It’s been a long time since the UK was graced by Crobot’s brand of dirty groove rock. For a tour that was announced months back, the Glasgow gig added was at the last minute (check out our upcoming interview with the band to find out how it happened) but it matters not: people are still out to have a great night of rock, Monday night be damned.
With a couple of last-minute supports added just days before in the shape of Salt River Shakedown (née Magic Trik) and our old friends, Black King Cobra, it’s a great value for money ticket. A quick note for Salt River Shakedown – since the name change, it reflects them as a far more mature and tight unit and more relaxed performance. They’re a great fit for tonight’s billing.
Wolf Jaw take to the stage in their typical thunderous fare, blasting through their set, pulling from their debut album and their upcoming one, they’re no strangers to playing north of the border and it’s clear they’ve got their fair share of fans in the crowd. Full of muscular bluesy tones, they’re at the top of their game and out to give Crobot a run for their money. Steroid-laden riffs mingle with thick grooves to get your head nodding from start to finish. As they kick off with the raucous “Thunder Child”, they prove they’re not pulling any punches. Slick and working as a well-oiled machine, for a three-piece, they’re able to shake the foundations of the place.
As only the third date of the first visit of this incarnation of Crobot, they take to the stage and faithfully launch into “Legend of the Spaceborne Killer” and for an hour, relentlessly bludgeon the assembled crowd with some of their best material across all four albums. It’s the best kind of hard rock you can have pumped into your ears. Full of energy and passion from all four members, as a band, they perform as if they’ve been playing together for years. Both bass player Eddie Collins and drummer Dan Ryan lock in together perfectly, tackling older material as if it was them who wrote it in the first place. Meanwhile, the pair of them have a great chemistry with both frontman Brandon Yeagley and guitarist Chris Bishop and when the four of them come together, the statement of intent is deafeningly clear: Crobot are back, motherfuckers.
Naturally, most of the unbridled energy comes from Yeagley, refusing to stay still for any length of time, his elasticated legs going in all directions and in fine vocal form. Elsewhere, Bishop is constantly clambering on his amp and throwing his guitar around his body. Riffs from him are full of effects to get his desired sound to bring a robotic, electrical quality to them without being overbearing. Make no mistake, there’s still plenty of filthy riffs to enjoy.
Whilst there’s a funky breakdown for Bishop to change a guitar string, the band take it in their stride, without missing a beat and the session develops into singing the Ghostbusters theme tune. And as it comes toward the end of the set, it’s something you would normally expect at that point in the evening. As their latest opus, Motherbrain, is due for release in a matter of weeks, they unveil a few numbers from that such as “Keep Me Down” and “Alpha Dawg”. Both of which are quintessential Crobot in their own right with the former full of raucous, furious riffs and the latter tapping into their more groove and funk territory.
Meanwhile, as the newest material is represented, they also delve deep into the nether regions with “Weigh Me Down”, one of my personal favourites that I’d never seen them perform before. It’s about as close to tame as Crobot gets, there’s a good dollop of melody on this one but just as upbeat as anything else they’ve written. Of course, some of the staples also get a look in like “Queen of the Light” and “La Mano de Lucifer”, however, they do stray into their more doomy/stoner influences with “Plague of the Mammoths”.
Before they’d even finished the first song, it was obvious that both the UK and the band have missed each other. At the absolute top of their game and fuelled by their best album to date (keep an eye on our pages for the review), it may have been long overdue for their return, but it was more than worth it.