Wolfmother have been surprising fans with their on/off again status and series of ‘secret’ live shows in the last few months.
Last night, they dropped their biggest surprise yet: a brand new studio album.
Ahead of a pair of headline shows booked in Melbourne and Sydney in a week’s time, Andrew Stockdale and co. released posted a link on the group’s Facebook page that links to the new record on the Wolfmother Bandcamp page, available as a digital purchase as well as a full online stream.
The new 10-track set is titled New Crown and with its sludgy blues rock riffs and Black Sabbath rock semantics, it harkens back to the band’s self-titled 2005 debut rather than 2009’s Cosmic Egg.
It’s best described as a back-to-basics record, with Wolfmother having pared back to a three-piece featuring bassist/keys player Ian Peres, drummer Vin Steele, and of course, afro’ed frontman Andrew Stockdale.
New Crown also features a bunch of tracks – such as ‘Tall Ships’ – that have already been roadtested by the power trio in a series of ‘reunited’ live shows at the tail-end of 2013 following what can best be described as a confusing year for Wolfmother fans.
Last year Stockdale declared he was retiring Wolfmother in favour of pursuing a solo career for his new album Keep Moving featuring many of the same Wolfmother members. Originally touted as the third Wolfmother record, Keep Moving leaked online last March. Shortly after, Stockdale booked an Australian tour to launch his solo release only to axe the 14-date run just one day before it’s kick-off in favour of international dates.
The US shows were then booked as Wolfmother gigs, with Stockdale calling the band’s split “a lie” – just three months on from Wolfmother’s “last ever” shows in April opening for Aerosmith.
Despite the confusion, Stockdale edged Wolfmother back into the limelight with the series of lower-key headline shows in Byron Bay and Sydney last November, airing material for what would become New Crown.
Wolfmother also have two Australian headline dates – playing Melbourne’s Corner Hotel then Sydney’s Oxford Art Factory – before trekking off to the US for a series of festival slots in May and June.
Wolfmother Australian Tour 2014 Dates
Monday 31st March – Corner Hotel, Melbourne VIC
Wednesday 2nd April – Oxford Art Factory, Sydney NSW