A dollop of SABBATH riffing, a whole slopload of ZEP crunge and yowling about mystical bullshit and evil women, and just the right amount of greasy white boy funk, DEEP PURPLE organ noodling, and wide-eyed top-of-the-mountain pseudo-serious bare-chested shaman posturing. That's the formula for the band that's bowled over the world, and seems poised to do the same to the States this week. After all, how many other Australian heavy rock bands get their debut full-length featured on the $6.99 endcap at the big box appliance stores?
Sporting all the right moves, a respect-worthy 'fro, and songs so irresistibly catchy they'll make your teeth rot, WOLFMOTHER may do for Seventies rock what THE WHITE STRIPES did for, well, Seventies rock: it sounds old, but it's not old, and it's aimed right at the heart, groin and pocketbook of kids too young to know the real thing as anything but old-man music. Does that mean they don't rock? Fuck no, these guys smoke just about anything released recently under the turgid "stoner rock" banner, and their delightfully goofy (we're talking JUDAS PRIEST bad) lyrics and candy-coated riffs would make a dead man shake his ass.
They only steal from the best — that "Riders on the Storm" breakdown in "White Unicorn", the Robert Plant apery in single "Woman" ("she's a woman, know what I mean / you better listen, listen to me / she's gonna set you free"), the almost SPINAL TAP-worthy epics "Where Eagles Have Been" and "Mind's Eye"… speaking from a purely analytical viewpoint, your dollars should definitely be spent on something more authentic and original. But for one thing, it's not like that's gonna happen — picture 40,000 kids in too-tight t-shirts storming the nation's record stores demanding BUDGIE and ARGENT reissues!
Besides, as Eric Moore of THE GODZ, a band who knew a little bit about being sleazy and third-rate in just the right way, would say… "but it feels sooooo goooooooood!"
At the end of the day, voodoo-woman horseshit and faux blues stomp aside, WOLFMOTHER is just a goddamn fun record to listen to. It pushes all the right buttons, repeatedly, and every moment of the album crackles with energy and joy. It's the audio equivalent of a big fat juicy cheeseburger and onion rings, preferably served on a drive-in tray clipped to the window of your bombed out El Camino (naked lady mudflaps optional). Don't hate them because they're beautiful, man.