After a time of teasing and thusly promoting, Crobot returned to UK shores last month and re-conquered the lands. And with that return, it meant they had a new album in tow, something else they’ve been hinting at for some time and now it’s finally here. Revitalised with a new rhythm section, the dirty groove rock-mongers have bestowed upon us this, their fourth album.
Motherbrain shows that despite the long wait between albums, it’s been worth it. More potent, more mature and darker from a musical and lyrical standpoint, it’s a perfect way to reintroduce yourself to the Beardo way of life. The more psychedelic slant found on Welcome to Fat City has been peeled back to focus more on their doom elements and is them at their most straightforward hard rocking across their back catalogue. It feels less in the weeds, focusing on creating organic tunes and making whatever they want to with warm production without over-saturating it.
Opening salvo “Burn” is full of the funk you’d expect from a Crobot song, complemented with Chris Bishop’s robotic/mechanical-tinged riffs. Meanwhile, singles “Keep Me Down” and “Low Life” are two sides of the same coin. Their most accessible on the album, the latter’s driving bass line anchors the song throughout before it gives way to a hook and chorus begging for crowd participation. The former, on the other hand, has a massive chugging riff, continuously crunching and flexing its presence. But it’s the lyrical content which relates them to one another and perfectly reflected sonically. Where “Keep Me Down” is a “fuck you” to those determined to grind you under their heel, “Low Life” takes a more accepting route that if people say these things about you, it must be true.
With hints of doom and vocalist Brandon Yeagley’s drawl throughout, “Drown” feels like a Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators number with its chunky, bluesy riff. It’s menacing and revisited on “Blackout”, albeit with the bluesy factor ripped out to make something far more ominous with its doom-y tones. Elsewhere, the marching “After Life” has the band at their more upbeat rock incarnation and one hell of a hook. However, if you’re looking for a more groove-laden funk-infused Crobot tune that you’re used to, look no further than “Alpha Dawg” with its sweeping, shaking rhythm.
Crobot have presented their best version of themselves on Motherbrain. It’s a more varied release but shows far more restraint than its predecessor to show you what a Crobot song can be. As the shift in lyrics are more focused on the real world, it suits them. Their move to become darker has worked in their favour, further evolving whilst holding onto their core DNA. Everything on here simply works and with every listen, you discover something new and every listen generates a new favourite song from the album, clichéd as that may be.
Motherbrain is released on 23rd August