Hey Yeah, Bark at the Moon!
Retro marches on. The early 70s revival of the last few years continues with Australia’s most recent export, the trio Wolfmother. And if all revivals came with late entries as strong as Wolfmother, one every decade or so might be good. Wolfmother bursts at the seams with the type of blues-based hard rock/near-metal that Black Sabbath once made famous. 10 tons of riff-happy decadence fills this self-titled debut, and not a moment too soon.A suspicious lack of quality hard rock has become the norm in recent years, with many fans preferring angular, ironic indie bands to more abrasive fair. The powerful guitar from lead singer/axeman Andrew Stockdale on “Tales” and “White Unicorn,” and melodically mirroring lyrics on the former “Say goodbye to your soul / and hello to tomorrow” might be just the thing to stir up some adrenaline. The aggressive pace-setting drum-thwacks from Myles Heskett on the opener “Dimension” brings counterpoint to Stockdale’s higher register as he wails “Purple haze is in the skies / see the angels with dead eyes.”
Progressive depth of instrumentation is employed by Wolfmother without them slipping into prog-rock song duration; bass/keyboard player Chris Ross adds a Richards Wright touch of organ to the shifting acoustic/electric slam-fest “Where Eagles Have Been.” Fantastical choices of content (wizardry, unicorns, inter-dimensional travel) while likely to be shunned by the hip crowd, here are wholly forgivable. The primal intensity on “Joker & The Thief” is enough to prompt fist banging, head banging and even air guitar noodling. Not to mention the two-chord crunch driving “Colossal,” a song sure to bring vitality to any enraptured live audience.
With plenty here to feast on Wolfmother (along with other backwards-treading acts Witch and The Hellacopters) snarls, barks and howls for the attention hard rock deserves.