Hard to believe crazy-haired Wolfmother frontman Andrew Stockdale didn’t lead a charge out into the unforgiving desert to tune in and drop out for the Australian band’s sophomore effort. For all of Stockdale’s talk of kingdoms of the sun and rainbows, the cloud-summoning psych-rock freak outs contained in this fearsome Egg are as electrifying as they come these days. With formidable Tarzan yowls and face-melting guitar euphoria, the new incarnation of Wolfmother has created a towering inferno of most excellent epic grandeur, and the most consistently satisfying hard-rock record of the year. This is one volcanic beast of badass riffage, and I simply dare you to resist throwing up those horns to “California Queen,” “New Moon Rising,” and “Pilgrim” before breaking the Bic out to “In the Morning” and “Far Away.” I’ve yet to hear a record this year that gets my ya-ya’s off as hard as this one does. Hell yeah, Stockdale. Hell yeah. (Interscope) –Carrie Alison