Album Review: Wolfmother – Cosmic Egg (Modular)

Will Stockdale 5 November 2009

The first thing to note is that a record with such a preposterous title as Cosmic Egg, backed up with album art of, yes, a huge suspended egg, is probably not going to be a sop to any modern indie conventions.Oh no, Wolfmother, have barely left the seventies, which for anyone with even a passing interest in big hair and Messrs Zeppelin and Sabbath, is a very good thing.

But herein lies the rub. Despite the obvious admiration Wolfmother have for their idols, musically they find it very hard to escape from the considerable shadow they’ve thrown over classic rock. So either we demean Wolfmother to mere fraudsters, devoid of any musical invention whatsoever, or go along with the ride and admit that if you’re going to be influenced, then Page and Plant are not a bad starting point.

We should all emphatically be in the latter camp. When the ineffectual twanging of most contemporary guitar bands makes the Pigeon Detectives sound like Puccini, the caterwauling opening riff of “California Queen” should be welcomed with open arms, as should the angular funk of “White Feather” or the brutally overdriven “Sundial”.

The incredible feat Wolfmother have accomplished is that through the riffs, the wailing vocals and the screaming solos, your foot keeps tapping. Cosmic Egg is a triumph of catchy song writing over cliche, which in any genre is a rare thing indeed.  When turned up to eleven, as it is here, it is also mind-blowingly good fun.

Will Stockdale