Thursday, 9 December 2010

CD Review: Wolfmother, by Wolfmother (2005)

Wolfmother's first album is what happens when the keyboards of early Deep Purple, guitars and vocals of early Sabbath and attitude of early Zeppelin have an orgy and someone forgets to bring the birth control.

Everything on Wolfmother sounds like it came from somewhere else, and usually that place is the corner of the early 1970s when metal was being formed.  Even the album's sparseness of sound and stripped-down production emits a 1970s vibe.  While all this makes Wolfmother interesting, it also means that the album is almost exclusively derivative.  With all the mixing of elements from elsewhere going on, the one key missing ingredient is originality.

The Australian trio do hit some high points, particularly on the front end of the CD.  Album opener Dimension, the breakout hit Woman, and the driving Joker & The Thief are all excellent, and demonstrate the band at its best with powerful drum beats, chugging guitars, good Jon Lord-inspired metal keyboards, and the wailing, Ozzy-as-a-young-man vocals of Andrew Stockdale.  White Unicorn, Where Eagles Have Been, Mind's Eye and Love Train provide good support, but the album does go on for far too long and the best ideas run out with about 5 tracks still to go.

With the disintegration of the band's line-up one album into their career, Wolfmother may stand as a one-off cocktail mix of the sounds of early metal, as heard from around 30 years later.


Andrew Stockdale - Vocals, Guitar
Chris Ross - Bass, Keyboards
Myles Heskett - Drums

Songlist (ratings out of 10):

1. Dimension - 9
2. White Unicorn - 8
3. Woman - 9
4. Where Eagles Have Been - 8
5. Apple Tree - 7
6. Joker & The Thief - 9
7. Colossal - 7
8. Mind's Eye - 8
9. Pyramid - 7
10. Witchcraft - 7
11. Tales - 6
12. Love Train - 8
13. Vagabond - 5

Average: 7.54

Produced and Mixed by D. Sardy.
Engineered by Ryan Castle. Mastered by Stephen Marcussen.

All Ace Black Blog Heavy Metal CD Reviews are here.

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