The Wolfmother debut.
Sometime in 2000, founding members Andrew Stockdale on guitar and vocals, Chris Ross on bass/keyboards and Myles Heskett on drums got together to jam.
But it was in 2004, when Wolfmother was born.
And suddenly things started to happen. After playing a gig in April 2004 in Sydney, they got a record deal with Aussie independent label Modular Recordings with whom they released their (EP) “Wolfmother” in September.
While touring on the EP, Universal Music came in and signed em to an international recording deal.
The self-titled debut produced by Dave Sardy was originally released in Australia via their independent deal on 31 October 2005.
The album was later released internationally by Universal in early 2006.
Like other Aussie artists who got a later international release, the album had an additional track and a rearranged track listing. Spotify carries the international release listing and release date.
As an owner of a book of Frank Frazetta paintings, seeing “The Sea Witch” on the album cover grabbed my attention immediately.
Prior to the release, the band had some serious momentum in Australia. They had the EP out on the charts, they toured and nationwide radio station Triple J, had the band in constant rotation.
The bass and drum groove reminds me of an amalgamation of Sweet and Cream in the verses before a Chorus kicks in that sounds like a Sabbath cut.
And a new game is created here in which the listener has to guess which band or song influenced the next song.
And I like games like these.
You know that section half way through in “Stairway To Heaven” when Jimmy Page starts to play major sounding triads over a droning D note.
Well that’s how “The White Unicorn” starts off. And I like it. Take something that came before and create something new from it.
Its basically a Sabbath cut with that driving galloping groove from “Children Of The Grave”.
Then again “Roadhouse Blues” comes to mind as well.
The addition of the keyboards makes it sound like a demented Doors cut.
And like other Aussie bands, (Airbourne comes to mind) they capitalized on the video game phenomenon that was happening. “Woman” was licensed to appear in over 12 video games which came out between 2006 and 2008.
Where Eagles Have Been
The beginning reminds of “Goin To California” from Led Zep or “Mother Nature’s Son” from The Beatles or “Brain Damage” from Pink Floyd.
This is the beauty of music. Familiarity is in every song which is created.
Check out the sound effect which increases in intensity at 3.42 and then the guitar solo. This is the best part of the song.
At 4.24 to 4.46 reminds of me of “Dazed and Confused” from Led Zep.
It has a punk style “My Generation” feel from The Who in the Intro and first verse.
Joker & the Thief
This song has crossed over onto a higher astral plane. It’s everywhere. If you sit down to watch a movie or a TV show, there is a chance you’ll hear it. If you buy a video game, there is a chance you’ll hear it.
When I hear “Detroit Rock City” by Kiss, it reminds me of this song.
“The Hangover” and “Shrek” movies have scenes in the movie, which has this song playing.
It feels like a Sabbath cut that hadn’t seen the light of day.
How good is the riff that comes in at the 3.30 mark?
It reminds me of “Ace Of Spades” from Motörhead.
My favorite track.
The arpeggios to start it off are hypnotic. Metallica used a similar progression for “The Day That Never Comes”.
When the verses come in, simplicity at its best. It’s just a single strummed chord and a haunting vocal melody.
I like the simple ascending chord progression just before the Chorus. And it comes back again after the Chorus.
How good is the organ riff?
And they jam on it till the end.
Another song that became a favorite amongst people that didn’t even like this kind of music because it appeared in the “FlatOut 2” car racing game.
A flute solo. Jethro Tull anyone.
It’s not a favorite.
Listen to “Moby Dick” from Led Zep. Imitation is a form of flattery.
A simple drum metronome style click and an acoustic guitar playing a sort of Country Blues Delta riff start off the song.
Swampy it is and the album is done.
I’ve read reviews that they are copyists and unoriginal. But music is judged on the fun and enjoyment you get out of it. And this album is a whole lotta fun.
Going back to the originality question, the bands that influenced em where also copyists. Led Zeppelin’s first album is a great cover album rebranded as a Zep album.
After all was said and done, the album was certified 5× Platinum in Australia, Gold in Canada, Gold in Germany, Gold in the U.K and Gold in the U.S.
By the time the band started to record album number 2, it was just Andrew Stockdale who remained. But the sound and the songs still remained.
You can read my review on “Cosmic Egg” here.
And spend your weekend cranking Wolfmother.