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The best kept secret in music


"CD Review - "Atari Rock""

Despite the loss of Rockbot's numchuck-wielding stuntwoman lead singer Apollo Smile, the band has only gotten better since the release of its last EP, Joystick. Now co-fronted by new vocalist Kelli Hoosack and bassist/vocalist Jonathan Sullivan, Rockbot sounds like Matt Sharp's The Rentals revved up and ready to go. A rocking revision of the track "Passed Out" off Joystick, and a guest spot by vocalist Jenny Vasquez on "Bomb Song," add to the energy of the new songs already bursting with pop punk power punctuated by pulsing keyboards. Atari Rock is a solid soundtrack to afternoon fun and, most likely, it's the only CD you'll ever find that explicitly instructs you to "Listen to the music and play some video games".

-- Eric Mitts
Feb 2, 2004
- Recoil Magazine (Michigan)

"CD Review - "Atari Rock""

If The Anniversary (pre-Beatles obsession), Reggie And The Full Effect or The Rentals (The Return Of The Rentals-era) ever sold their um, "seed," to a sperm bank, I know where it ended up. Matt Sharp, James Dewees and Justin Roelofs may just be Rockbot’s mamma’s babies’ daddies. Following in their fathers’ footsteps, the guys and girl from Rockbot, deliver catchy, moog-heavy pop that is just as sweet, memorable and bouncy as either of the afore mentioned bands. Where this band diverges from their "daddies’" pop formula and pushes the envelope a little further, is in their incorporation of some of that prog-emo guitar wizardry made famous by their contemporaries in Coheed and Cambria. I’d also like to nominate them for "Best Use of A Cover In Pop Indie RocK" for their treatment of Gap band’s "Bomb Song" ("You dropped the bomb on me, baby, you dropped the bomb on me."). My recommendation: Break out the Centipede, and settle in for repeat listens. Because Rockbot’s got the high, high score, you’ve got a roll of quarters, and you’re not going anywhere until you’ve rocked the eff out.

-Tim Anderl
March 2004
- Bettawreckonize (Ohio)


Do you like Atari? Do you like rock music? Well then why not get your fix with a band called Rockbot, the self-proclaimed "Atari Rock" band. I really couldn't think of a better way to describe them either. They utilize some cool keyboard sounds and switch back and forth from male to female vocalist. I'd personally rather hear much more of the female vocalist because she seems to have more style to her voice but that's just my humble opinion. And hey, she's a suicide girl too. Can't hurt to have a suicide girl in the band. Give them a listen.

-Kyle Lee
June 15, 2004 - Kludge Magazine

"CD Review - "Atari Rock""

RockBot is the B-52’s for the PlayStation generation. On the local group’s second release, "Atari Rock", the swirling synthesizers, pulsating rhythms and the screw-art- let’s-dance attitude of late ’70s new-wave music are the blueprints the band uses to create infectious, party-enhancing tunes.

The opening track, "Know This", sets the tone for the group’s vivacious resolve to alleviate modern life through melodic release. Led by vocalists Kelli Hoosack and Jonathan Sullivan, RockBot’s music is pure pop for now people with its mix of meaty guitars, insistent beats and hammering. The crown jewel on this release is the group’s cover of the Gap Band’s party anthem "You Dropped A Bomb On Me" (renamed "Bomb Song"), which captures the original’s driving essence while infusing it with some high-voltage energy of the band’s own.

RockBot’s brazen reinvention of dance music, with its mixture of new and old body-moving modus operandi, is just what the doctor ordered if you want to get the party started right. Just don’t forget to dance.

Chris Bopst
March 24, 2004 - Style Weekly (Richmond)

"CD Review - "Atari Rock""

The Japanese are quite the quirky lot; so much so that a frail little American girl (with big friends) can write an Oscar worthy script detailing their peculiarities to every detail. No doubt the world’s truly weird have in one form or another originated in Japan. There is just something about that little island and their love for spandex-clad superheroes, electronic pets and disproportionate cartoon characters that will forever brand them as the true originators of pop culture weirdness. With an influence traversing the world over from the largest of populations to the diminutive, Japanese idiosyncrasies have become the metropolis of culture that uniquely plies its trade between strange and interesting and completely, utterly useless. Speaking within musical parameters, anything the Western world has done, they will do so with an adherently obscured take. Anyone who may have come across a Japanese rock band may attest: that shit is just plain loopy.

Rockbot aren’t from Japan (Richmond, VA to be exact), and they aren’t "Japanese" per say, but they do demonstrate one glaring similarity with their far-eastern counterparts: they do their business with much pizzazz, no matter the outcome. A swig of their synthesizer soaked punk/pop affair, Atari Rock, and one will find much of the cosmic atmosphere generated within the release similar to a Gundam soundtrack. Video game music? Anime-punk? Atari-rock is pretty accurate. Perhaps it is the songs’ incredible likeness to music reserved for giant robots changing shape, or the effective balance between the dual male/female vocals, but Rockbot manage to take a genre that tends to be overly simplistic and turn it into something satisfactorily engaging. From their heavy use of buzz saw riffs, cock-rock soloing and upbeat stadium filling harmonies, they put their limited scope to great use; especially the execution of Kelli Hoosack’s vocal and synthesizer work (she is essential to this outfit). And while the record seems to have been a blast to create, it does well to transfer this energy across the artist/listener barrier and is actually quite fun to listen to, not to mention they appear to put forth a good amount of seriousness to their entertainment.

Subject material has never been a vital entity of pop inspired punk/rock, and Rockbot are no anomaly; as for the most part they employ a far light-hearted approach to lyricism – and it really isn’t a deterrent to the music, fitting well with the rest of their intergalactic framework. They do however; make reference to former basketball star Dennis Scott (the first time since about 1994 that anyone has mentioned him); which is fitting as it is the band’s very synopsis: much like Scott, Rockbot are strictly one-dimensional, but at least they’re good at it.

Reviewed by
Billy Maulana
March 8th, 2004 - Sound the Sirens (Indonesia)

"CD Review - "Atari Rock""

This six-piece from Virginia puts up a rockin' debut with "Atari Rock," which is a beautifully sounding, energetic album that reminds fun from the VERY beginning until the VERY end. If you can imagine elements from Your Enemies Friends, The Dandy Warhols, and Pretty Girls Make Graves, as well as imminent space rock and j-rock traces, you get a good idea of how "Atari Rock" plays out.

Dual male/female vocals, crunchy guitars, and demanding keyboards + effects is just a little of what you get with "Atari Rock." You also get awesome musicianship, which is quite impressive and doesn't lack, and doesn't seem to lose touch or miss a step whatsoever for a band that is so early in their carrer. Many songs on this record are also INSANELY catchy without being so insanely catchy that you want your head to explode at the end of the day, but just catchy enough that you'll have a song or two in your head which won't annoy you.

Something that I also love about "Atari Rock" is the length of the record. While only being 24:20 in length with 9 tracks, if it went any longer, it could possibly lose it's replay value. The length on this record makes perfect for the listener so it doesn't feel like you overplay it whatsoever. fantastic.

Rockbot! has ALOT going for them, and they prove it on this record. If "Atari Rock" is any sign of their future, it's going to be very bright, and they should be able to set themselves as a name right along side Pretty Girls Make Graves, Your Enemies Friends, The Faint, and others similar. "Atari Rock" is immensly enjoyable from start to finish.

December 10, 2003 - (Boston)


2003 - Atari Rock
2002 - Joystick


Feeling a bit camera shy


Hailing from the unlikely streets of Richmond, Virginia, Rockbot can best be defined as a six member campaign to refresh and recharge the ranks of rock. The band features a brilliantly seasoned core of musicianship, while exhibiting an almost chemical ability to write songs that are innovative and edgy while also remaining listenable and familiar. Lively, alternating vocals in the tradition of the Rentals combined with universally empathetic and light hearted lyrics sets Rockbot apart from the tireless slew of melodrama that infects so much music these days. Catchy, metal styled guitar riffs, crisp, upbeat synth melodies and creative harmonies demand an escape from melancholy. The rhythm section itself could almost be considered a band within a band - a driving force - with it's chugging dynamics and musical precision. Rockbot's 2nd album, "Atari Rock" (released on NYC label Teletran 1), is true to it's title, for you find yourself at a loss to label it anything but.

Founded in 2001 by Jonathan Sullivan (vocals, bass), and Clark Fraley (guitar), Rockbot has toured the east coast and midwest several times, opening for Atom and his Package, Ozma, Count the Stars, River City High, and Captured by Robots. After several member changes, the lineup has solidified with Bryan Stiglich (drums), Adam Thomas (synth), Steve Burner (guitar), and Laura Thomas (vocals, synth, & Suicide Girl!).