Saturday, December 24, 2005

Wolf Parade, No Need for Apologizing

The Band that Changed my Year

The utter simplicity of Wolf Parade’s catastrophically good music will blow you away, as it did to me when I first discovered the band in late July. I have said it before about Wolf Parade and I will say it again, these guys blow me away. It obviously doesn’t hurt to have a modern indie rock king over see every move you make on your debut album though.

If you didn’t know the genius behind Modest Mouse, Isaac Brock, he also may also be credited for Wolf Parade, and more than just an influence. Isaac Brock (front man, vocals, guitars, writing, Modest Mouse) was the lucky guy that discovered Wolf Parade in their homeland of Canada (close to his Seattle based home) and knew that the brash sounding quartet had more than just potential. Brock introduced Wolf Parade into their record label, Sub Pop (they had points on me with their label before I even heard their music) and then even decided to produce their 2005 debut album, Apologies To The Queen Mary.

Dan Boeckner, Spencer Krug, Hadji Bakara, and Arlen Thompson (the four men of Wolf Parade) almost, some might say, got off easy. Even before the four attracted the attention of Brock with their 4 track EP the first show that our lovely Canadian musician friends ever even played was opening for their twin-in-sound, the Arcade Fire, in a club in Canada, sometime in 2003 after they formed. It’s a good thing Canadians are so damn nice, cause without their kindness to each other I’m afraid some of my favorite bands such as Arcade Fire, New Pornographers, Broken Social Scene and even Wolf Parade themselves might not exist.

Now to move onto the actual album, released in early fall of 2005, Apologies to the Queen Mary. Fan favorite songs such as “You Are A Runner and I Am My Fathers Son” return off of their self-titled four track EP and new songs such as instant hit (and my favorite) “Fancy Claps”. Good songs that fans, like me, began to know such as “Disco Sheets” don’t return but in their absence so many new awesome tracks over load any void there would have been. This is my album of the year. My Father decided to go with My Morning Jacket – Z as his album pick from 2005 and, however good and continually
impressive Z may be, I am sticking with my new comers, Wolf Parade.

Songs like “Grounds for Divorce”, “I’ll Believe Anything” and “This Heart’s On Fire” really put life into the album. Wolf Parade has almost an awkward sound at first, but they put everything together so nicely their sound becomes irresistible. The droning and screeching vocals (which almost seems like gibberish sometimes, but believe or not Wolf Parade actually have good lyrics too), the buzzes, pops and cracks from the keyboards, the guitars echoing into your ear and leaving a riff stamped on your brain. Then the drums (that are so easy, kick drum 1,2 and then massive snare pounds to keep beat through the song; with the occasional cymbal smash) but they somehow don’t leave anything more to be desired. Truly a 5 star album.

On an ending note, this is the best album I have heard all year, it tops my favorites of the new Franz album and even Elevator which Hot Hot Heat impressively pumped out and Wolf Parade even beats Kaiser Chiefs for my favorite new band of the year. Wolf Parade is the best band to come out of nowhere this year. These guys have been pounding over my headphones and through out my speakers for the past 5 months and they just keep getting better with every listen. I can’t wait until they make a trip through Michigan so I can go and see them and then most likely meet them, because however good they are they remain brand new and I would be incredibly surprised if they were headlining. Still, JET used to open for Kings of Leon and then JET blew up and a lot of people still don’t know who the Kings are. If Isaac Brock isn’t careful I think a certain Wolf is going to gobble up a little Mouse, and reap all the benefits.

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