7/3/08: Wolf Parade

At Mount Zoomer
Sub Pop Records
Release Date: June 17, 2008
Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Sounds like: Complex and challenging yet enjoyably listenable progressive indie rock

Being a relative Wolf Parade newcomer, I won’t attempt to dissect the intricacies of the band’s evolution from acclaimed first album Apologies To Queen Mary to follow-up At Mount Zoomer. I will say this ain’t no sophomore slump, though, and even with shades of Modest Mouse, Arcade Fire, and the finer moments of Tapes ‘n’ Tapes showing up in Wolf Parade’s sound, this Canadian quintet still has one leg firmly planted in the future of musical exploration. Recorded in Arcade Fire’s church/studio, At Mount Zoomer’s production is brittle and crisp, making the intense layers of the album hit on all synapses. The buzzing and rollicking opener “Soldier’s Grin” segues perfectly into the sparse yet dense Spoon-like rock of “Call It A Ritual,” while the slowed-down “Fine Young Cannibals” features a spectacular guitar riff and shimmery synths that place the track in timeless territory. The two epics on At Mount Zoomer, the six-minute “California Dreamer” and the eleven-minute “Kissing The Beehive,” may be a little too ambitious for all but the most seasoned musical connoisseur; to my untrained ear “An Animal In Your Care’s” lo-fi, early ‘80s fuzz stood head and shoulders above the rest of the album. So long as Wolf Parade sticks together, instrumental excellence wrapped in a thin layer of experimentalism should remain on the musical docket. And that’s good news for indie fans, even if you're still a few listens away from understanding what the Wolf Parade buzz is all about.

Myspace: www.myspace.com/wolfparade
Label: www.subpop.com/artists/wolf_parade
"Call It A Ritual" mp3

"Language City" mp3

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