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Wolfmother - Cosmic Egg Album Cover
Author's Rating
Vocals 8.25
Musicianship 8
Lyrics 7.5
Production 8
Creativity 7.75
Lasting Value 7
Reviewer Tilt 8
Final Verdict: 78%
Member Ratings
Vocals 5.75
Musicianship 6.08
Lyrics 5.21
Production 5.67
Creativity 5.42
Lasting Value 5.08
Reviewer Tilt 5.67
Average: 56%
Inside AP.net

Wolfmother - Cosmic Egg

Reviewed by: Jeremy Aaron (11/03/09)
Wolfmother - Cosmic Egg
Record Label: Modular/Interscope
Release Date: October 27, 2009

It's possible to take pastiche one step too far, and Wolfmother boldly stride up the precipice with a defiant, cocky swagger, casually look over the edge, and in an exercise of restraint, stand firm. Their overall approach is best descibed by the title of one of their self-titled debut album's cuts-- "Colossal"-- but the transparent Black Sabbath worship displayed on that disc was just over-the-top enough to be endearing and not so much so as to alienate. The follow-up has been gestating for a while-- over three years for most of the world and a full four for those in the band's native Australia-- and Cosmic Egg delivers by dishing out more of what made the debut so likable, with enough surprises to keep it from being a bore.

Wolfmother make sure to please their fanbase, with album opener "California Queen" and first single "New Moon Rising" boasting big booming riffs and Andrew Stockdale's signature dramatic vocal. Things slow down just a bit for the mid-tempo "White Feather," which departs from the "stoner rock" sound, instead taking cues from classic album rock. To listeners who've listened to a fair amount of classic rock (and if you enjoy this band, you probably have), it will likely sound very familiar, though I think it's more because it draws influence from and sounds somewhat similiar to a number of different '70s rock bands than because it's a direct replica of any one.

The passage of time will grant perspective on the present, and Wolfmother address this on the effects-pedal heavy "Sundial," while they look ahead (and up "into the open void") on "In the Morning," a tune that starts out in a Beatles-via-Oasis style before opening up into an art-rock opus. The fairly straightforward "10,000 Feet" may not be the album's strongest cut, but it might have been the best choice for a lead single, with its heavy chugging guitar line and definite Southern flavor making it (for better or worse) comparable to modern rock radio favorites Shinedown.

The album's title track plays directly to the band's strengths, as it's very much in the hard psych-rock vein, and it has as much drive as anything on the album. In sharp contrast is "Far Away," the album's most laid back moment, sounding like Jack White attempting a straight-ahead Britrock tune. It's undoubtedly enjoyable, but it sounds a little too reserved for Wolfmother. The subdued moment doesn't last long, as "Pilgrim" brings back the heavy crunch to go along with trippy harmonies, a healthy serving of Stockdale's theatrics and some flamboyant soloing.

"In the Castle" has a Zeppelin-like opening, with Stockdale asking, "Would you like to walk into the kingdoms of the Sun," before Wolfmother burn it down with their customary fiery, propulsive guitars. Rising from the ashes is "Phoenix," which is pretty standard Wolfmother fare with some arty Who-flavored inflections. The closer "Violence of the Sun" seems to be clear indication of the band wearing out their copy of Supertramp's Breakfast in America, as its synth line is a dead ringer for that album's title track as well as "Goodbye Stranger" and "The Logical Song."

The so-called "cosmic egg" refers to that from which the entire universe originated. Alas, the album Cosmic Egg isn't reflective of all the diversity in the universe, but there's definitely more at work than on the band's debut. They clearly still fit the whole "stoner rock" or "stoner metal" tag, but there's a wider range of influence evident here, from the straight-up classic hard rock of Led Zeppelin, the grand art-rock statements of The Who, the slight Southern-tinged sound of Free, and even the clean-sounding prog-rock of Rush. Because of this, much of Cosmic Egg will sound like you've heard it before. And you have, just not all in one place quite like this.

Recommended If You LikeThe Parlor Mob's And You Were a Crow
Panthers' The Trick
Saviours' Into Abaddon
Black Mountain's In the Future
The White Stripes' Icky Thump


Track Listing1. California Queen (3:54)
2. New Moon Rising (3:45)
3. White Feather (3:04)
4. Sundial (3:47)
5. In the Morning (5:39)
6. 10,000 Feet (4:08)
7. Cosmic Egg (4:04)
8. Far Away (4:00)
9. Pilgrim (4:50)
10. In the Castle (5:42)
11. Phoenix (4:45)
12. Violence of the Sun (6:02)
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 24.
01:18 PM on 11/03/09
#2
zubinmoosa
Tonight I'm Burning Star IV
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I was pretty disappointed by this album.
05:16 PM on 11/03/09
#3
LastDeclaration
mmm tasty
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I've never really liked these types of bands.
05:01 AM on 11/04/09
#4
Chris Fallon
Boom.
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Big '70's guitar rock fan, but some of Wolfmother's material has a tendency to put me to sleep. I do like this for the most part, but it's a tad underwhelming.
05:43 AM on 11/04/09
#5
Gregory Robson
Under Rug Swept
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Pretty much over this band. I liked them for all of about 15 minutes. And this album does little to make me like them any more.
07:31 AM on 11/04/09
#6
quikrick11
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I still love the first album, especially if I'm in a hard rock mood. I'd pick this album up if I found it for cheap on amazon or something. Don't think I'll pay the full 9.99 for it.
08:15 AM on 11/04/09
#7
DanEmo
it ain't me, babe
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I really liked their first album, but I'm not really into this one yet...

and, I think their live show in Amsterdam last month was the worst perfomance I've seen this year
09:46 AM on 11/04/09
#8
the1
Blink One Eighty Who??
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Fucking hate Wolfmother. No real reason- i think they are just annoying.
10:06 AM on 11/04/09
#9
littlebeav
My Favorite Bands are Dead or Dying
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HAHAHA @ all of you.

I love Wolfmother. Always will. Not my favorite album/band, but somedays are just Wolfmother days. This album is easily a C, I don't disagree with the review, but personally think its a B album. Solid B.
10:42 AM on 11/04/09
Cody Nelson
facebook.com/comedyfiends
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HAHAHA @ all of you.

I love Wolfmother. Always will. Not my favorite album/band, but somedays are just Wolfmother days. This album is easily a C, I don't disagree with the review, but personally think its a B album. Solid B.
You really make great points.
10:43 AM on 11/04/09
friskycurtain
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My best friend is a huge fan of this band but honestly I don't get their appeal. I mean Joker and the Thief is an okay song but how can anyone stand the lead singer's voice?
11:55 AM on 11/04/09
Gregory Robson
Under Rug Swept
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They do get props for the album cover. Pretty solid if you ask me.
12:12 PM on 11/04/09
dpatrickguy
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I like The Parlor Mob a lot more as far as classic rock style stuff
12:14 PM on 11/04/09
HometownHero
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Yuck
12:30 PM on 11/04/09
Mochem
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I don't get why people hate on this band so much. I'm not a huge fan, but they have some good songs.
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