For those who were about to dismiss Wolfmother as an easily forgotten one-off, one album band, who would have easily fallen apart with the departure of the drummer and bassist, you underestimated frontman Andrew Stockdale. Of course, here in America, we probably don’t hear as much about the band as they do in their native Australia. After all, this is a band that had six songs from their debut album show up in the Aussie radio Triple J Top 100 songs of that year. Here, they’re known for having a few tracks show up in video games. But, those who have discovered Wolfmother in America have found a ’70s throwback, riff-heavy monster that is less a pastiche than a seemingly time traveling transplant.
Cosmic Egg is the band’s sophomore record, a record that some thought might never come to fruition. After all, it’s been nearly five years since their album debut, and two-thirds of the band left! But, with three new bandmates, Andrew Stockdale gave CPR to Wolfmother and resuscitated the blistering rock that defined a decade. Cosmic Egg is not dramatically different than the self-titled debut, and that’s not a terrible thing. Whether particular songs channel Black Sabbath (“Sundial”), Zeppelin, AC/DC, Steppenwolf (“New Moon Rising”), the White Stripes (“White Feather”) or any of the other bands to which Wolfmother receives comparisons, including Blue Cheer, Kyuss and Cream, all of them are done with expertise, and over all, fervor.
“In the Morning” was an immediate standout for me, sounding at first like a direct “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds” ripoff, but then leading into a Zeppelin riff that would make Jimmy Page turn around and question whether he had written it or not. You see, Stockdale writes songs that don’t just pay homage to a particular style, they’re written “in” that particular style. There’s a subtle difference. But that slight and subtle difference is what turns Wolfmother from a mere throwaway novelty to a classic rock force to be reckoned with. And, of course, I’m using classic rock in the sense of a style rather than an era. When it comes to pure rock and roll, there’s almost no one who does it better than Wolfmother. Need more convincing? Listen to the last minute of “10,000 Feet.” You’ll be converted.
Them Crooked Vultures – Them Crooked Vultures
Kyuss – Welcome to Sky Valley
The White Stripes – Elephant