Wolf Parade, Apologies To The Queen Mary

Wolf Parade, Apologies To The Queen Mary

How to do yourself no favors: send out a press kit where every article mentions Modest Mouse or Arcade Fire or both, and then mention both several additional times in the base text. Setting yourself up for comparisons to those bands is a recipe for disappointment, and indeed, on a first listen, this was a pretty disappointing listen. Lacking the out-there visionary parts of Modest Mouse or the straight into the sun majesty of The Arcade Fire, my immediate reaction was: well, why should I listen to this when I could listen to…oh, I don’t know, Modest Mouse? Or The Arcade Fire?

The short answer, which revealed itself over multiple listenings, is: because Wolf Parade are playing at a different game. I’m not sure exactly what that game is, but it’s one that’s a bit jagged, a bit propulsive, a bit elliptical, the slightest bit arty, and by turns indirectly and nakedly emotional (which maybe where the Fire/Mouse comparisons are fairest). The vocals have a quaver to them that will undoubtedly be a make or break deal for many, and by my ears they’ve backloaded the album with their better songs, which is never a particularly good idea for a first-time band trying to make an immediate impression. (I don’t know if there is a single, but “Shine A Light” would be my candidate; it certainly is making an appearance on my best of the year compilation CDs.) All of that’s dancing around what they sound like, and for a reason — I can’t still really pin down their sound, but it sounds very much like them, which is a good thing, and the more I listen to this album the more I want to listen to this album, which is the best thing a band can hope for. Recommended.

(Sub Pop Records -- 2013 Fourth Avenue, Seattle, WA. 98121; http://www.subpop.com/; Wolf Parade -- http://www.myspace.com/wolfparade)
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Tuesday, February 21st, 2006. Filed under Reviews.

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