She’s A Woman, You Know What I Mean

She’s a woman
You know what I mean

One of my mate Ste and my favourite lyrics right there, from the track ‘Woman’ on Wolfmother.

Yup I’ll take a rough guess at what you mean fella:

  • She’s more emotionally intelligent and empathetic?
  • She doesn’t spend her time pointlessly obsessing about her hobbies?*
  • Her skin is 25% less thick than a man’s due to lacking the effect of androgens?
  • She’s always right in arguments? even when she’s wrong.
  • Her sweat has a higher pH factor than man sweat?
  • She doesn’t religiously alphabetise her records?*
  • Women are the only primates who are busty all the time?**
  • Says she doesn’t want chips^ with her meal but proceeds to eat yours?
  • Throws underarm?
  • Has a total inability to fold maps back up properly?
  • Is just generally superior in most ways?

Who knows? it’s a complete mystery to me^^.  What isn’t though is just how hard and how brilliantly ‘Woman’ rocks out.  Just stick your brain in neutral and enjoy the ride downhill on the brilliant churning riff and, most exhilaratingly of all, some ace Jon Lord-esque organ from Chris Ross.

If you think, not incorrectly, that was rocktastic then brace yourself for pretty much my favourite rocker from the 2000’s ‘White Unicorn’.  Again forget about the lyrics, they’re just there to shape the vocal sound and just concentrate on the music and THAT FREAKIN’ GUITAR!!  The part where it dies down and then … and then … and then … Andrew Stockdale storms the castle walls with THAT RIFF is one of my favourite ever rock moments; it really is.  Wolfmother are retro rockers but ‘White Unicorn’ doesn’t really sound like anyone else, or even an amalgam of the greats it is their own little moment of utter genius, most bands don’t even manage that.

I remember the time around 2006 as being pretty flat in the rock cleavage landscape and I bought Wolfmother just for the chutzpah of the band’s name and the fact they were rocking a Frank Frazetta cover^*; the minimal nudity on which got them into trouble in the US, for Christ sakes people sort your priorities out! there are only two, strangely angled, boobs on show anyway.  A friend of mine at work was quicker off the mark than me and saw them in Liverpool in a small room the day before I bought the LP and rates it as one of his best gigs ever.  I saw them about 18 months later, in a much bigger room on their third go around of touring Wolfmother and they were pretty good but not totally into it, the original line up split not long afterwards and to my mind the band have only hit the heights very sporadically afterwards.

Look, I know I promised to call you …

At the time of Wolfmother though the band were firing strongly on all cylinders and all three are great musicians, Myles Heskett really standing out on drums for me.  I liked the fact that as well as being influenced by all the usual hard rock suspects some other very entertaining sounds enrich the record.  I’m particularly taken with ‘Love Train’ which sounds a bit like White Stripes gone funk rock, but in a very good way – the bass tone is so deep and luxurious you could doggie paddle in it.  Considering it was a rescued B-side ‘Love Train’ is a remarkably good track, I don’t own it but there is a great dance remix of it out there too – yes, I do know what I just typed there and it is true.

Another little shimmy from left field is the scuffling, stuttering garage riffola of ‘Apple Tree’, where Stockdale goes all Ozzy O in the middle bit before helter-skeltering it all to a frantic finish back in the garage via a heroic guitar solo.  Great inventive stuff.

I shan’t bore you with the ol’ track-by-track routine, but here are some 1537 highlights for y’all:

  • Chris Ross totally Rick Wakemanning his keys near the end of ‘Mind’s Eye’
  • The fact the melody on ‘Pyramid’ really doesn’t do what you expect it to.
  • That ‘Tales’ is actually called ‘Tales From The Forest of Gnomes’.
  • The Led Zep III gone busker sheen of ‘Vagabond’.

The band soared high with Wolfmother, never to be repeated by them again.  Whatever the reasons this is a mostly excellent, always fun debut album, with boobs on the front cover.  Amen.

754 Down.

*I concede that both these points may actually be the same point.

**as opposed to only during the nursing period.  True story.

^you might refer to them as fries, you strange foreign people, you!

^^as, ironically, are women.

^*whose Conan art, consisting invariably of bare-chested axe wielding barbarians and their E cup companions in chainmail bikinis, fired/fried my imagination as a kid to the point where I have developed a strong Pavlovian response, salivating uncontrollably at the mere sight of a massively muscled barbarian warrior.  Damn, something got cross-wired in there somewhere.

55 thoughts on “She’s A Woman, You Know What I Mean

  1. Great post, Joe… makes me want to listen to this one. Haven’t heard it in years and don’t actually think I do much as have the CD rip anymore (it didn’t hold my attention for too long after the first couple of listens and the second album put me right off them).

      1. … awrite then. As long as it’s just eensy -wincey tiny-winey. Why didn’t you just say that in the first place?

  2. This album was like lightning in a bottle. Everything about it was perfect. For me Ross and Heskett are what gave the album that certain kind of magic. That rhythm section, along with the keys, gave that album a truly vintage, raw vibe. Personally I thought everything after this debut was terrible.

    And that album cover? Damn perfect.

  3. Congrats on a mighty fine post! I fully agree with you – I have this album here (on an evil silver disc) yet have not written about it thus far. Why? Fair question.

  4. This is truly one of your great posts, Joe…and you’ve already established a high level of quality so that’s saying a lot. So many possibilities for what they “mean”…and you nailed them all. I love these guys, especially this record, but apparently some people think their retro-rockin’ sound is ridiculous, notably a Mr. Mike Patton (best known for Faith No More). He rips them apart in this clip. I don’t agree with him but it’s still pretty amusing:

    1. Rich, thank you that’s really kind of you. Women, tricky things aren’t they? I think I covered all the important stuff there.

    2. ‘I don’t even have to say it, you got ears’ … wow!

      That really is a bit of an insane stare Mr Patton is sporting there too.

      1. I have not seen them live. I would like to even with the lineup changes. I actually like thr new album better than most people it seems.

        As for the new Danzig album cover, you may want to moob all of the furniture first before listening.

  5. Brilliant post and I love “Woman”. I hear it on the radio frequently but this isn’t one of the Wolfmother albums I own!

    Well done on a fine post.

      1. I know I haven’t. But I bought a Kiss reissue on the weekend…and dude…it was legit a different listening experience from CD. In ways I can explain with science, and in ways I cannot.

      2. I knew it was, I knew that. But when it’s an album you have played 1000 times on CD…it can be surprising when an LP is a different experience. It didn’t hurt that was it was a concept album and the first time I had laid eyes on a lyric sheet. It really was like lying down listening to a concept album in the old days.

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