With their debut record, white-hot hard rock trio Wolfmother are ready to unleash the full scope of their aggressive, melodic songwriting and vintage classic rock sound. As the praise from critics and fans alike keeps rolling in, the boys of Wolfmother are set to conquer audiences across the US with their self-titled debut release.
The notion that rock must perpetually break new ground and reinvent itself is the odious legacy of 10 too many years of rock-crit navel gazing, and one that young Australian power trio Wolfmother stands gleefully on its head with their effusive debut. Hardly surprising to find a new generation's reaction to a decade of shoe-gazing alternative rock angst to be a return to the guilty pleasures of unabashed, blues-based stadium rock--even if they seem unsure whether they're channeling the early Zep scream 'n' sludge frenzy of the single "Woman" or adopting The White Stripes' stripped-down ethos on "Apple Tree" and elsewhere. They bravely mix suspect '70s lyrical thematics ("White Unicorn," "Where Eagles Have Been," "Tales") with usual suspects like Sabbath ("Dimension"), stir in the neo-prog of "Colossal," "Witchcraft," and "Tales," (the latter complete with Tull-savvy flute break), then toast Soundgarden and Queens of the Stone Age on "Mind's Eye" and elsewhere. Their frightfully funk-challenged "Love Train" gets promptly derailed, making one yearn for a hit of Eagles of Death Metal for relief, but its wreckage only proves how far Wolfmother is willing to push the envelope in forging their often intoxicating evocation of the past as future. --Jerry McCulley