Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, Unsung Heroes

Australian Method Series: Andrew Stockdale – Keep Moving

Released on 7 June 2013 and recorded in various studios in Byron Bay, New South Wales. Coming from the Steel City of Wollongong, Byron Bay is a 9 hour drive up the coast.

The Producer is Andrew Stockdale.

It was written with the idea that it would be the third Wolfmother album, however the group was already in disarray after Stockdale fired the original band before the 2nd album, and any musicians that joined the fold afterwards were on Stockdale’s payroll, not the labels.

The album process started in 2010 with updates on social media and then it went silent. By February 2012, we knew that rhythm guitarist Aidan Nemeth and drummer Will Rockwell-Scott had left the band. Universal was also not really interested in what was been delivered at that point in time.

Remaining members Stockdale and bassist Ian Peres called in Vin Steele (rhythm guitar), Elliott Hammond (keyboards, percussion) and Hamish Rosser (drums) to complete the band line-up. Universal still wasn’t interested but Stockdale planned to re-record and self-release the album as a Wolfmother album.

By March 2013, front man Andrew Stockdale announced that he would be releasing the album under his own name.

The Personnel for the album is Andrew Stockdale on vocals and guitar, Ian Peres on all things bass related plus other instruments, with drums shared by Elliot Hammond, Hamish Rosser, Will Rockwell-Scott and Dave Atkins. Additional guitar tracks were recorded by Vin Steele and Alex “Rudy” Markwell.

All tracks are written by Andrew Stockdale, except where noted.

Long Way to Go

It could be a Bachman Turner Overdrive tune. It could a Rolling Stones tune as there is a riff in the song heavily inspired by “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”.

And there is a solo here, brief but bluesy.

Keep Moving

Lenny Kravitz is going to come your way. You know what I mean. And I like it, with other influences from Hawkwind and a riff from the fingertips of Paul Kossoff (RIP).

Within the first two songs, Stockdale is making a statement. He is moving on from the past, but he has a long way to go to make the break.

Vicarious

The fuzzed out bass sets the groove. The drums thunder along with it. Its subdued and Stockdale croons over the verses, before lifting in the Chorus.

“You’re living vicariously / Tell me what’s it’s like to be me?”

Three out of three so far.

Year of the Dragon

It’s classic Wolfmother in riff, with a Bill Ward style swinging beat and a feel that gets the foot tapping and the head banging.

Somebody’s Calling

Stockdale co-wrote this with multi-instrumentalist Elliott Hammond who plays drums, electric piano and harmonica on this album.

Hand clapping Rock and Roll that reminds me of The Doors, Sweet, The Easybeats, Free and all of those great bands. And at 1.50, it goes into a half time feel, which I like and it picks up again at 2.16.

Meridian

Stockdale co-wrote this with bassist Ian Peres. My favourite song on the album and by far the heaviest song Stockdale has committed to release.

The Intro reminds me of Black Sabbath at their heaviest and the verse riff reminds me of Led Zeppelin at their heaviest. A pure classic old school heavy metal cut and although released on a Stockdale solo album, it is a worthy Wolfmother cut.

Ghetto

Another foot stomping groove. And it gets repetitive but hey, the reason why I listen to Andrew Stockdale is because he can jam on a familiar repetitive riff for ages.

Let It Go

“Symptom Of The Universe” has a love child with “Achilles Last Stand”. And I like it.

And if the album ended here, it would have been 8 from 8.

But it continued.

Let Somebody Love You

It’s got this rhythm and blues feel, maybe a little bit of Aerosmith.

Standing on the Corner

The “hit the road jack” vibe is prominent but more countryish than blues.

Country

The title says it all, a ballad.

Black Swan

Yeah, it’s a skip for me.

Everyday Drone

Hey Mr’s Robinson. Can Andrew Stockdale be influenced by you?

Yes, he can.

It Occurred To Me

The fuzzed out psychedelic riffs are back to close out the album. It’s got groove and sleaze, but coming off the acoustic like tracks, it doesn’t flow.

The Foo Fighters released a double album that had rockers and acoustic stuff on each disc. Stockdale suffers here because he released two distinct albums as one.

But for the first 8 tracks, press play on em.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories

Australian Method Series: Wolfmother – New Crown

Great cover, it’s the best part of the album.

It’s my second time hearing it, almost 8 years apart.

So “New Crown” is album number three.

It was produced by Andrew Stockdale and self-released on 23 March 2014, initially as a digital download only available on Bandcamp and then reissued physically and everywhere digitally.

Stockdale’s solo album, “Keep Moving” released in 2013 was actually meant to be Wolfmother’s third album but due to the revolving door of musicians during the recording, Stockdale decided to retire the name, only to realise that no one cared or knew who Andrew Stockdale is without the Wolfmother title.

But he did find some calmness with his solo band, so Stockdale, along with bassist and keyboardist Ian Peres, and drummer Vin Steele got together to churn out this album.

Wolfmother to me is a classic hard rock band, with elements of stoner rock and garage rock and punk, but on this album, the stoner rock/garage rock and punk is more pronounced with small elements of hard rock. And it was the hard rock which got me into Wolfmother.

Also the production and audio was a sticking point for a lot of musical fans.

When I first heard it, there wasn’t enough quality to keep me interested. The songs seemed lacking. Hearing it again today, the majority of the songs are still lacking, except for “Tall Ships”, “Heavy Weight”, “Enemy Is In Your Mind” and “How Many Times” which have been added to my playlists.

For those David Lee Roth fans, Gregg Bissonette was originally hired to perform on the album, but after recording one song with the band his drum parts were dropped and he was let go.

How Many Times

The verse riffs remind me of Kiss and “Love Gun” but that main blues rock riff is so generic and derivative, and I still like it.

I like the Sabbath like feel after the Chorus.

Enemy Is In Your Mind

The psychedelic rock intro riff is pretty cool and then it goes into a “Sabbath Bloody Sabbath” like riff. And I like it.

Also check out the bass playing on the lead break.

Heavy Weight

It’s a mixture of Sabbath like grooves and Rolling Stones.

New Crown

It’s a confusing song which drags on for no reason.

Tall Ships

The best song on the album. The intro is very Sabbath like.

And stick around for the first part of the melodic lead at the end.

Feelings

It sounds like something else, more punk rock (Stooges), a little bit like The Rolling Stones vocally, maybe it can be classed as “power pop”. But it’s a skip.

I Aint Got No

“Satisfaction” comes to mind straight away. And it’s a skip.

She Got It

It’s downtuned, however the Stooges/Rolling Stones influences are strong on this album. Another skip.

My Tangerine Dream

I suppose the bands Led Zeppelin and Tangerine Dream come to mind here.

Radio

It’s almost there. But a skip.

One of the reviews I read wrote, “crap band releases a crap album”. A crap album it is and I suppose every band has an album that is lesser than the others. This is Wolfmother’s.

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A to Z of Making It, Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, My Stories, Unsung Heroes

Australian Method Series: Wolfmother – Wolfmother

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.

Dimension

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.

White Unicorn

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.

Woman

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.

Apple Tree

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.

Colossal

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.

Mind’s Eye

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.

Pyramid

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.

Witchcraft

A flute solo. Jethro Tull anyone.

Tales

It’s not a favorite.

Love Train

Listen to “Moby Dick” from Led Zep. Imitation is a form of flattery.

Vagabond

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.

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Classic Songs to Be Discovered, Derivative Works, Influenced, Music, Unsung Heroes

Australian Method Series: Wolfmother

It would have been easy to write about the debut album which came out in 2005.

But.

How do you follow up the debut album that took a whole lifetime to write and achieved 5x Platinum certification in Australia and Gold certifications in the North American market?

That was the question facing Andrew Stockdale, Chris Ross and Myles Heskett.

But something happened within the band, as in August 2008, Ross and Heskett left. Replaced by others who I can’t even remember.

Did it matter if the original guys left?

Stockdale wrote the songs and he’s still there.

“Cosmic Egg” came out in 2009. The debut album gave the band a 4 year victory lap.

But.

Sales of the album didn’t get anywhere near the debut album even though the album was critically acclaimed. And the album does have some kick ass songs.

I overdosed on “Sundial”.

It’s the best track on the album.

A Sabbath/Hendrix like riff all fuzzed up with the wah on starts it all off and then the Chorus chords ring out while a single note piano lead plays.

And now it seems no time at all
The sundial wonders
How could you see nothing at all?
The sundial wonders on

Its probably the best Chorus that didn’t appear on an Ozzy album.

Make sure you crank it.

“In The Morning” sounds like a Zeppelin cut musically and a Beatles cut vocally.

“10,000 Feet” is a foot stomper.

“Cosmic Egg” has the foundations of “Roadhouse Blues”.

“Pilgrim” has that “let’s hit the road Jack ain’t gonna come back no more” vibe.

And then there is the closer.

“Violence Of The Sun” is a favourite.

It has a lot of psychedelic rock vibes with the roto-organ as it percolates for the first 3 minutes until the distortion chords explode for the 3 minute outro as Stockdale does a lot of ohhhs and ahhs outlining a haunting vocal melody.

And when you think that’s it, a guitar lead starts that mimics the vocal melody.

A perfect closer.

Check it out.

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