Wolfmother – Wolfmother (2005): Review

wolfmother2

Produced by Dave Sardy
Label – Modular

For what seems like an eternity, hard rock music fans have been looking for a band to embrace. A group or artist who can gravitate past hardcore shock rock, emo, or nu metal; a group or artist who can take all that was great from the late 60s and 70s and use the influence to generate a fresh approach to a sound with an identity routed to the past but firmly directed to the future. We’ve had hopes dashed by bands like The Darkness, The Datsuns, Jet and many others who have started well but lacked the means to establish themselves due to inconsistent quality of material. For most, the first introduction to Sydney three piece Wolfmother will have been the singles “Dimension” or “Woman”, and there’s a likelihood that most would have been impressed by the straight ahead power, the simple melodies and the retro feel. Hotly touted by Australian Radio station Triple J, the band already had a strong following in their native land, partly built around some strong live performances and their clever use of songs for commercials and TV shows has at least brought them to an audience. So is their self titled debut every rock fans dream? Well sort of.

wolfmother

“Wolfmother” is a workmanlike performance. It’s highlighted by the singles, and the rest moves along neither grabbing you by the balls nor grating. There’s the obvious influence of Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, but the trio aren’t strong enough musicians to compete with Led Zep, and neither do they carry the dark growling apocalyptical sound of Sabbath. They use all the mystic elements they can, with titles including “White Unicorns”, “Pyramids” and “Witchcraft” but the songs are all wholly de-mystifying which lends to the term the hacks use that they are a classic “false metal” band. These are just three reasonable musicians banging out a few tunes; not the troops of Satan brandishing axes with the guile of the champions of darkness. I tried hard not to make the comparison with their early 70s mentors because they would lose, so I compared their debut with the first LP’s from two recent hard rock exports mentioned above. “Wolfmother” isn’t better than either The Datsuns or Jet’s debut albums, so sadly for hard rock fans, another false dawn. Fans will like it now, but I doubt they’ll love it in a couple of years.

“Wolfmother” is too derivative to be labelled a classic, but that’s not denying the fact it’s a fair performance.

7/10

Track Listing
1.”Dimension” – 4:21
2.”White Unicorn” – 5:04
3.”Woman” – 2:56
4.”Where Eagles Have Been” – 5:33
5.”Apple Tree” – 3:30
6.”Joker & the Thief” – 4:40
7.”Colossal” – 5:04
8.”Mind’s Eye” – 4:54
9.”Pyramid” – 4:28
10.”Witchcraft” – 3:25
11.”Tales” – 3:39
12.”Love Train” – 3:03
13.”Vagabond” – 3:50

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