Wolfmother were once the pioneers of a new surge of Aussie rock sound and now 10 years after their acclaimed debut, Victorious marks their latest venture. Each song has a distinct voice; some just stand stronger than others. From the big boned, driving force that is title track Victorious, to the psychedelic Happy Face with its buzzing harmony and stoner rock vibe. But with strong tracks unfortunately come ones that are just lacklustre, acting as fillers, with much less character in comparison to the key players on Victorious, like the repetitive drone that is Baroness. Many other tracks follow suit, barely making an impact when listening through. Before the pace slows down and front man Andrew Stockdale, and overall creative mind behind the album, presents Pretty Peggy, a love song of sorts, taking an uninspired beat and delivering a monotonous chant, stands out for the wrong reasons.
But picking up the pace, and instilling some hope is City Lights, an almost throwback to the infectious and energetic tunes of their formation. Taking a catchy melody and layering it with metallic riffs to showcase that distinct Stockdale croon, as he belts out, “See the magic shining in your eyes, and that you’re looking for tonight” / “You forgot about those city lights.” With Gypsy Caravan truly taking the spotlight of the entire album, with it’s electric arrangement and powerful delivery being utterly dynamic and multi dimensional, outshining many of those tracks that just feel uninspired.
With their big boned approach to hard rock these tunes might achieve a new life once played in front of an audience, but, Victorious just isn’t as ‘Victorious’ as its title might suggest. Instead it’s more of a collection of songs that are stuck in the shadow of the music Wolfmother once created, unable to reach the high standard that they set for themselves.