Coming out September 23rd is Welcome To Fat City, Crobot‘s new record. And I for one couldn’t be happier. Their debut full-length album Something Supernatural was one of those life-changing moments that reminds you how hard music can hit you. Spending much of the year and a half after it’s release cementing their reputation as one of this countries best live acts they took a break after the beginning of the year to record their sophomore record Welcome To Fat City. Would they build on the brilliance of Supernatural or cower under the pressure?
I can confirm they delivered. A huge heaping slab of Crobot so ripe you need to wait a day after opening it before listening. Of course, I’m kidding. If anything you need pre-order it now and listen to it as soon as you can because your ears have waited long enough.
The opening title track quells any concerns one may have regarding a possible sophomore slump. Blazing Crobot riffs and the voice of Yahweh. It doesn’t slow down on “Play It Cool”. By the time you get to “Easy Money”, you start to realize that gone are the songs about Spaceborne Killers or Lucifer. Throughout Fat City, Brandon‘s lyrics come across with a level of social consciousness not as heavily vetted prior. Even the teaser track “Not For Sale” features lyrics with some weight.
“Who paid your debt to be here? No one. My soul is not for sale”
Not sure if it was intended as such but damn if that doesn’t come across as a shot at organized religions insisting someone died for our sins.
It’s not until the fifth track “Hold On For Dear Life” that the boys from Pennsylvania give us a break in tempo. Crobot is such a broad base of influence I sometimes forget how rooted they are in early Black Sabbath. High power singers often struggle to sing Ozzy but this track makes the thought of Brandon and the band performing “Hole In The Sky” something my tympanic membrane would savor.
If I had any fear regarding the path this band would take it would be that they may grow into more of a jam band as they are more than capable. But I would fucking hate that. Fat City ain’t a jam band record. It’s a riff blasting slab of rock and it makes me feel good. The sound is more polished than Supernatural. The lyrics have a little more weight to them. But this record is full on fucking Crobot. Riff after Chris Bishop riff with Brandon‘s voice soaring over the top while brothers Jake and Paul Figueroa carry the rhythm. And to be frank, it’s almost an insult to call them the rhythm section. Jake is one of this generation’s most inventive bass players and perfectly compliments Bishop‘s playing. Which can only be the result of Tony Iommi and Tom Morello somehow joining together and making a love child. And drummer Paul isn’t one to just click off a beat. He’s got a John Bonham feel. Thunder and adventure.
Regular readers no doubt know I have no shortage of love for this band. But don’t dismiss that as some fanboy musings. These guys are the real deal. You need to do no more than hear this record and see them live to know I’m right. And fans of music should do more to embrace real music when they can. Welcome To Fat City delivers 11 tracks of glorious rock.
In a quick note, it was recently announced that Jake had a minor medical setback and would be missing some shows. Get well soon Jake.