Or maybe it was the other way around: Assisted by three fresh recruits unlikely to tell their new boss no, Stockdale stretches his prog-metal legs on "Cosmic Egg," which with its lengthy guitar solos, trippy instrumental bits and overheated sci-fi lyrics seems more suited to genre enthusiasts than to Top 40 tourists. Given Stockdale's way with an economy-size hook, that's an unfortunate allocation of resources; too few of the dozen tracks here reach out and demand your attention the way older songs like "Woman" or "Dimension" did.
Some tunes are catchier than others: Opener "California Queen" has a leanly insistent two-note riff, while "White Feather" rides a heavy-funk groove. And as trippy instrumental bits go, well, Wolfmother's do the job; in "Violence of the Sun," for instance, there's a droning keyboard part that sounds like blood pumping through your brain.
Yet for all his laser-light-show aspirations, Stockdale's strength doesn't really lie in blowing your mind. He's more of a move-your-feet kind of guy.
-- Mikael Wood
Two stars (Out of four)