the woods of Pennsylvania and the concrete of New York City, Only Living Boy's northwestern New Jersey roots help define its sound and attitude—organic with an edge. —Niki Coate, WNTI