Wolfmother (Island)

After he jettisoned two-thirds of Wolfmother’s line-up earlier this year, pack leader Andrew Stockdale had a lot to prove with second album Cosmic Egg, namely: who needed those two liggers anyway?

Having pretty much written and recorded Cosmic Egg on his own, it certainly rocks harder than Wolfmother’s first LP.

As ever there are plenty of nods to rock’s canon – The Doors and Guns ’N’ Roses are both lovingly referenced, but it’s Led Zeppelin who provide the template for the grandiose riffs and cascading key changes on such stormers as California Queen, In The Morning and 10,000 Feet.

Sadly, Stockdale’s lyrics, very much a weak point on the first album, reach new levels of inanity here, bringing to mind Flight Of The Conchords’ hilarious hobbit-rock send-up Frodo, Don’t Wear The Ring.

But perhaps Wolfmother’s bigger problem is that they will inevitably be compared to Page ’n’ Plant, and will inevitably come up short.

ALISON GRINTER