Release Date: Oct 26, 2009
Record label: Interscope
Genre(s): Rock, Metal
The comparisons are more apparent than ever on Cosmic Egg, the Australian band’s sophomore record that conjures images of shaggy-haired teenagers hot-boxing El Caminos with its ear-splitting guitars, heavy distortion and vocals reminiscent of Roger Plant—especially on quieter rock ballad “In the Morning.” Despite the classic rock pastiche, Cosmic Egg somehow manages to strike a balance between being a carbon copy of a legendary rock album and a tribute to an era—call them the Quentin Tarantino of hard rock. .
Swapping out his rhythm section, Andrew Stockdale proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that he's the mastermind of Wolfmother on Cosmic Egg, creating a second record that is essentially a replication of the first, equally enamored with all the thick, heavy rock of the '70s, specifically Sabbath and Zeppelin, tempered with a little bit of Jack White caterwaul. All the sounds remain the same, but the songs have changed: with the occasional exception, such as the Stripes-ian salute "White Feather," Stockdale backs away from simple, brutal riff-driven songs, preferring churning exercises in heavy fantasy, sometimes colored with some Deep Purple organ. It's an effective way to show off a tighter, capable band, one that can deliver a serious gut-level punch, and one that is spending more time fusing their influence instead of delivering straight-up hero worship.
Australian hard rock outfit Wolfmother is the sort of band that attracts unlikely fans in unlikely numbers. Their popularity is a sturdy bit of makeshift scaffolding cobbled together from various subcultures and mainstream offshoots; all expert estimates point to it being structurally unsound, but somehow it holds up. Their hoary, bombastic self-titled debut album earned chin-stroking critical optimism from both the fickle taste-arbiters at Pitchfork and Rolling Stone‘s frantic trend-chasers.
There's something about modern Australian hard rock bands. They might deny it – vehemently so, in some cases – but it seems like they can access some kind of musical and spiritual hotline to the mid-Seventies in a way that American and British rock bands can't. Maybe it's growing up on a steady diet of AC/DC and Aerosmith. Try out the theory.
Since their 2006 debut launched them from the land of baby-stealing dingos to semi-Jackass soundtrack fame, Wolfmother have experienced the kinds of problem that plagues the classic-rock tyrannosaurs they’re tirelessly referencing: lineup changes. The original drummer and bassist quit the band last year after creative disputes with lead singer Andrew Stockdale, leaving him pondering the possibility of going solo. Instead, he reconstituted the band with new hired guns and cut Cosmic Egg, an unsurprising sophomore set that replicates its predecessor’s bombast in all its big-hair and big-riffs glory.
Wolfmother lost its bite When Australian trio Wolfmother hopped onto the scene in 2005, many were quick to draw Led Zeppelin comparisons—and they weren’t unfounded. The riffs were huge, the grooves were deep and singer Andrew Stockdale’s howl was high and wild. Thing is, Led Zeppelin kept things interesting album after album; Wolfmother’s sophomore record Cosmic Egg finds the band’s razor-sharp riffs already dulling.
Wolfmother, the That '70s Show of modern rock bands, return with a second record. Well, we say return, but two of the three original members left in 2008, citing "irreconcilable personal and musical differences". Ouch. So this Wolfmother consists of the remaining member, Andrew Stockdale, plus a whole new group.