"New Crown" (Self-released; 2014)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers

Wolfmother are back with this, their third disc. "New Crown" is here to wear out -- digitally or (through the choice of some) vinyl. I must admit that after their début I lost touch but it's good to know that they never lost touch with their fuzzy blues rock sound. "New Crown" has ten tracks of incredible vocals from Andrew Stockdale. He sounds like a familiar voice but I feel he's got his own style. The guitar, bass and drums create a 70's vibe that doesn't sound dated at all; it's fresh and funky. Clothes can try to be retro but we gawk and balk. Music can be retro and, if done right, it perks our ears. Wolfmother are the kings who wear the 'new crown.'

The stoner rock decal gets affixed a lot when talking about Wolfmother's sound and, yeah, they've got that vibe happening but I think it's just good solid music. Getting stoned might get you in the mood but I'd rather crank up the sound bar and soak up the musicianship. I've yet to see them in concert but I'm sure the atmosphere is filled with awesome music and an appreciation for psychedelia. Each cut on "New Crown" has a great sound. The guitar is gritty and at times you'd think Andrew was challenging Jimi Hendrix.

I'm glad Wolfmother is back with a solid line-up because the band down under have done right by their fans and boomeranged a great disc to keep us admiring blokes digging their style.

Wolfmother: Andrew Stockdale - vocals and guitar; Ian Peres - bass and keyboards; Vin Steele - drums.

For more information, check out http://wolfmother.com and/or https://www.facebook.com/wolfmother.

"Wolfmother" (Interscope/Modular; 2006)

Reviewed by Jeff Rogers


Few bands have the ability to make retro music popular again, especially when they probably spent their days dodging crocs and salivating over Nicole Kidman. These boys hail from Australia and they sound like those guys from England, most notably Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath. They also have a mix of The White Stripes and Queens of the Stone Age swirling around them as well. Considering these blokes are a power trio, they create a full sound.

The most popular song (which you have probably heard) is “Woman.” It’s the music in the commercial for PlayStation's "Guitar Hero II" and it can also be heard on the intro to “Driving Force” on A&E. Either way, these guys are permeating the airwaves with a great debut hit.

The guitar is very Led Zep and there are plenty of fuzzy solos to go around. The keyboards are Sabbath to an exact point. The drums are good and pound away with no recoil. Vocalist Andrew Stockdale sounds like Robert Plant and he’d better with all the influences listed above. Now, I know since Wolfmother sounds like all these other bands they must be a tribute band of sorts, right? Well, they don’t seem to be plowing that route. I think they just recognize the 70s as a time when hard rock and stoner music was forging the way and they just want to remind you of that fact.

I’ll admit the songs sound like “something you have heard before” but the music of that time should remain timeless, no matter who’s playing it. Wolfmother do have about four bands that they pull from, so if you’re wanting a mirror effort from a band that sounds like Zeppelin then you will have to wait for that release. They do, however, combine Zeppelin, Sabbath, plus The White Stripes and QOTSA very well. The songs may fire on too many cylinders at times and take a few turns that you don’t expect but stay with passion of this band and I think you will be surprised.

The best cuts are “Woman,” “Apple Tree,” “Colossal,” and “Love Train.”

Wolfmother: Andrew Stockdale – guitar and vocals; Chris Ross – bass and organ; Miles Heskett – drums.

For more information, check out http://www.wolfmother.com

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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