After the worlds shortest break-up when egomaniac mother of wolves himself and front-man of Wolfmother, Andrew Stockdale called it quits and set out to embark on a solo career, the band are back with a surprise new album.
The band reunited only one month after Stockdale released his solo album, presumably realising nobody cared about him enough to sustain a solo career. In a desperate attempt to make people start saying his name in the press once more, the surprise album nobody was expecting has hit the Internet entitled New Crown.
First and foremost, the production on this album is fucked. In a desperate attempt to sound like an authentic 70’s psychedelic rock record, the band have pulled out all of the stops; lots of reverb, delay, fuzz and other various effects. Because nothing says authentic psychedelic record like a fuzz pedal and copious amounts of reverb, right?
The album sounds extremely disorienting, I really struggled to listen through from start to finish. If their intention was to make you feel as though you’ve just dropped a tab of acid and washed it down with a bottle of children’s cough syrup they’ve exceeded their goal. If their end goal was to make a coherent album that people will like, they’ve failed.
The whole time I was listening to this record I had to push myself to keep going. The intro track wasn’t too bad, however the album as a whole feels like one massive jam session. There is no structure, no consistency, just a mess of tracks that all start to sound the same after a while.
In an attempt to inflate his own self-worth and boost his ego even more, Andrew Stockdale even attempts to break the world record for most fuzz pedals used on a rock album. By the sounds of it, he’s using at least 5000 of them and running the vocals, guitars and drums through them. FUZZ EVERYTHING, slap that on a shirt and watch it sell more copies than this album will. Oh, and by the way, I was being sarcastic.
Lyrically Wolfmother has never been the poster child for engaging or thought-provoking lyrics and New Crown is no exception. If anything, this record showcases some of the worse song-writing in the bands career, even compared to even the likes of their spectacular failure of an album Cosmic Egg. The lyrics whilst desperately trying to embody the spirit of simplistic 70’s rock, are boring and lack imagination. The band might have had better luck releasing a nursery rhymes cover album.
Then there are the vocals. Stockdale’s higher registry vocals were cool when Wolfmother first hit the scene, but his lack of range or melody is his own downfall. On New Crown, the trend continues to get worse. Stockdale tries to do different things with his voice that end up coming out awkward and annoying. It is quite evident the only thing Stockdale can do with his voice is a lot of, “Heyyyy yeah yeahhhh’s”.
The only decent track on the album is the last track titled, “Radio” which at first I thought was a Black Sabbath cover song. It is probably the catchiest and less red cordial filled child like track on the album. It has some kind of structure, it’s well-written and Stockdale’s vocals are the least irritating.
I honestly don’t know what Wolfmother were thinking. They sound like a really bad pub covers band. I’m sure after a few beers or even live this album would be more enjoyable, but for a full-length from what was once really promising Australian band, it’s just not up to standard whatsoever.
If you want 70’s style rock done right, search Youtube for Stonefield. An all girl Australian rock band with members barely in their twenties absolutely killing it.
Rating: 4 out of 10.