The common criticism of Wolmother is that they are just another generic hard rock band that shamelessly rips off of proto-metal groups like Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath and Deep Purple. What critics are missing is that Wolfmother is very,very good at, well… rocking out. Few bands today play rock ‘n’ roll as catchy, energetic and powerfully as these guys. Their sound is sludgy as Black Sabbath, fast as Led Zeppelin and full of hooks that have earned them much commercial success.
I personally don’t think that Wolfmother are ripping off of the classic rock bands so much as paying homage to them. I can also hear influences beyond the obvious ones. Grunge, as well as the raw energy of garage rock are in there. There’s a little bit of prog rock in there too, as they have a very epic sound (including a flute passage in the song “Witchcraft” that sounds like Jethro Tull, and keyboards in “Colossal” and “Joker and the Thief” that remind me ELP ). Regardless of their past influences, Wolfmother have a very contemporary sound.
The songwriting on this album could use some more development, as it rarely expands upon the verse-chorus-bridge formula. Lyrically they can be somewhat ridiculous, indulging in fantasy subjects that Sabbath and Zeppelin also played with, but we’re not supposed to take this stuff too seriously, are we? And they do sound like a band that is still trying to find their sound and perfect it. Luckily, Wolfmother avoid self-indulgence, something common in the ’70s bands that influenced them. No drum solos or noodling to be found in this album; in fact, all of the guitar solos are kept short and sweet.
Overall, Wolfmother’s debut is very promising and hopefully they will keep up the good work in future albums to come. I can easily see Wolfmother heading in a progressive direction. If you love your classic rock and want more or you just want to rock out then go straight to this album. As long as you’re open minded you won’t be disappointed.
Interscope Records: www.interscoperecords.com