Wolfmother: Cosmic Egg

RIYL: Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath

Wolfmother is back! Well, Andrew Stockdale, the lead singer/guitarist of Wolmother is back – everyone else quit/got fired last year and Stockdale decided to continue the Wolfmother name without them. But the new Wolfmother, now a foursome instead of a power trio, doesn’t sound terribly different from the old Wolfmother. So there’s not much need to describe the “sound” of Cosmic Egg: it sounds like Wolfmother. Have you heard “Woman” or “The Joker and the Thief,” from their 2005 self-titled debut? Then you know what you’re in for here. Is that really a problem, though? Sure, Stockdale may just be cribbing the best bits from ’70s metal (specifically, the crunching riffs of Black Sabbath’s Tony Iommi, the howling screams of Robert Plant, and the totally groovy organ solos of Deep Purple), but what the hell is wrong with that? Have you heard the “modern” rock on the radio today?

wolfmother cosmic edit

Maybe we got it right in 1976 – why move forward? If anything, Wolfmother needs to move further in that direction. When they try to slow things down or pop things up for radio, such as on the anemic love ballad “Far Away,” they sound lost. When they let themselves kick out the jams, they deliver; whether slow and methodical, such as the wah-wah heavy “Sundial,” or fist-pounding and headbanger friendly, like “New Moon Rising,” “Phoenix,” or just about every other song on the album. Yeah, it may not be the most original or “intelligent” release of the year, but it’s a solid dose of hard rock and heavy metal at a time when they’re few and far between.

A quick note of annoyance, though: there are two versions of Cosmic Egg, deluxe and standard (our review copy was the standard edition). The deluxe copy comes with four more songs, which add up to 20 more minutes of music. These aren’t outtakes, live tracks or acoustic versions; there’s nothing notably different about these tunes. So when you’re buying the “standard” version of the record you’re basically not getting the full version. It’s hard to tell what the purpose behind such a release strategy is, since all it does it drive people who bought the standard version to go online and download what they’re missing. It’s hard enough for artists to sell records these days, and crap like this just makes it that much harder. What’s the point? (Modular 2009)

Wolfmother’s MySpace Page
Click to buy Cosmic Egg on Amazon