Taking a page from the book that Deep Purple wrote and Black Sabbath burned, Aussie rockers Wolfmother have pulled the electric guitar solo out of storage to breath hope into the shrinking worlds of acid-droppers and metal heads alike, that a new generation of hard rockers may be fast approaching on the horizon. Despite a new lineup and a significant lapse between albums, the band's recent release, Cosmic Egg
promises to secure Wolfmother a place in the Hair Band Hall of Fame, hopefully without all of the drama that typically accompanies the distinction.
Fully stocked with high-pitched vocals, nasty guitar shredding, and energetically enigmatic lyrics only a metal band can get away with, Cosmic Egg
certainly feels extraterrestrial. While most of the band's influences are either embarking on lackluster reunion tours or (more wisely) accepting their fate as victims of the perpetual burnout of 70s-era rock n' roll, Wolfmother seems intent on reviving a genre otherwise left for dead. With driving rhythms, string-bending riffs, and signature solos, songs like "New Moon Rising" and "Phoenix" are indicative of the classic metal edge you can expect from the album as a whole. But the experience wouldn't be complete without the signature monster ballad "Far Away" and especially the epic album-closer "Violence of the Sun," which takes over six minutes to climax and resolve, leaving the listener longing for just a little bit more (which, incidentally, is available if you purchase the deluxe edition of the album).
Even more promising, though, than the music itself is the fact that Wolfmother has already sustained and conquered their share of drama for a band with only two records, having already parted with two-thirds of the original lineup. Dysfunctional as that may seem, stable membership has never been necessary for heavy metal success; just naming the bands who saw lineup changes in the 70s and 80s would exceed the word quota for this review. What matters is the collective ability to produce a sounds which audiences embrace while associating it with a band's name; Cosmic Egg
satisfies both requirements.
Of course, drama may actually be part of the appeal. Either way, Wolfmother once again takes us back in time to a world where psychedelic album covers were the norm and big hair was cool. And while that, thankfully, does seem cosmic, the music is as down to earth as metal ever gets.
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MP3: Wolfmother - "New Moon Rising" (Cosmic Egg)
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