Andrew Stockdale, the lead singer and guitarist of Aussie rock band Wolfmother, has gone solo, donned a beard and found a hat.
Much like with the music of Wolfmother, Stockdale continues to channel the gods of 70s rock with his new album Keep Moving, and he has left no metaphysical stone unturned clocking in a massive 17 tracks. Stockdale’s talent as an accomplished guitarist is undeniable and as such his playing has always been a driving feature in his music. He also holds that distinctive voice, comparable in sound to the Robert Plants of the world. In short, he was born to play rock music.
From the get go rock n roll oozes from every pore of Keep Moving. It reminds me of the Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin albums I used to borrow from my father growing up. The heavy-laden guitar, strong bass lines and symbol bashing coupled drive the album. Musically the songs rock, making you want to bang your head and wish yourself running about a summer festival. Lyrically, you can take it or leave it. At times there is a lot of obvious rhyming going on (I know songs rhyme), giving off the feeling that there are words for the sake of words.
That said it’s the music that is the star here, and he knows it. Every song is clean, perfectly layered and purposeful. What lets the album down is the mishmash of heavy rock anthems side by side with slower, and ultimately weaker songs. It is in the latter category that the song writing takes a hit, and it is all too apparent that Stockdale’s vocals are for screaming, not for serenading.
Keep Moving is a good offering from a modern rocker, but it’s two albums in one.
Changing his look and releasing an album under a different guise surely points to his willingness to create some distance and experiment, however, his Wolfmother roots will be hard to shake off. After all he is the only original member left in the band, which kind of makes him the band. You could posit that Wolfmother has disbanded and reformed as Andrew Stockdale.