– by Brendan Reid, Editor –
Australian hard-rock band Wolfmother seemed to drop off everyone’s radar after the wave of their 2005 self-titled debut subsided. Mega hits such as “Woman” and “The Joker And The Thief” were played on radio stations daily, and Wolfmother seemed to be the poster child for a 70’s rock revival, but with a modern twist. Sadly, Wolfmother’s sophomore album Cosmic Egg did not receive as much attention as its predecessor, though it was laden with groovy hard rock goodness, and is well worth your time. Their third album New Crown was released to almost no fanfare at all, and though it too was a great album, many fans, including myself, were unaware of its initial release. Now Wolfmother has released their fourth album, Victorious, and it looks as though it has the potential to bring the band back to the forefront of the modern rock n’ roll scene.
Victorious is a love letter to the greats of 70’s rock. Throughout it can be heard the influences of Black Sabbath, Boston, and The Who, all with a heavy dose of Wolfmother personality that prevents the songs from becoming derivative. Lead singer/songwriter Andrew Stockdale make full use of his reverberous wail across the album, and the songs are laden with groovy hooks that are simplistic, yet very effective. The band is tight, with a drummer that keeps things moving along at a rollicking pace, and instrumental sections that are unique and infectious.
Victorious is a very digestible album. The average song length is 3 ½ minutes, with the whole package coming in at 35 minutes. Each song is compact and well thought out, with unique elements that help each track stand out. The title track “Victorious” is exceptionally positive sounding, and gives one a triumphant feeling, as Wolfmother undoubtedly intended. The acoustic ballad of “Pretty Peggy” helps break up the album, and is a calm respite from the roaring heaviness that surrounds it. Some of my favourite moments included the whimsical percussion section during the bridge of “The Simple Life,” and the anthematic, almost country rock choruses of “Best Of A Bad Situation.” Wolfmother knows how to keep things fresh, and no two songs sound the same. Everything seems well suited for live performance, and I can’t wait to see the type of show Andrew Stockdale and co. put together.
All in all, Wolfmother’s fourth album Victorious is a solid slab of rock n’ roll, and a great listen. It wears its influences on its sleeve, but has enough personality to stand out from the blatant imitators. Highly recommended for long car rides and workout sessions.
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