WOLFMOTHER - Wolfmother (Modular)

My Wolfmother experience consists of reading an article in the NME, downloading some tracks from the net, and being so blown away by them that I sent off to Australia for the album. This Aussie band worship at the alter of Sabbath, and make music as if it is still 1973, but someone has to, and when it is a good as this I really don’t care if some people will call it retro. The three piece are pretty young, but they have obviously grown up on classic heavy metal, and it really shows in their songs. The opening chords of ‘Colossal’ tell us what to expect, which is heavy rock of the highest order, with even the little organ fill sounding as heavy as the guitars. The vocals veer between a whining Jack White falsetto and a booming Ozzy Osbourne monotone, often in the same song, but it is the music which really impresses. ‘Woman’ is just riff after riff, almost willing you to turn the volume up as loud as you can take. NME readers can sample ‘White Unicorn’ on this week’s free CD, but it is not even in the top six tracks on here. I would have picked the stupendous ‘Joker & The Thief’ or either of their singles ‘Mind’s Eye’ (with it’s great organ middle eight) or ‘Dimension’ as a better introduction to the band. Hopefully ‘White Unicorn’ will tempt people to try the album when it is released over here, and then they can hear for themselves such gems as the hippy-sounding ‘Tales From The Forest Of Gnomes’ which although nowhere near as heavy as the rest of the album could hardly be describes a lightweight, or ‘Pyramid’ which pinches the bass riff from Golden Earring’s ‘Radar Love’ and then piles on as many riffs as it will hold. You might think you are getting a breather when the acoustic ‘Where Eagles Have Been’ starts up, but they pile on the power chords for the chorus and then crowbar in a searing guitar solo, so no respite even there. ‘Apple Tree’ takes the tempo up a notch for the verses, giving it almost a punk feel, while the heavy guitars return for the chorus, making it seem like two songs welded together. The album ends with the ultraheavy ‘Witchcraft’, and the bluesy ‘Vagabond’, completing an outstanding debut from a new band who are not afraid to show their roots. One of my favourite albums of the year so far, and you really must try and hear it when it comes out.