Wolfmother died a gradual death. After releasing 2009s Cosmic Egg, the Aussie rockers went on hiatus and began to steadily lose members. In the end, only frontman Andrew Stockdale remained of the original lineup, and it was announced via Facebook that the third Wolfmother LP would actually be released as Stockdales solo debut, signaling the end of the band.
Although Wolfmother is gone, you can still hear echoes of their retro hard rock on Keep Moving. But only echoes– Stockdale loads the record with every single idea he had during the writing process. At 17 tracks (18 if you include the CDs bonus track), its just too damn long. Stockdale isnt a good enough songwriter to pull off a near-double album, smushing the satisfying rock ‘n roll moments (Meridian, Ghetto) between ill-conceived folk rock (Black Swan) and psychedelia (Suitcase). There are two forgettable tracks for every good one. That equates to a solid nine-song LP, had Stockdale exercised some self-editing.
The collective input of a proper band counterbalances that problem, so its easy to look at Keep Moving with contempt. Most listeners wont even reach its best song, closer Everyday Drone an ode to the malaise of the wake-work-supper-bed lifestyle and a rare moment of personal sincerity from Stockdale. Most of his lyrics are disconnected, tame, and universal. Without the punch of that original lineup behind him, a song like Long Way to Go leaves the listener with nothing– just empty words, the bass line from Beta Bands Dry the Rain, and a variation on the lick from the Rolling Stones Cant You Hear Me Knocking.
Keep Moving contains some solid tracks, but as an album, it fails. Frankly, its hard to listen to Andrew Stockdales screeching wail for an hour straight. Hes got plenty of talent and ability, but this record is just too uneven to properly display it. Hopefully hell learn from his mistakes; this is only his first solo endeavor, after all.
Essential Tracks: Meridian, Everyday Drone