red lights


Been there done that -
but please do it again

Wolfmother - Wolfmother
3 1/2 stars (out of 5 stars)
Reviewed: July 8, 2006

Review by Andy Argyrakis

Back in the day when classic rockers Black Sabbath, MC5 and Led Zeppelin ruled the earth, the members of Wolfmother weren't even born, let alone rocking out with the gusto and grime of their self-titled debut. But between a pair of EPs and acclaim in the group's Australian homeland, the trio's stock has certainly risen to lucrative heights with visions of an all out rock and roll revival for modern times obviously in sight. While there's certainly been a wide array of those legendary lick re-creators throughout the past few years (from Queens of the Stone Age to Louis XIV to The White Stripes) Wolfmother appears to be on top of yet another wave- a non-stop onslaught of thrashing guitars, medieval (and sometimes downright bizarre) imagery, monstrous solos and genuine sincerity in delivery.

On "Where Eagles Have Been," singer/guitarist Andrew Stockdale will probably appeal to those who bow before the presence of Robert Plant, while the even more electrifying "Dimension" could very well be Zeppelin during its bluesy beginnings. "Woman" connects with an unwavering sense of strength and the vocal quivering of Ozzy Osbourne long before his reality TV show days. "Witchcraft" is a key weapon in Wolfmother's arsenal, thanks to its spiking strums, sinister screams and ominous lyrics, though "Joker & the Thief" is the disc's most compelling, tickled with slightly progressive nuances.

However, these immortal influences Wolfmother so accurately introduces to a younger generation is also the disc's primary downfall. Though the grievances aren't to the point of digging the band an early grave, there are several instances where the players are merely derivative of such heroes, practically Xeroxing a raucous riff from the 70s or coming across with vintage earnestness without a deep investment into each players' own personal songwriting capabilities. Sure, the self-titled CD is still full of stellar performances and the guys are to be applauded for keeping such spirited sounds alive, but could benefit in the future by forging more of their own identity beyond this old school scope.

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