Wolfmother
"Cosmic Egg"

(Modular Records/Interscope Records 2009)Wolfmother - Cosmic Egg

With frontman/guitarist Andrew Stockdale the only original Wolfmother member remaining in the band's line-up this time around, it makes perfect sense that the band's sophomore full-length release, "Cosmic Egg," doesn't sound quite like their self-titled debut. Like its predecessor, "Cosmic Egg" makes no secret of its classic rock influences but they're somewhat less transparent this time. What is the same is that Wolfmother still go for big, bold hard rock.

When you hear Stockdale's the only original member, a flag should go up in your mind. Throughout most of the album you can still hear the "old" Wolfmother, for example, when they channel Led Zeppelin on "White Feather." But this new line-up always takes the high view with broad strokes instead of zooming in and fussing over the details. The thick, smoky sounding buzz of "Sundial" is about as heavy and as edgy as the Aussies are willing to get while opening track "California Queen" bounds by with pure energy. From time to time deep grooves dig in, like on "10,000 Feet" and the galloping title track, and will catch your ear but never push things as far as they could.

Wolfmother turn everything up on "Cosmic Egg" and let it rip. The problem is that their stadium rock sound ends up running together; the tracks don't stand out enough from one another. Similarly, there are neither memorable tracks that you walk away with stuck in your head nor are there any superb (or even any terribly original) guitar licks. While the previous isn't a big deal, the latter definitely is. The ideas are certainly there on "Cosmic Egg" but it just doesn't pan out. What was probably one of the year's more anticipated album's disappoints and ends up sounding generic.

B-

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