Written by Fantasma el Rey
Coming from a land down under to rock the night away is Wolfmother, and if you can’t catch them live, then their new DVD is the thing for you. Please Experience Wolfmother Live is over an hour of the band keeping the classic rock sound alive and moving forward to reach a new crop of fans and hopefully turn them on to their influences. From the start you can hear that these boys were raised on rock with such big names as Jimi Hendrix, Cream, Black Sabbath, and Led Zeppelin.
After an intro by Jackass’ Johnny Knoxville, Wolfmother hits the stage and doesn’t stop their sonic attack until the last song. From the get-go, Chris Ross (bass/organ), Myles Heskett (drums), and be-afroed Andrew Stockdale (vocals/guitars) hit hard. You can hear all their influences right away, different band styles are prominent on a certain song but it all fades to black as you lose yourself in the tunes from their debut album. Yet far from mere imitation, Wolfmother sounds as if they could have stood next to those giants and made their mark.
From fast and hard-rocking gems like “Dimension,” “Apple Tree,” their big hit “Women,” and my favorite the funk-infused “Love Train” to the slower and darker tunes “White Unicorn” and “Witchcraft” their entire repertoire is loud, heavy, and thunderous. Keeping all classic rock bases covered the sprawling, psychedelic, chord-bending “Mind’s Eye” takes you on a “Chambers Brothers meets Pink Floyd” trip where you can close your eyes and imagine stars streaming past and the gates of doom up ahead as it all comes to a crashing reverberating close, ending with Stockdale playing from his back on the floor.
If the title of the DVD doesn’t bring Hendrix to mind and give you an idea of what’s in store, then the closing number “Joker & The Thief” should do it. The speed of the song makes it seem as if the band’s sound is spinning and winding up like a musical tornado with Stockdale cutting loose on his Jack White-esque vocal bleats while the drums pound to a stop behind him and the organ keys are mashed conjuring images of Ray Manzarek.
The DVD bonuses are just as awesome as far as the Wolfmother experience is concerned, containing three more live performances from the band from 2006, one from an awards show in Sydney, Australia, and two from the Brixton Academy in London, UK. The Brixton show is edited to look like a ‘60s/ early ‘70s rock film with its slip-screen mirror effect. The DVD also includes five music videos, “Joker & The Thief,” “White Unicorn,” “Love Train,” “Mind’s Eye” and “Women,” most of which consist of more live footage from the Mother playing around the world. “Mind's Eye” was filmed live from some desert location known as the Devil’s Punch Bowl and “Joker” features the Jackass crew on tour with the band and wreking havoc as usual where ever they might be.
There is a five-minute segment titled “Meet The Mother” where we get a chance to hear what the boys in the band have to say and how they describe their sound, which is interesting as they elaborate a bit on how a “rockin’ beat with a good, fun vibe” merges with a “sexual, psychedelic, sonic tsunami.”
All in all, Wolfmother is a good band and a good time will be had by all who watch this disc and you can bet your ass that next time these young gents are in town Fantasma, El Bicho, and my pal Fumo Verde will be there losing our mind's eye to the rocking good time that is the Wolfmother experience.