Why Wolf Parade is apologizing to anyone is beyond me. It’s the people who should be getting on their knees, repenting after what Wolf Parade released Tuesday. Masterpieces like Apologies to the Queen Mary only come around once every Moon & Antarctica.
Yes, that’s a Modest Mouse comparison, and considering Mr. Brock and company played Dr. Huxtable in the studio, it should come as no surprise. The influence shows, and this is a very good thing. They show a refined attention to layering and shift momentum appropriately and accessibly.
Dan Boeckner and Spencer Krug tag-team it at the mic, telling stories of family evolution and decay, off-kilter love, futures sizing up with pasts and general disordered hope. “I’ll Believe in Anything” is the album’s finest track, one of those ineradicable songs you’ll be untuning your voice to sing. Oh, and you’ll sing it for years. It’s your ashamed spirit clapping its hands and your inner hipster crying for its soul.
The next song, “Dinner Bells,” is a march toward inevitable death, accompanied by a hallowed synth, curious distortion and Krug acting as a declarative soothsayer. The drums tell of something gone terribly wrong. I think they sunk the Queen Mary at last year’s ATP festival.
These ears detected only one blunder in Apologies to the Queen Mary. The album’s final track, “This Heart’s on Fire,” is Wolf Parade trying a bit too hard to be Wilco, lying belly up as an appropriate ending. They do so much to place doubt in humanity, though, that you’re almost relieved they’re human.
So far, the only other band missing from this review is the Arcade Fire. There, I guess I did it. If you like the Arcade Fire and consider yourself a fan of essentially essential music, hurry and go buy this CD. Go. Now. You’ll understand by the third track.