On a relatively chilly Friday night at the Viper Room, one of the most iconic hole-in-the-wall night clubs on the Sunset strip, Los Angeles hosted a stop on Crobot’s US tour, featuring ÆGES and Like Machines, along with local openers The Jab and Tijuana Bullfight.
Like Machines, a trio of newcomers hailing from Atlanta, GA, flooded the room with their take on the enduring old-school rock sound, which at times was not unlike AC/DC circa the late 1970s, that was inextricable from the deep Southern snarl they bring to the genre. Pulling from this year’s Hear Freedom Ring (Madison Records), the band set the tone for the evening with the groovy slow-simmer title track of the EP and the funkier ‘Destitute.’ One track, in particular, aptly named after its creators, screamed ‘Let There Be Rock,’ both in pacing and vocal stylings until the breakdown completely snapped its audience back to the current year. Packed with guitar solos and high energy, the band’s sound offers nostalgia and familiarity in an airy caution-to-the-wind attitude, devoid of the usual trappings of wistfulness and regretful longing typically imbued by warped recordings of riffs reminiscent of the faded memories of youth.
ÆGES took over the small round stage next, a post-hardcore LA fourpiece whose sound danced between early aughts’ teenage angst and radio-ready hooks that caught the listener’s attention and pushed the pacing without getting aggressive or overbearing. Playing a few from their recently released DrØmmen (self-released, read our review here), including their catchy new single ‘Dreamstate,’ and a couple of tracks from 2016’s Weightless (Another Century, a divison of Century Media), ÆGES delivered a big performance full of chaotic and inescapably fun earworms.
Following self-proclaimed metal ambassador Jose Mangin’s (Liquid Metal on SiriusXM) brief but a heartfelt anecdotal introduction to the final band of the evening, the ever-expressive Brandon Yeagley emerged from what appeared to be an egg with headliners Crobot in a fully bedazzled glittery vest. As ‘Legend of the Spaceborne Killer’ filled the room, I couldn’t help but smile at the spectacle of intensity as they launched into the air, performed high kicks, and otherwise collided, danced and teased each other on a stage that barely fit their equipment. Between harmonica and guitar solos, Yeagley even managed to climb on his bandmate’s shoulders for a quick ride and had a brief headdress costume change before ‘Skull of Geronimo.’ The band genuinely looked to be having a great time, an infectious sort of energy that carried in waves and ripples across the audience, getting the VIP booths flanking either side of the venue on their feet and moving even the most sardonic industry types to nod fervently in appreciation. The band rode that wave through the gritty ‘Keep Me Down,’ ‘Burn’ and the funky ‘Low Life,’ all from their most recent release Motherbrain (Mascot Records, 2019), along with the slow jam ‘La Mano De Lucifer,’ and ‘The Necromancer’ from 2015’s Something Supernatural (Wind-up Records/Concord Music Group).
Tonight’s performances were, perhaps unsurprisingly for fans of these bands, unapologetically exuberant, filled with good-natured jocularity and laden with heaping doses of rock n’ roll; well worth taking a trip to your nearest dive bar if the tour makes a stop near you.
WORDS BY: DAHLIA HUNT
PHOTOGRAPHY BY: TYLER KANODE