Wolfmother – Cosmic Egg (Modular) 26/10/09

October 29, 2009 by  

wolfmother-cosmic-egg-

A lot can happen in three years. For Wolfmother, it meant replacing most of the band. Andrew Stockdale was the man left standing after a split due to ‘irreconcilable personal and musical differences’. Since Stockdale is singer and guitarist, it’s probably fair to say that most of what you remember from the Antipodean lunacy is his work. Bearing this in mind, it seemed reasonable to hope that this latest incarnation of the band could deliver the same pitch of frenzy that we had come to know and sort of love!

And in ‘Cosmic Egg’, Wolfmother pretty much have. Album opener ‘California Queen’ is a high velocity drag race of a tune. Driven by a simple but insistent bassline, it quickly reminds us of what the band are all about; rough, abandoned music. As ever, there is little high art about Stockdale’s work. In fact, lyrics seem very much an afterthought. Emotion in sonic formm is what is aimed at!

Lead single ‘New Moon Rising’ is probably the best song on the album. The drums are tribal and pound away incessantly. The guitar hooks are perfect. Massive and without any trace of subtlety whatsoever. Stockdale’s Robert Plant impression is top notch too – his screeching yell is probably the best a mere mortal can hope from copying Zeppelin so shamelessly.

But things don’t always go so smoothly. When the tempo is lowered, the effectiveness fades away too. ‘White Feather’ is a good example of this. It neuters the power of the riff completely, removing the main reason you listen to Wolfmother anyway. It’s a bit Status Quo.

‘Sundial’ opens more hopefully, with a dirty distorted bassline which broadens out into a brainless epic. And here is the problem again. When trying to take things beyond the first big hook, Wolfmother tend to run out of ideas.

Album ending ‘Violence of The Sun’ is the one real note of progression. Lacking any kind of riff or hook for pretty much it’s six minute-long entirety, it allows some variation to appear in Stockdale’s delivery, as well as an interesting new keyboard accompaniment. It’s a shame that the boys didn’t allow it time to grow into something more.

The album as a whole is difficult to view as anything more than an effort to find their feet with new band members. It lacks a killer track like ‘Woman’, and doesn’t show anything that we aren’t already familiar with. If you’re looking for an album to wail along to after a bottle or two of cheap spirits, however, it might just fit the bill.

[rating:3]

By Liam Clune


Comments