If you have ever heard Wolfmother you'd be excused for thinking that they were around in 1972. Everything about their sound is timeless yet modern. It's vintage rock and we love it. To mark the 10th anniversary of their stunning debut UMC have released a deluxe two CD set which includes the original album and B-sides and alternative versions. Just for all you audiophiles out there, they have also issued a heavyweight vinyl edition too, so that you can rock out to this album in a true hipster retro style!
From the Jimi Hendrix inspired Dimensionto the psychedelic progressive wonderment that comes in around the 3 minute mark in White Unicorn, Wolfmother is oozing with that bygone sound that is so missed in modern music that it took a bunch of Aussies to bring it back. Womanand Witchcraft sees vocalist and guitarist Andrew Stockdale growling like Robert Plant and the latter also breaks into an Ian Anderson style flute run. The acoustic guitar led tracks such as Tales From The Forest Of Gnomesreally draw you into the world of Wolfmother and that world expands with every run and musical turn. Vagabondalso shows their versitility by switching pace for the band in the same way that Going To California did for Led Zep. The Earth's Rotation Around The Sun, a track that's easy to miss under the weight of heavy bass and tempestuous guitars, but it's a hugely trippy and a glorious way to end the album and even has a nod to early Pink Floyd.
The extras are great here too. Vagabond comes across well as a totally stripped back acoustic version, but does lack that wholeness of sound. The Mstrkrft remix of Woman sounds really good as a pop dance track, even if the style is unexpected. Love Train works equally well remixed as electro funk, it may even be better than the original. An early demo of Woman sounds more like Jake Shears meets the Bee Gees than the rock vocals we have been used to coupled with a nick of the Doobies Long Train Running on guitar and Apple Tree demonstrates more of a punk sound. This extra disc is a wonderful addition that really makes an interesting documentation of the bands musical experimentation and development sonically.
Happily the album still stands up ten years on and is a body of work they should be bloody proud of. The highs, lows and general diversity of the album is also matched by the bands history. After releasing Wolfmother, the band won awards including a Grammy for Best Hard Rock Performance and received plenty critical acclaim. They were even Led Zeppelin's guests when they were inducted into the UK Music Hall of Fame. However, in 2009 drummer Myles Heskett and bassist/keyboardist Chris Ross left the band due to artistic differences. Two albums with a new line up followed but none have had the commercial success of the spark of the first. Wolfmother is a pioneering album that helped change the way we view guitar based and modern progressive music today, they were ahead of their time.