Album review: Wolfmother – ‘Cosmic Egg’ (Modular)

Pinch your snout: the new incarnation of Wolfmother have laid a rotten egg

From [a]Faith No More[/a] to collaborations with a weird and wonderful cast on a baffling range of musical projects, [a]Mike Patton[/a] has been responsible for much that is righteous. But arguably topping all of these is the YouTube clip where, backstage at a music festival, the cod-Zeppelin shredding of Australian mock-rockers [a]Wolfmother[/a] trickles into his ears like effluent into once-virgin water. “Are you hearing this shit?” Patton thunders, a look of horror upon his face. “What year are we in? Wolfmother: you suck!”

In 2008 Wolfmother split, to much rejoicing from sane persons the world over. Then singer Andrew Stockdale announced he’d be continuing with the moniker to record a new LP. But could Wolfmother Mk II be a different beast, returning with a sound far removed from the canonical pilfering that was their eponymous debut? Perhaps the reason for the band’s implosion was disagreements about Stockdale’s intended industrial direction?

Course it bloody wasn’t. It’s all in the name, of course. Who names their album after a yoga position? I mean, really. And then there are the lyrics, tedious, bong-addled piffle about
the “kingdom of the sun” and so on.

The music? Well it’s harder and faster than their debut, that’s for sure, owing more to [a]Black Sabbath[/a] than the pastiche of Page and Plant that still remains in the likes of ‘In The Morning’. But ‘Cosmic Egg’ remains nested in a time long ago, with the only ‘progress’ coming in ‘Far Away’, which sounds like it was expelled by Axl Rose during an enema in early sessions for ‘Chinese Democracy’.

You could argue Wolfmother’s ballsy and carefree hi-octane music is all just innocent fun, ideally washed down with a six pack of tinnies. Yet it’s utterly devoid of soul and intelligence. Even basic craft is at a premium. All too often, this kind of luddite rock’n’roll is excused by the proficiency of the players. Who cares if they haven’t an original idea between them if fingers blur on fretboards, tubs are thumped hard, and the singer can raise a bat-perplexing wail? But there’s no excuse for such mindless effrontery.

Are you still with us, General Patton? Let all those who believe with zealous hearts in the importance of forging something new and fearsome in fire and molten steel join forces, and blast this execrable troupe back to the Stone Age from whence they came.

Luke Turner

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Click here to get your copy of Wolfmother’s ‘Cosmic Egg’ from the Rough Trade shop.