It is time for another Album Ranking and this time we are doing the Aussie band Wolfmother. Since they only have 5 studio albums, I threw in the 2 solo albums by lead singer, Andrew Stockdale. I had to since Wolfmother is really just Andrew Stockdale anyway. The band broke on to the scene back in 2005 and brought back the old 70’s style metal with the black sabbath type lyrics, distorted guitars as well as some psychedelic wonderment. The band has had numerous line-up changes and the only constant is Andrew so we might as include his solo albums as they aren’t that too far removed from the Wolfmother sound.
For me, I love their sound as it brings back so many memories of the 70’s metal bands. I dig the distortion and that high pitched howl of Stockdale. The band wore their influences on their sleeves and although not original sounding, their sound felt fresh and alive. As a result, I wanted to bring you a list of how I rank their albums from Worst to First and away we go…
THE WORST – ‘NEW CROWN’ (2014):
‘New Crown’ was the band’s third album. They no longer had a label, the band was basically Andrew Stockdale as he wrote all the songs and he was the producer which is never a good thing as he didn’t have anyone to tell him “NO” which was needed on this album. The production quality was weak at best, the songs were dull, flat and lifeless and the songs weren’t that good overall. It is never a good thing to produce your own album, I can’t say that enough.
With the lackluster appeal of the songs and a poor flow throughout, there were still a few standout tracks that you need in a Wolfmother playlist. I would add “How Many Times”, “I Ain’t Got No” and “Enemy is Your Mind”. That is about it which is why it at the Worst level.
#6 ‘ROCK ‘n’ ROLL BABY’ (2019):
This is a strange out of the blue album. In fact, it was so strange it was released on December 29, 2019. Who the hell releases an album the week after Christmas??? Uh, No One!! The album was completely lost in the dead zone of music do to that release date. The album though wasn’t too bad. It had its moments and it helped that it was short at only 7 songs. The songs were also short at all around 3 minutes which is not typical for the band.
Although I liked it better than ‘New Crown’, it still falls short. I did like the opening track “Higher” and “Rock & Roll Survivor” as both songs brought back a little of the vibe from the debut album. I think it was an inconsistent album for me overall. Songs like “Hot Night” were too unusual and I didn’t dig the vocals as much. It was that mixed bag that kept this low on the list.
#5 ANDREW STOCKDALE – ‘KEEP MOVING’ (2013):
Andrew’s first solo album came out 2013 which I thought meant that Wolfmother was done, but the next year we would get the ‘New Crown’ album mentioned earlier. I think I would rather have this album over that one. As solo album goes, it is extremely ambitious as there are 17 tracks…yes…17! Way too many and for me is really the only shortfall for this release. it is just too long.
Andrew kept a little of the Wolfmother sound, but changed things up to which was a nice choice with songs like “Everyday Drone”. The first half of the album is more Wolfmother as seen with “Long Way to Go”, “Keep Moving” and “Somebody’s Calling” and the last half is everything else Stockdale had laying around which some worked like “Let Somebody Love You” and some didn’t like “Country” and “Black Swan”. All-in-all, pretty decent effort.
#4 – ANDREW STOCKDALE – ‘SLIPSTREAM’ (2018):
Now, Andrew’s next solo album, the 2018’s ‘Slipstream’ was a much better effort. At 9 songs, it was much easier to digest. Andrew Stockdale stated this album was all good vibes and good vibrations and you know what, I would agree with that statement. It has the sonics of Wolfmother, but the overall tone is a little more upbeat and happier, heck there is even a great song called “Sunshine”.
The best tracks are numerous with “Lazy”, “Slipstream” and “Hippy Hustle” which has some unique guitar playing. You can’t forget “Sweet Spot” or “Cherry Lane” either. This one is pretty solid and although not sure why he dropped with Wolfmother name, but either way, I’ll take it.
#3 – ‘COSMIC EGG’ (2009):
The band’s follow-up was almost a sophomore jinx as it wasn’t as good as the debut, but there were a lot of shining moments. They didn’t stray at all from the sound of the debut as it was more of the same. In fact, the album was probably heavier at times and even simpler at other times as the band even stated in interviews at the time. The album had issues mostly internal as the band was struggling to be a band and many internal conflicts happened during this album. Heck, Andrew is the only one left today if that tells you anything.
The album did have the songs with “California Queen” and “New Moon Rising” both picking up where the last album left off. There were four singles on this including “Black Round”, “White Feather” and “Far Away” which were all solid tracks. I also liked “Sundial” and the title track “Cosmic Egg”. I think the reason it is number 3 is that it was a consistent album as too many fillers, but overall a valiant effort as they had a tough act to follow.
#2 – ‘VICTORIOUS’ (2016):
When 2016 hit and a new Wolfmother album showed up I was excited despite the flop they had 2 years earlier with ‘New Crown’ (Flop in my opinion). Something told me this one was going to be great and a return to their sound. I think the cover was my first clue, but really it was the single and title track “Victorious”. It was everything I like about the band. The distortion of the guitars, the drum sound and Andrew’s vocals all said, Wolfmother was back and they were.
The album was a perfect 10 songs and with songs like “Gypsy Caravan”, “Eyes of the Beholder” and “City Lights” all took me back to the debut. But surprisingly, it was the other songs that didn’t harken back that were just as good. Songs like “Pretty Peggy” and “The Love That You Give” that gave me hope that Andrew had hit on something that would inspire the band to put out a ton more music. All I know is that this album was solid from beginning to end which hadn’t happened since the #1 album which is up next.
#1 – ‘WOLFMOTHER’ (2005):
The debut album exploding on to the scene and took the world by storm. It harkened back to when metal and psych rock was so big in the early 70’s. They were the Greta Van Fleet of their day except no one gave them a hard time. The world embraced it, cranked it and savored every morsel Wolfmother had to offer. It was a beast of an album and in my opinion one of the best debut albums of all time (not the best…one of them though). Andrew Stockdale’s vocals were immense and pure rock & roll. But don’t forget that guitar sound by Andrew either. His distorted sound was a true throwback. And for me it was also Myles Heskett’s drum sound that reverberated throughout this album.
Did it have song? Oh did it ever. Think gypsy’s and dragons and unicorns and every cliche in the book worked to a perfection. Songs like “Joker and the Thief”, “Dimension” and “Woman” all proved rock was still alive and kicking like it hadn’t in years. And that wasn’t all, you had “White Unicorn”, “Love Train” and “Vagabond” that kept the party rolling. In fact, I wouldn’t skip one song on this thing of beauty. It is an album I still pull out regularly and play again and again. It is that good!!
And there you have it, Wolfmother’s studio albums in order of how I rank them from the worst to the best. Let me know what you think. Where did we differ and where did we agree. What is fun about these list is how differently each album impacts people. What I like, you might not, but we like the same artist and that is all that matters really. And if as a result, you find something new, then my job is done!!!