20 Watts


20 Watts Reviews Wolfmother’s Cosmic Egg by Dan
Wolfmother releases its second album "Cosmic Egg" on October 29.

Wolfmother releases its second album "Cosmic Egg" on October 29.

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Wolfmother’s “New Moon Rising” MP3
WE GIVE IT: 8/20 Watts

Oh, brother…

That’s just about the only response one could elicit from Wolfmother‘s new album, Cosmic Egg. It’s an album that wastes all the potential that the band managed, against all odds, to give it. It follows the same basic pattern as its self-titled predecessor: a couple of high points surrounded by far too many low ones that ultimately drag it down.

People have criticized Wolfmother for being too derivative, which is not an unfair claim to make. The band has always worn its ’70s classic rock influences on its sleeve — from Black Sabbath and Deep Purple to Jefferson Airplane and even Heart. But this time around, head honcho Andrew Stockdale has done one worse — he’s started ripping himself off.

Give a listen to “In the Morning.” After about a minute and a half, the calm, melodic introduction builds up a rip-roaring chorus and bridge, whose pace and intensity take over from there on out. Admittedly, it’s not a bad listen. But around the second or third time through, it hits you: Wolfmother’s already done this song before. It was the centerpiece of their first album, and it was called “Mind’s Eye.” The two are even in the same key. Granted, the organ break of “Mind’s Eye” has been replaced by a guitar solo, but it’s a small difference in a sea of similarity.

But it goes beyond song resemblances; Cosmic Egg even manages to mirror the exact album progression of its predecessor. A solid few songs in the beginning (“New Moon Rising,” “Sundial”) make you think you’re in for a treat, but then it spirals into mediocrity. And when you’re just about completely zoned out, they throw a curveball and serve up a song that completely breaks with the style of the album.

On Wolfmother, that song was the folky acoustic closer, “Vagabond.” It was certainly unexpected after the hard rock maelstrom that dominated the rest of the album, but the band made it work quite well. Cosmic Egg, however, closes with a song called “Violence of the Sun,” which simply doesn’t know what kind of song it wants to be. In six minutes, the band goes from piano-driven jazz to fuzzy psychedelia to… quasi-doom metal. Unexpected? Definitely, but it’s also an enormous headache.

For better or for worse, Wolfmother was an international success, and the band won a Grammy Award for its song, “Woman.” So when original bassist Chris Ross and drummer Myles Heskett left Wolfmother in August 2008, you had to wonder why. Cosmic Egg may well be the answer to that question.

— Dan Kaplan

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4 Comments

So In The Morning is Mind’s Eye because they’re both in the same key? Wow what incredibly retarded logic. What’s wrong man, the classical academy wouldn’t accept you, so you hopped on the academia bandwagon? Bravo with those last 2 sentences in the review by the way, you must have just sat back and had a good long satisfying look at the typewriter and thought “mmmm that’s good journalism”. Maybe even touched it a few times…

Well good luck with your frustrations…as for me, I saw Wolfmother in Austin texas a few nights ago, and the crowd was louder than the band. You’ll never get that much applause in your life.

Comment by Brett

Brett, Boyzone and Mariah Carey probably got deafeningly loud applause too.

Comment by Plover

Yeah, except that the “applause” those acts get is really the shrieking of thousands of prepubescent girls…Wolfmother has fans that are actually over 21…

Comment by Brett

“In six minutes, the band goes from piano-driven jazz to fuzzy psychedelia to… quasi-doom metal.”

To say that, you must not know jazz or doom-metal. Ever heard of Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb?

Comment by Roger Nelson




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