Review Summary: Cosmic Fail
Four years ago Wolfmother burst onto the music scene with their self titled debut album, going platinum in many places across the world. They were thrust into fame after only playing a couple of local gigs, and apparently the rush to stardom took a toll on the band. After four years, “irreconcilable personal and musical differences” between the band made two of the founding members, Myles Heskett and Chris Ross depart from the band, leaving Andrew Stockdale to his own devices. After gaining new members Ian Peres, Dave Atkins and Aidan Nemeth, Wolfmother went to the studio and created their latest album, Cosmic Egg.
It sounds quite apparent when first listening to Cosmic Egg
that the whole line-up shift fiasco has not affected or changed how the band operates, as the sound is as raw and gruff as previous. Though what also becomes quite apparent is that Stockdale has been listening to Led Zeppelin and many of Jimmy Page's riffs in his off time. As
the Guardian stated in a press release; "There is generally no shame if dipping back in rock time, but if you're going to plunder into the world of hot guitar licks, it would be better to follow the lead of the White Stripes than, say, Jet, which Wolfmother unfortunately seem to do."
Though to gain some joy out of this album you have to look past the heavy Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin or Blue Cheer influences and note that there are actually some very good songs on this album. The first single, ‘New Moon Rising’ is one of those. With its upbeat riffs and hooks galore chorus, its pure cheese, but quite tasty cheese at that. Lyrically the song is let down with lines such as these:
I see this small town boy now
From a small town family
He's got to find his way now
Gotta find himself a woman
With the skill of the people
He don't wanna be no whipping boy
Well, the time has come now
Gotta hit the highway
The album closer ‘Violence of the Sun’ may be the highpoint of the album as it incorporates elements that Wolfmother don’t usually attempt. There is no initial big riff smack at the start but a slow gentle climax from a piano. Thick guitars and pounding drums eventually creep in but it’s a relief to hear the band create something quite different and diverse compared to the same old usual 70’s rock barrage. While these two songs may be as good as they are, the rest of the album is really let down with boring and mediocre 70’s riffage and recycled ideas are used throughout the whole album. Cosmic Egg
is about as exciting as it sounds. Overdone ideas are used too heavily and obvious rock roots are thrown in. Though Wolfmother will not go away, and hopefully from that fact, they will learn that they can be creative and different. Let’s just hope this is so with their next release.