After a lengthy “mayoral” campaign, Crobot released their second album, Welcome To Fat City, via Nuclear Blast on 23 September.
Recorded at The Machine Shop and produced by Machine, as Crobot commented at the time, they’ve “brewed up a new batch of dirty tunes.” Eleven of them to be precise.
Title track Welcome To Fat City opens proceedings. A slightly subdued drum into lures the listener into Fat City then bang! Inspired by the late Hunter S Thompson of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas fame, Welcome To Fat City is a monster of an opener. It’s heavily populated with Crobot’s trademark 70’s bluesy/funk/rock. These boys are back in town with avengeance!
A couple of tracks from the record found their way into Crobot’s live set during 2015. Having already had the pleasure of hearing Play It Cool and Easy Money played live, I was keen to hear the recorded versions. Neither of them fail to deliver. Both of them translate well with Easy Money edging a little ahead for me personally. Love the harmonica. Love the element of sleaze to this one. A real dirty tune, boys!
Not For Sale is the first single to be released from the record. It’s the most commercial track but it’s still hard and heavy. No compromises here. Great riffs and a heavy bass line. Well done Messrs Bishop and Figueroa. “But who paid your debt to be here? No one and my soul is not for sale.” The only thing these boys from Pennsylvania have sold their souls to is their music.
Hold On For Dear Life has a beautiful melancholy intro. “I roam this lonely space. Desolate and afraid.” There’s a definite air of desperation here that Brandon conveys to perfection with his vocals. Some stunning guitars from Chris Bishop. Subtle and controlled. Love it!
Temple In The Sky and Right Between The Eyes see a return to the heavier side of Crobot. Brilliant bass and drums from Messrs Figueroa. And was that you channelling your inner Bruce Dickinson at the start of Right Between The Eyes, Mr Yeagley? Great vocals! Love the drums on this track! It definitely gets the listener right between the eyes!
Blood On The Snow oozes the classic Crobot funk/psychedelic/blues/stoner rock sound. One of the stand out tracks on this album. A potential single perhaps? Looking forward to hearing this one live.
Moment Of Truth is as close to a ballad as Crobot get. This is a stunningly intense track. Heavy blues influences. Great lyrics. I honestly think this is the first time I’ve ever heard the word cranium sung! My current favourite track on the album.
Plague Of The Mammoths brings things to a thundering conclusion. Chris Bishop gets to play with his beloved effects pedals. Great heavy bass line from Jake Figueroa. Solid drumming from Paul Figueroa and all topped off by another stunning vocal display by Brandon Yeagley. “Fearlessly. Defend. We’ll fight ‘til we avenge.” That’s a fight I’m confident you’ll all win!
Second albums can often be a make or break point for a band. Welcome To Fat City doesn’t disappoint. These four boys from Pottsville Pa have built on the distinctive sound they delivered in Something Supernatural and developed it but without losing any of that raw passion that fills their live shows. Maybe I’m just a little bit biased here as I love these guys but I’m delighted to be welcomed to enter Fat City by its new mayor!
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