Wolfmother’s debut album will take you back to the 60s and 70s with their grooving, psychedelic sound. Every song has some element lifted from these eras, but rather than calling them rip-offs, you’ll move along to the music and be floored by the hypnotizing guitar riffs. The album keeps moving and doesn’t slow down for a minute. Even the slower tracks are filled with enough energy to keep your attention.
All the songs here are awesome and will either have you moving or will keep you in a trance. “Dimension” is an energetic song, with a great psychedelic groove to get the album started. While it’s mainly a fast track, there is one part where the music grows more intense as it slows down. It’s actually pretty reminiscent of what Black Sabbath did in some of their songs. “Apple Tree” is an insanely fast track that only slows down for a bit in the middle. It constantly changes tempo and what’s great is the speed of the vocals changes along with the tempo. It’s also a very raw, unpolished sounding song.
One of the best songs here is “Love Train.” It has a sensual, sexy groove running throughout that will send chills down your spine. This sexy feeling is also found in the hushed, luring vocals of singer Andrew Stockdale. Definitely a song worth checking out. Another great song is the closing track “Vagabond.” The sound here differs from the rest of the songs on the album. It mainly uses acoustic guitar, which gives it a folk feeling, as if Stockdale is telling a story. There’s also a country twang tossed in the mix. These two songs stand out for their difference in sound, but they’re as great as the others.
One thing that becomes obvious when listening to this album is the group is inspired by classic rock and psychedelia. As mentioned before, the songs sound like they from the late 60s/70s with their looping, playful guitar riffs and trippy lyrics. Even though their sound is borrowed from another era, they still manage to make it their. This is the type of album where you have to be high on something to begin to understand what the songs are about. Most of the imagery found in them are related to nature, but even with the aid of lyrics you can never really be sure what the song means. But nevertheless, the images and lyrics are still interesting and fun. Another element of the music that adds to the psychedelic feel is the extensive use of keyboard.
In songs like “Woman,” “White Unicorn,” and “Mind’s Eye” the keyboard is used for trippy solos that take you back to that era. It really gives the songs the feeling that they’re older than they really are. Some of these solos sound like they belong to a Doors track. In the track “Witchcraft,” there’s an unexpected flute solo that harkens back to Jethro Tull and really brings the psychedelic feel full circle. These elements also add a groove to Wolfmother’s music, which makes you want to get up and dance, while other songs like “Where the Eagles Have Landed” have a mellow atmosphere that will relax you (at least until the song speeds up).
One thing that’s memorable about Wolfmother is their singer Andrew Stockdale. His vocals are pretty unique to say the least. Even though he sounds kind of nasally, he has the kind of voice that you can easily identify without even seeing him. His vocals are best on display on “Mind’s Eye.” While he has a higher voice, his singing here gets pretty intense and he begins wailing his heart out. At times he can sound like Robert Plant. Other times he’ll remind you of Jack White. His vocals are kind of hard to describe, but just know that they will leave an impression.
Overall, the album gets 8.5/10. Every song will get you moving and will take you back to the psychedelic era. While the songs may not be easy to decipher, they will still leave you impressed. Stockdale’s vocals are interesting and will make sure that you won’t forget the band anytime soon. The future of Wolfmother is uncertain at the moment, but let’s hope they don’t waste all that talent by not making anymore music.
What do you think of Wolfmother? Do you love Stockdale’s vocals or do they annoy you? Let me know in the comments!