By on Monday, 1st May 2006 at 4:37 pm

Hailing from Australia, Wolfmother appear destined to be the new face of traditional hard rock, taking over from the likes of Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. After working their way round the world from Australia to LA, they recorded this, their debut album that was released originally in Australia in October 2005 and now in the USA.

At first listen, it sounds not a lot different to their heroes of the 1970s, however truth be told these lads were probably not even out of diapers when their superstars were playing arenas. Therefore this is hard rock for Generation Y, a new take on vintage metal.

Their appeal is summed up in the CD’s first word of the album opener “Dimension”: “Wwwwwaaaauuuuggggghhhhh!” and thus the album begins in a carefully coordinated homage to several key players of the modern musical movement. The drums and wails of the White Stripes, keyboards of Deep Purple, the wall of sound of Zeppelin, and the guitars of Sabbath all combined to make either the best band ever or the biggest wannabe tribute act ever, dependant on your views.

“White Unicorn” is the second track of the album, and their second single, and mixes clear guitars and vocals with a great wall of sound created by the bass and drums towards the end.

“Apple Tree” is one of the weakest tracks of the album, with lazy, repetitive vocals mixed with non-inventive guitars repeating the same riff over and over. However, once this track is out of the way, the album steadily improves. Towards the end of the album we get the required slow track of the album, “Tales” which reminds me distinctly of some of Jet’s “Look What You’ve Done” (which might be because both albums have been produced by Dave Sardy) before the guitars kick in and we are back to the rock-out of the earlier tracks.

Final track “Vagabond” brings about an element of rawness to proceedings, with the feeling that it was knocked up in a few minutes out the back and stuck on the end of the album; however the album is much the richer for its addition. Probably the “odd one out” of the collection, it provides a useful bridge between modern era music (Strokes, Sufjan Stevens, White Stripes, Oasis etc) and the bands which earlier tracks sound like (Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath etc).

So overall, a strong first effort: they could introduce a whole new generation to the likes of Zeppelin and Sabbath, however don’t appear to have done anything particularly new or extra creative, rather just re-used the existing formula, toned it up a bit with technology and changed its home from England to Australia. Their second album will be the true test of their greatness or imitation, and will determine whether they’re a bunch of Sabbath/Zeppelin wannabes or a viable alternative to Generation Y.

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