Australian rock band Wolfmother started strong with the release of their self-titled debut album. No succeeding album has be able to reclaim that initial spark, and the band’s latest release, “Victorious,” is a lackluster album at best.
It is hard to pick out any songs on the album as all but two sound nearly identical. The first stand-out track is the title track for the album, and what really sets it apart is it’s length. Like every song on the album except Pretty Peggy, Victorious features driving riffs in the style of 1970’s Rock legends such as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin. What kills each track are the vocals and lyrics. Singer Andrew Stockdale’s high pitched, auto-tuned, whining voice against the stark riffs is genuinely a chore to listen to. Furthermore, the lyrics are devoid of substance and the chorus in each song is so often repeated that listeners have a hard time getting to the end of each track.
What sets Pretty Peggy apart from the rest of this album is that it is the only acoustic track on the album. Stockdale’s singing is less high-pitched, thus making it more bearable. However, this song is not the album’s saving grace by any means. Rather than sound like yet another 1970’s Rock song, it seems to fit in more with contemporary acoustic Alternative Rock such as Imagine Dragons.
The only average track on this album is Gypsy Caravan. It clearly draws on the band Steppenwolf as it begins with a simple driving beat, and then in about the middle of the song, there is a guitar and keyboard interlude followed by about a minutes of distorted repetition of the chorus.
For those who can stand to listen to Stockdale’s sad imitations of Robert Plant and Ozzy Osbourne, this album is a study in simple, non-nonsense riffs for the guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards. The Love That You Give, Victorious, The Simple Life, and Gypsy Caravan all start off promising with strong instrumentals, and later rhythm changes in these songs are also tight. It is clear the instrumentalists work well as a cohesive unit, but their efforts are crushed by Stockdale’s wailing.
“Victorious” shows that Wolfmother would do well to find a new singer and songwriter as the instrumentals are solid but the vocals and lyrics are hard to listen to. Due to these issues with the vocals, this album earns a 1.5/5.