Aussie rockers Wolfmother came close to splitting last year when two of their original members quit. However, lead singer and Robert Plant wannabe Andrew Stockwell regrouped the band for album number two, although he might as well not have bothered - it's another drab, unoriginal pastiche of a '70s blues/classic rock act. Avoid.
No offence to any Aussies who may be reading, but Australia is often seen by some as a musical backwater due to its geographical isolation. In recent years, that estimation has lost weight with the high volume of quality acts from Down Under: Empire of the Sun, Pivot, Howling Bells just a few excellent acts who've enjoyed success outside their native continent.
For every innovative band, though, there's a Jet. Or a Powderfinger. Or, dare we say it, a Wolfmother; bands who thrive on classic rock and perennially strive to be the next AC/DC - or in Wolfmother's case, Led Zeppelin. The band's 2005 debut threw them into the world's rock arena with a half-dozen power chords and a lot of hot air, but if Andrew Stockwell and co. found fame, they didn't find happiness. Stockwell was left high and dry by his bandmates last year, and consequently had to gather a new bunch to form Wolfmother Mk. II for their second album.
For all purposes, however, they really shouldn't have bothered. 'Cosmic Egg' sticks to the same rigid rulebook as their debut suggested - cram as many unnecessary guitar solos, as many dated song blueprints and as much Robert Planet-esque shrieking in as possible, with an end result of 0% originality.
Sure, if you're into energetic pub rock bands with tight jeans and big hair, you might find something to latch onto here: 'In the Morning' is one of several songs that start quietly before building to overblown riffery, 'Cosmic Egg''s tempo is suspiciously similar to that of Battles' 'Atlas', and Stockwell's falsetto on 'Phoenix' is undeniably potent.
Nevertheless, 'Cosmic Egg' mostly comes across as a turgid, futile and samey attempt at claiming the dubious honour of Kings of Classic Rock. For people who proudly wear their Urban Outfitters-bought Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath t-shirts only.