Wolfmother was first issued in Australia on 30 October 2005 through Modular Recordings. Prior to its release it was played on high rotation on radio station Triple J, and as a result was the featured album of the week starting 28 October, won both the inaugural J Award and the listener's choice Album of the Year. It also contributed a record total of six songs to the Hottest 100 chart, of which the highest was "Mind's Eye" at #6. By 2007, the album had been certified five times platinum and had peaked at #3.
Upon its release, Wolfmother received mainly positive reviews from critics. It was named 15th greatest album of 2006 by Rolling stone Magazine. The album's sound was compared to such 1960s and 1970s hard rock and heavy metal bands as Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, as well as more modern bands including Queens of the Stone Age and The White Stripes, though this led some reviewers to go as far as accusing the trio of "ripping off" such bands.Q were somewhat less critical, describing the music as "Far from rocket science, but immense fun nonetheless".Total Guitar gave the album 9/10, describing it as "ruddy marvellous", adding that it "can't fail to bowl you over". The Record Review also praised the band and its debut, remarking that if they "continue to produce such epic songs and memorable riffs, there’s no doubt they will be at the forefront of rock and roll for years to come."
Following the release of the debut, Yahoo! critic Rob O'Connor noted them as number 15 on his list of 'The Greatest Australian Acts' on his 'List of the Day' blog. Furthermore, he compared their sound to be more reminiscent of psychedelic rock bands like Blue Cheer, Toe Fat Revival, Bloodrock and Frijid Pink, rather than comparing them to straight forward hard rock bands like Black Sabbath.Lars Ulrich of Metallica fame has gone on record as a huge fan of the debut, noting their debut to be "awesome", and that following its release, he would listen to it "every day". In 2009, the song "Vagabond" was used in the movie 500 Days of Summer. The song "Apple Tree" was used in the trailer for The Hangover Part III. The song "Dimension" was used in season 3, episode 16 of House.
The album's engineers have also been criticized for participating in the loudness war.
The album has sold over 1 million copies worldwide.