Sunday, August 10, 2008

On Wolfmother's breakup

So, if one hasn't already heard, the Zeppelin-rockin' boys down under, Wolfmother, has split. I, for one, couldn't be more heartbroken.

For me, this is the end of the Wolfmother I fell in love with on a plane ride from Australia.
Instead of movies, we had the option of listening to music, and on the Austrlian artist page, Wolfmother was prominently featured. My talks with folks from down under further sealed the deal that Wolfmother was probably the hottest rock band to be rolling around the country at the time, even to the point where Aussies were getting sick and tired of the "bloody" riffs of this trio.

While a break-up of the original lineup might not mean the complete end of a terrific sound, I find it hard to think that Andrew Stockdale will be able to continue Wolfmother, as he plans to do, without commandering the musical direction. Again, if that direction will be for better or worse, it's hard to predict. I remember reading that Stockdale has a passion for those long, sweeping epics that only work so often for my own ears.

I thought Wolfmother had a great sense of timing when it came to those drawn-out tales of discovery and adventure ("Colossal", "Mind's Eye", "Where Eagles Dare"), but for their shorter, catchier stuff ("Woman", "Joker and the Thief", "Love Train", "Pyramid"), they were fucking incredible. The riffs would reel in my head for days, the sweet delicious meshing of Stockdale's brawny tiger drawl and the fast-tracked heavy-settled guitar was just so much fun.

It wasn't until the three split that I discovered quite a bit of unaccounted hate sprawled across the internet. You'll hear it come mostly in one arguement: They're nothing but a Led Zep/Black Sabbath cover band who's sound is entirely tired and unoriginal.
And I frankly feel that's horseshit. I'll admit, there's definitely a classic rock vibe to their sound, but they make it feel modern, their first album was hard-hitting rock n' roll with crisp riffs and a knock-you-on-your-ass mentality, and what is so unoriginal about that? I maintain that these guys were doing their own thing and they were having a helluva time doing it... until recently I suppose. It seems pretty obvious that drummer Myles Heskett and bassist Chris Ross were quite pissed at Stockdale for reasons we will only learn of years and years from now, and even then those just might be rumors.

I look forward to seeing what each band member has got up his sleeve for future productions, but I worry nothing will ever achieve that classic feeling that debut album had. And to think... it'll be a couple years at least before we get a taste... that's a harsh realization right there.

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