Words by Tyler Rosen
Anyone looking for some Zeppelin/Deep Purple style old-school rock mixed in with some modern alternative should stay right where they are and look no further than Keep Moving. Andrew Stockdale, the creative force behind the previously disbanded but now revived Wolfmother, has delivered what is essentially the follow up to 2009’s Cosmic Egg, and despite bearing a different name, Stockdale’s third album contains many of the same elements that made the original group stand out in the first place. The blues inspired guitar riffs overtop the driving drum beats and occasional organ playing pays homage to the hard rock bands of the late 60’s/early 70’s, without feeling like a cheap imitation. This is helped by an alternative coat of paint that gives the music a fresh sound, appealing to to modern rock enthusiasts.
The opening track “Long Way to Go” does its job of grabbing your attention through some good bass grooves and catchy guitar riffs. Stockdale’s distinct vocals are just as strong here as they’ve always been, flawlessly transitioning from a low register to high pitched, Robert Plant sounding shrieks. He also channels his inner Mick Jagger on the title track, showcasing his full vocal range. Keep Moving has no shortage of upbeat, feel good tunes like “Long Way to Go”, “Somebody’s Calling”, and “Of Earth” (the latter featuring almost too much of Stockdale’s voice across the main riff), in addition to more mellow tracks such as “Suitcase (One more Time)”, “Country”, and “Everyday Drone” serving as the closer. There are even some fairly heavy moments on songs like “Meridian”, with a bridge that sounds like something straight out of a Mastodon song. The variety in tempo prevents the album from becoming too overbearing given its 16 full-length tracks, although this is a record that is probably best enjoyed in smaller doses.
While the majority of the album is reminiscent of early Led Zeppelin, the occasional organ appearance harkens back to 70’s Deep Purple. This is no more true than on “Year of the Dragon”, with organ playing that would make the late/great Jon Lord proud, despite the song’s goofy and pretentious lyrics. Again, these homages do not come off as pandering or uninspired due to the modern stylings of it all. The overall production creates the rough-around-the-edges sound that was prevalent in the 70’s while still sounding like a new release. Keep Moving is record that is accessible enough for modern alternative rock lovers while true enough to its old-school roots to win over even the biggest classic rock curmudgeons. It may not say Wolfmother at the top, but it is no less worthy of your attention.
© June 11th, 2013
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