Andrew Stockdale once said.. “…you gotta go wild. you gotta rock out. … we’re always trying to get that kind of reckless abandon, out-of-body experience—where you just lose yourself to it.” If that’s what Wolfmother is after, then the band could definitely go home feeling Victorious after Friday’s show at Webster Hall.
The dimly-lit Marlin Room was in a rock and roll-induced euphoria during their show in support of their latest album, Victorious—a triumphant return of the heavy hitting, riff-centric sound that put Wolfmother on the map. Stockdale absolutely shredded, putting everything he had into the performance, and made his newly released material rock just as hard as his hits.
An uncharacteristically cerebral flash came over me during the show. I thought, “ok, how this guy decides to approach ‘Woman’ will tell a lot about him as a person.” After all, they’re here to promote a new album and have played that particular song probably thousands of times in the years since its release. Some artists go on strike—most notably Dylan, who decidedly never plays the same song the same way twice, as if to defy his fans. Not only did Stockdale perform that song (and several more off the first two albums, including “Joker & The Thief”, “Dimension”, and “New Moon Rising”) like it was the last rock and roll show on earth, but he literally bowed to the crowd afterward, beaming and humbly thanked us. Who the hell is this dude?
An artist who will surely go down in rock and roll history for his ability to mould a riff into the backbone of some of the most well-crafted songs of our time. Someone with a singular voice—as if he has built-in compression—that allows his vocal melodies to punch through his raw guitar and the thunderous bass of Ian Peres. He’s got a good thing going with drummer Alex Carapetis who totally embodies the type of carnal energy needed to really bring the songs to life.
“It was more of the same old sound” is something you can only say about a band like Wolfmother and mean it as a compliment. Sure, some of the new material might more overtly channel Sabbath (“The Love That You Give”, anyone?). Songs like “Baroness” or “Pretty Peggy” might be slightly more commercial than their fans are used to. But, you’ll have to search really hard to find something that is uncharacteristic of Wolfmother on the new album. Essentially, their sound is the same. Take it or leave it. It’s really Stockdale’s incredible talent for bending that sound to craft such a slew of memorable tunes that makes him what he is. An icon of rock and roll.