Sound — 8
The recent news that Wolfmother's bassist and drummer quit has made headlines, this week. A band that was known for it's alternative take on proto metal pioneered by Soundgarden has recently ended. The band was known as Wolfmother and was a fresh take on an otherwise timeless art. In the end, Wolfmother did not help to increase it's fan base by following up with another album, immediately. It has been two years since their massive debut was released and their ultimate mark on music may be that it will become the band time forgot. Thus far, it's greatest accomplishment can be seen in the retro metal revival movement, as bands like Black Mountain, the Parlor Mob, and Priestess have become popular. Even Thom Yorke of Radiohead is a fan of Wolfmother and wrote a song from In Rainbows called "Bodysnatchers", drawing upon Wolfmother as an influence. What Wolfmother accomplishes is great musicianship, sans guitar work. The guitar work is nothing like the legendary work of Ritchie Blackmore and Jimmy Page, as power chords have great emphasis, in this album. However, the best one will see is the beginning of "Joker and the Thief", which is similar to Soundgarden's "Rusty Cage" riff. The organ work does recall Deep Purple, at times. For example, in the bridge of "Mind's Eye", the organ bridge is amazing and changes the mood completely. What Wolfmother could benefit from is definitely proper arrangement. At times, their music could be interpreted as impatient. For example, "Colossal" is perfect, but it starts to speed up and leave the grinding Sabbath riff into a quicker pace. This band does not let the music soak in and there are very few solos. However, there is a certain simplicity to the music that should be noticed. In Wolfmother's finer moments, the music is excellent and the music perfectly resembles Led Zeppelin. Tracks such as "White Unicorn", "Woman", "Love Train", "Vagabond", and a few others resemble Led Zeppelin at their finest. Andrew Stockdale keeps his Plant/Osbourne vocals perfect for each track. What Wolfmother is compared to is fellow stoner metal band, the Queens of the Stone Age. While not having anything as memorable, Wolfmother does have parallels. Otherwise, Wolfmother is almost like the White Stripes and Queens of the Stone Age, with fewer memorable moments. However, this is a memorable enough CD. Even Led Zeppelin has acknowledged their music, as Wolfmother inducted Led Zeppelin into the UK Music Hall of Fame with an excellent cover of "Communication Breakdown" that can be viewed on Youtube(One of their few guitar solos). If anything, this one CD may leave one impact- revival of interest in Led Zeppelin. If Stockdale cannot find new musicians, this may be the "Nevermind the Bollocks" of their generation, in the sense that this may be their only CD. There are a few live songs that leaked around online, however. "Monolith", "Inside the Mountain", "Midnight Lover", "the Violence of the Sun", and a few songs presumably from their new album have surfaced. This may leave hope, but the fact that Wolfmother is postponed as a musical project is saddening for all fans. If this CD does not surface, this may be the end of Wolfmother.
Lyrics — 7
The lyrics are highly questionable, at times. In fact, some seem intelligently written. However, the lyrics are nothing like what Led Zeppelin wrote. Led Zeppelin were much more educated in the muse of Tolkien's literature and Scottish works. Led Zeppelin drew upon different sources of information. Unlike Led Zeppelin, Wolfmother makes a point to make completely nonsensical lyrics. Some of them, "Vagabond", "Love Train", "White Unicorn", and "Woman", give mixed feelings. Lyrically, the songs, "Tales", "Witchcraft", "Apple Tree", and a few others do not shine. Andrew Stockdale does not tell a story with too many of the songs, like Robert Plant did. However, he does present these songs with very great vocal work. He has roughly the same range as Robert Plant and has a snarl like Ozzy Osbourne. What makes this all the more interesting is that the song "Love Train" actually makes it quite clear what he's singing about. "Vagabond" actually presents a sense of connection with the listener, telling a tale about someone who lives free and the lyrics fit perfectly with the music, in this case. "Dimension" is a bluesy song that recalls Led Zeppelin to an extent. It shows the devotion Wolfmother has to classic rock with a lyrical name check of Jimi Hendrix- "Purple hazes in the sky/See the angels wicked eye." Wolfmother has an absolute aim- to revive interest in classic rock. "Woman" is almost a song that could be considered the ultimate Led Zeppelin tribute. Whitesnake never managed a more successful lyrical homage to Led Zeppelin than this. Recalling the debut of Led Zeppelin, this song deserves it's fame, because it has the soul of Plant woven in. "Love Train" could be considered as similar to "Sympathy For The Devil", but it shines, lyrically. Otherwise, the most perfect moments of Wolfmother can be marred by poor songwriting. Wolfmother has some maturing to do. It also has musical direction to focus on.
Overall Impression — 8
Wolfmother is an excellent debut for a band that had it's moment in the stars. Having accomplished so much in such a short time, these musicians made rock history. Wolfmother could benefit most from connecting with the audience. While they do have amazing songs, they do not let it all soak in. They do resemble a Generation Y version of Led Zeppelin, but they do not have that element Soundgarden had of mixing a Zeppelin sound with captivating lyrics. However, the songs are catchy, at times. They all have a different flavor, but they do not have the element Led Zeppelin had. Led Zeppelin were able to pull off perfect songs back-to-back, without hesitation. Led Zeppelin was the album-essential band that you just had to buy the albums to understand. However, the music of Wolfmother is definitely greatest hits worthy. What Wolfmother will be remembered for is a band that did not follow up their album with a second one in time. Eventually, Wolfmother would fail to impress many, because it did not follow up. Wolfmother's most excellent moments are alt-rock classics that could be listened to on the radio without becoming boring. However, Wolfmother has left more of an image that is still very much alive, the revival of classic rock. At it's bare essentials, Wolfmother has a desperate side. Wolfmother takes that wrenching simplicity that the White Stripes has, as well as the music of Led Zeppelin. However, their image can precede them, at times. What fellow rockers Jet pull off can be music that relates to the audience. However, Wolfmother doesn't have that element. If anything, Wolfmother needs to mature. If it can be revived. Can Wolfmother pull through, or, will Wolfmother be the band time forgot?