HORNS UP: CROBOT'S 'SOMETHING SUPERNATURAL’
Like a hurtling Trans-Am punching through a police road block, Crobotslammed into our collective Antipodean musical consciousness with May’s self-titled EP, a sledgehammer statement of intent if ever you needed one. A brutal tease, comprising four of their debut album’s first five tracks (they kept howling boogie belter The Necromancer up their sleeves, the cads) the EP set the template for the barnstorming long-player to follow.
Pennsylvania bred but coming off like bayou spawn, all southern fried swagger, crunchy funk (think Audioslave sans the mope), this molten slab of thundering knee tremblers rollicks through a roll call of skinwalkers, bloodsuckers, chupacabrae, spaceborne killers, wizards, necromancers and the powers cosmic — the band’s collective tongue planted firmly in cheek at all times and collective pedals to the metal (of course).
Part bar-band brawl aesthetes, occult horror warlocks and space faring cosmic psychonauts, Crobot’s DNA is a sticky concoction of ’70s forebears Molly Hatchet, Blackfoot, BTO, Black Oak, Uriah Heep. The occasional lashing of off-chops Aerosmith are liberally dosed with echoes of the lysergic inclinations of Monster Magnet and the stoner thrust and swagger of Pepper Keenan fronted COC.
Vocalist Brandon Yeagley, whose caterwaul smacks of Chris Cornell ditching the emo and hitting the tiles (hard) deploys his tripped out lyrical head trips with a road dog’s veteran flair, punctuating his fiery salvos with some handy blues harp wailing.
Renaissance man guitarist Chris Bishop, who also supplies first class ‘Muchameets the Devil’ album art duties, drops some serious crunch on the six string front — equal parts virtuosic stomp, alchemical blues riffery and careening, seat of the leather chaps molten metal lead breaks.
Holding down the bottom end are the Figueroa Brothers, the very epitome of the locked down rhythm section, further enhanced by preternatural sibling telepathy and inviting serious metaphorical comparison to big, fuck off engines.
Lovingly wrought bombastic flesh by production wunderkind Machine(whose resume is as good an estimation of Crobot’s sound as any: Clutch, The Bronx and Lamb of God, just for starters), Something Supernatural is forty three minutes of classic, chunky, cranked up, southern fried groove with anthemic heft.
With it, the lads have planted a decisive flag on the frontline of the current wave of ‘nads-out throwback rockers — that hirsute crew of the leather-vested ne’erdowells who’ve worshiped at the altar of groove and count amongst their number The Sword, Scorpion Child, Royal Blood and Night Horse (just for starters).
Dropping a few days shy of Halloween (27 October), Something Supernatural is a dead cert to be the soundtrack to your southern hemisphere summer. These debutante revivalist rawk preachers have gifted us a blistering, grindhouse dozen, wall to wall winners, in the grandest tradition of tailgate parties, potentially legendary keggers and buzzed up, breakneck weekends eternal.
Horns well and truly up.