Cosmic Egg review by Wolfmother

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  • Released: Oct 26, 2009
  • Sound: 8
  • Lyrics: 7
  • Overall Impression: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 8 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.3 (98 votes)
Wolfmother: Cosmic Egg
6

Sound — 8
Back in November of 2007, Wolfmother frontman Andrew Stockdale revealed to Rolling Stone that his band's second record would be kind of cinematic and epic. This is one time when a fairly vague quote has been relatively right on the mark. Wolfmother's sophomore album Cosmic Egg sets its goals high and you almost feel like the Australian band is attempting to reach Led Zeppelin standards at various points. Do they accomplish it? They come darn close. Between the highly creative guitar tones, riffs, and overall energy throughout, Cosmic Egg is at the very least a solid album. The main issue is that almost every song seems to be striving for the epic status, making the listening process somewhat exhausting.

Cosmic Egg (produced by Alan Moulder of Smashing Pumpkins and A Perfect Circle fame) marks the first album since there's been a fairly big shakeup in the band, with virtually everyone except for Stockdale now being a fresh face. The latest additions are bassist/keyboardist Ian Peres, guitarist Aidan Nemeth, and drummer Dave Atkins, and the change has not done a disservice to Wolfmother. From start to finish, it's hard not to be swept away in Cosmic Egg's creative arrangements and overall satisfying musicianship. In fact, I kept imagining Stockdale sitting in a room and experimenting hours upon hours with different effects and thankfully so. The guitar work from both Stockdale and Aidan Nemeth are more often than not the driving force. Whether it's the vintage crunch of California Queen, the insanely deep tones of what sounds like a wah on Sundial, or the sonic aspect to Cosmic Egg, the band keeps dipping into its effects arsenal and doesn't allow things to get boring.

It's impossible not to hear some similarities to other artists when listening to Cosmic Egg. Stockdale sounds like a cross between Robert Plant and Jack White, and even the song New Moon Rising has an overall construction like a White Stripes tune. The track 10,000 Feet delivers some Jimmy Page-like riff work, but Stockdale works it out. You have to give Wolfmother credit for creating such an abundance of over-the-top tracks on one album. There are a few that could work well in the confines of radio, but for the most part the tracks are quite indulgent with lengthy solos and ever-changing musical sections.

Lyrics — 7
Wolfmother hasn't broken any ground in terms of the lyrical content but that's rarely the focal point on Cosmic Egg. There are so many more interesting things happening musically that it's hard to become too caught up a mundane lyric or two. While a song like In The Morning might have a generally free-spirited, introspective theme (When you wake up in the morning and look into their eyes; Everything you're dreaming of is far beyond the skies), it's hard not to think that you've heard these same ideas delivered before. But again, while the lyrical content might not be the most imaginative, the music makes up for it tenfold.

Overall Impression — 9
For the first 2/3 of listening to Cosmic Egg, it is hard to not wrap your arms around the bluesy, grooving, school-of-Zeppelin licks. There is rarely a short-and-sweet number, and for awhile it's pretty enjoyable to go along for the ride as Stockdale unleashes solo upon solo. By the last number it does get a bit tiring, but Cosmic Egg at least shows that Wolfmother are not afraid to break out of the cookie-cutter, radio-single format.

67 comments sorted by best / new / date

    GenerationKILL
    If you compare this album to their first one, its alot better. This album is more interesting and it sounds like everything that rocked about the last one is amplified here... If you're a metalhead whos comparing this album to your all time favourite, ace of spades, then of course you're gonna be disappointed. Stop drawing comparisons to some other album, by some other band and realize this album is great. As for those of you who are saying they're a knock off band, quit your bitching and release something better that you've done, or just shut up and continue listening to your korn cd because you think they're original.
    i_play_gtar
    I really think Andrew Stockdale tried to make this album better than the last, thus making it better than the last line-up. It was a personal competition with "Old" Wolfmother. I came to this conclusion the day I bought the album. The "final" track listing only had 12 songs... I was surprised to see 4 new titles on the back, including "Non-album track" Back Round. Here's what Stockdale would be thinking - "A 16-track epic album, easily topping the last album released!". Sorry... but other than Back Round, the added tracks aren't worth listening to. They sound like B-sides that have been done over the top to be put on the album. I love this album, I love Wolfmother, but I don't think I love Andrew Stockdale a lot... he wrote every song on this album intending it to be the most epic on the album. And he succeeded with In The Castle, Violence of the Sun, In the Morning and Pilgrim. Oh, and Cosmic Egg. Too many of the songs on the album hold the "Most-Epic" title, which is a bit sad... it's still amazing though, and I recommend you buy it if your already a fan. If you aren't a fan, there's a 50-50 chance you will be after. Hey, I'm done.
    PanicHarmonic
    This album is amazing! it took three years, but it was way worth it. Stockdale shows that he can write some kickass tunes even without the two former members.
    Balmazer
    SOADriff wrote: sexyresults1979 wrote:If you are like me, and consider bands like Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden heavy metal, then Wolfmother is pretty dang metal. It was recently that tons of melody was incorporated into metalcore. I'm going to have to agree with you there. I think Wolfmother are heavier than sabbath. People may flame me for that, but i think it's true. I guess nothing is considered metal these days. Apparently lamb of god is metalcore. Don't you have to have melody to be a metalcore band?
    Freebird79
    SOADriff wrote: sexyresults1979 wrote:If you are like me, and consider bands like Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden heavy metal, then Wolfmother is pretty dang metal. I'm going to have to agree with you there. I think Wolfmother are heavier than sabbath. People may flame me for that, but i think it's true. I guess nothing is considered metal these days. Apparently lamb of god is metalcore. Don't you have to have melody to be a metalcore band?
    I'm sorry, but Wolfmother has nothing as heavy as Black Sabbath's 'Symptom of the Universe' or 'Sabbath Bloody Sabbath'
    mjmiller11
    Ok first off what is wrong with everyone? If you have ever played the guitar or listened to music you know that its an expression, and Wolfmother is bringing back that feeling. This feeling I am talking about makes you want break things, makes you think, and actually makes you feel something. The stuff that is played on the radio isnt music...its and expression of conformity. Wolfmother has broken through this wall of conformity and what do we do....we crucify them like they are not real musician. They are however great musicians. Andrew Stockdale is a pure talented person. You say is a Led Zeppelin knock off....what I have to sya to that is, can you make music that is yours that sounds like zeppelin. And if you can why arent you. Seriously this band played "Communication Breakdown" at the ceremony where Led Zeppelin got inducted and guess what Jimmy Paige said. he said that these guys are good. Oh yeah a god like guitarist said this. I believe him. If you dont appreciate what this band is doing and what it is about than you dont know what rock is and you should go #*&^ yourself seriously. I want this sound to be what people talk about not the crap like rap music. This band is pure talent. Enjoy this band because if people keep on talking like you guys than rock is dead. I wont let it happen.....join Wolfmother and me. Dont let it die. Rock is my life and it will always be my life. VIVA LA WOLFMOTHER!!!!!
    Diamond Dave
    I really like this album, so much thicker than the old one which was too "radio" for me. This just makes me think of Sabbath and Zeppelin and it kicks arse IMO.
    samjclee
    I can't believe some of the bad reviews this album is getting, not only on this website but all over. It is absolutley awesome. Some of the bad reviews say that its to much like led zeplin (when was that ever a bad thing!!) and that it is to predictable. Again spoken by people who obviously don't appreciate rock music or its make up. In some places this album is predictable, at some points you know an awesome solo is just around the corner, but thats what rock music is and has always been. Try communication breakdown or bad dog by Zeplin, they are predictable, not in any negative way but because you know how awsome the band are and how much they have to offer in each song. This is what Wolfmother have in abundance, their predictability is because of how good they are, you know its gonna get better, is this a bad thing? the success of bands like The Stones and Led Zeplin shows that it isnt.
    fishermrtn
    This album is awesome. End of story. Wolfmother to me has always been like the band that is new but plays older, 70's style music. Some of it almost has a psychadelic quality ot it. I also really like how much better the guitar is on this than the first album. The first album is good but I have to say this one is much better.
    victor_campos
    Im here with a purely objective point of view because i neither love nor hate this band. I have heard the album on a recommend by a friend and i enjoyed it for the most part. I couldnt help but notice how much the singer sounds like robert plant and i liked it. They had good songs but like the review said it did over do the "epic"-ness of the songs. Sundial, 10,000 ft, and violence of the sun are pretty good songs to rock to and eyes open and far away are good ballad type songs. I feel that if they would have added a bit more contemporary sounding songs to the album instead of keeping to using older 70s rock style songs they could have really had an outstanding album. They leaned to hard on the classic rock style and unfortunately it will not do the job in a big market because we always want fresh sounds and if they can make good classic tunes that is a bonus. Newer sounding songs would have made this album better, I think.
    JollyPopkins
    Look at all these people that actually think people care about their opinions. Stuff like this pisses me off. Wolfmother rocks no matter what you say. If you don't like it, keep it to yourself. Wolfmother, in my opinion is the best band out there today. This is because I love classic rock. Wolfmother was inspired by all the bands I love. I wish someday I would be able to play the music I like on stage and not just go with what today tells me the music should sound like.
    Dr.Evil Knödel
    If Wolfmother would have said that this album would bring completely new sounds into the world of music, then you guys could complain. But they haven`t. I dont see why some of you think this album is less enjoyable just because the sounds arent completely groundbreaking. Id rather listen to this than some band trying too hard to find a new sound and failing. And another thing: why try and stuff every band into a genre? Why say: "Wolfmother (or any band) is not metal, its hard rock". Just let it be and enjoy it instead of giving it a name. I think this album rocks hard!
    TOMMYB22
    Balmazer wrote: Wait, power metal epic? Or slow boring styled epic?
    I've only heard one song, but power metal would be a stretch. No dungeons and dragons reference here.
    lethaldosage45
    yeah this band should be under the genre "extreme blah rock." It is just so slow and boring... you've gottta be reall high to get anything outta these guys.
    Wall_of_sound
    Sundial and 10,000 Feet are definitely worth a listen but the rest of the album is a classic Zeppelin/Sabbath knock off with a bit of White Stripes and Oasis thrown in for good measure, and to be quite honest i'm kinda over it already after having it for only 3 days!! They've just resurrected an old sound, nothing groundbreaking or innovative, just some decent songwriting if anything...
    steevo92
    what are you talkin about? Their debut album was very cool... songs like joker'n'the thief, woman are awesomes, and the others too
    donisthatcool
    How the hell is Wolfmother power epic metal???? definate epic, but not metal. like searously look at their first album. there is no "metal songs
    CroJin
    [quote=lethaldosage45] yeah this band should be under the genre "extreme blah rock." It is just so slow and boring... you've gottta be reall high to get anything outta these guys. [/quote] I never realized rock had to be fast. I just thought it had to be good. I think you are confusing your genres here. Power metal and such crap has to be fast, no matter what the quality...
    Hungry_Hameds
    Why's everybody on a downer just because they are bringing out a rock album?? They're a ROCK BAND!! Sounds to me like they're sticking to what they do best, and in terms of 'knock offs' they couldn't have picked a better band than the mighty Zep to want to emulate. ROCK ON
    hildesaw
    Hey, power metal is awesome, and so is Wolfmother. I guess you kind of have to respect the retro-rock thing to connect with this album, I think it's pretty great, and these guys play a hell of a live show. I can't wait to see them with thenewno2 this week
    hildesaw
    Hey, power metal is awesome, and so is Wolfmother. I guess you kind of have to respect the retro-rock thing to connect with this album, I think it's pretty great, and these guys play a hell of a live show. I can't wait to see them with thenewno2 this week
    Haha I guess I should clarify that Wolfmother isn't power metal/metal at all so I don't get my head chewed off
    Cheesepuff
    i liked their debut better. maybe cuz stockdale wrote the album on his own when they left, and felt pressure or something. Oh well. secretly, I hope that after a few straight out rock albums, they'll turn experimental like radiohead or something
    freakincody7
    lethaldosage45 wrote: yeah this band should be under the genre "extreme blah rock." It is just so slow and boring... you've gottta be reall high to get anything outta these guys.
    could have sworn someone told me music was good because of talent, not because of speed. guess that means comfortably numb is a shitty song, sorry i didnt realize that sooner. anyways, there not copying zep, thats like saying zep coppies the stones, just cause there the same genre doent mean there copycats
    VLVTRVOLVR13
    I listened to the first four or five songs on my walk to class this morning and the guitar work was the most interesting aspect of the music, especially if you are someone who really enjoys hearing different distorted tones appear several times in one song.
    stef123
    Needs more memorable and catchy riffs. I don't mind effects here and there but it gets a bit repetitive.
    98Timberwolf
    I don't understand why everybody calls them "knock offs." Based on this criteria, every band in existence is a knock off of at least one other band. It's called "influence."
    Robert I.
    98Timberwolf wrote: I don't understand why everybody calls them "knock offs." Based on this criteria, every band in existence is a knock off of at least one other band. It's called "influence."
    First intelligent thing I've heard all day. On another note, epic doesn't convert to power, so if you're some power metal geek who has to have solos that play constantly at 64/, go somewhere else and stop hating another genre just because it doesn't sound like your own favourite. since when does music have to be fast to be good? Try just appreciating development in a song, or just the relaxing atmophere of a slow song. On a personal note: will definately check this out. I loved their first album ( even though I haven't listened to it for a long time) and will definately check this out!
    theleprechaun
    This album has a much more raw sound, and I have to say I love it. Stockdales solos are much better in this album, however the songs do get a little repetitive. I do admit that the first album was overall better songwriting even though cosmic egg has some amazing songs and more complex riffs and structure
    shotgunjoe
    synchronicityVI wrote: You think Wolfmother is SLOW?! Listen to Dopesmoker by Sleep. The intro is on the better side of 8 minutes, with the whole thing being around 1 hour and 13 minutes, which is 21 minutes longer than all of Cosmic Egg.
    Did you just compare Sleep to Wolfmother? Is that seriously what you just did?
    OrvilleGibson
    psychoskin473 wrote: Why are they constantly being compared to zeppelin? Wolfmother is far more interesting than zeppelin to me.
    wtf man
    One on Sunday
    98Timberwolf wrote: I don't understand why everybody calls them "knock offs." Based on this criteria, every band in existence is a knock off of at least one other band. It's called "influence."
    No, because there's a difference between having an influence and being called "knock offs." All bands have influences, but good bands should be able to balance the influences and their own sound and ideas, molding them into something original . Wolfmother has not done a good job with that. Listening to the album, there are a ton of parts that are too similiar to Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. I appreciate that theyre acknowledging some of the most important influences in rock history, but it's too generic and overdone for me. Theyre last record had a more original sound.
    sexyresults1979
    donisthatcool wrote: How the hell is Wolfmother power epic metal???? definate epic, but not metal. like searously look at their first album. there is no "metal songs
    If you are like me, and consider bands like Black Sabbath and Iron Maiden heavy metal, then Wolfmother is pretty dang metal.
    Balmazer
    donisthatcool wrote: How the hell is Wolfmother power epic metal???? definate epic, but not metal. like searously look at their first album. there is no "metal songs
    I never meant they sounded like power metal, but power metal is often defined by the energy it gives off, 'power metal epic' can pertain to a lot of different genres like film score, classical, folk. It just has to contain a lot of energy and make the listener, well feel awesome.
    woodzip87
    Absolutely love Wolfmother. It's been a few years, but this album definitely delivers.
    synchronicityVI
    You think Wolfmother is SLOW?! Listen to Dopesmoker by Sleep. The intro is on the better side of 8 minutes, with the whole thing being around 1 hour and 13 minutes, which is 21 minutes longer than all of Cosmic Egg.
    robertito696
    punkrocker22 wrote: Good Artists Borrow, Great Artist Steal.
    I'm pretty sure thats a Van Gogh quote. Not sure I believe it but, being heavily influenced by a band doesn't make you a knock-off. As for the album being too slow I like stoner doom so I doubt I'll have an issue with it. 10+ min songs FTW
    chipmunksurfer
    debut was so sick, and the original trio probably could have made a passable sophomoric effort. But this screamingly-stockdale-solo album is ****ing horrible