Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer
Reviewed by Andreas on 20th August 2008
In recent years there has been a growing wave of Canadian bands appearing on the veritable alternative music "map" (and get ready for the usual list of bands), such as Arcade Fire, and...well... Wolf Parade. The "Parade" strode confidently into the hearts and record collections of a lot of early-twenties/late-teens boys in 2005 when their debut album "Apologies to the Queen Mary" was released and the band did several dates with the aforementioned Arcade Fire. The mix of synths, drums and jangly guitars accompanied by infectious melodies made the album a total win exclamation mark, and is without a doubt one of the latter day classics.
The sometimes duelling influences of Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner characterise "At Mount Zoomer" just as they did "Apologies...", though in my mind Krug won this battle too. Not that Boeckner's half-rootsy, quarter Bruce Springsteen-y, quarter improvised songs aren't good - opening track "Soldier's Grin" is an angular dance through a catchy beat, and "Language City" is the modern day hit more mainstream bands wish they could write.
Still, I will go out on a limb and say that it's Krug that will inspire crowds to dance and jump and create a nearly religious experience amongst fans. My favourite track on the album is Krug's mantra "California Dreamer", which starts off with an understated synth but ends in what I assume will be a rallying point for people that like to sing along at gigs. And, let's face it, most of the people that read this will be singing along. The closing 11-minute, funeral dirge of a popsong, "Kissing the beehive" is the second best moment on the album. Krug and Boeckner's combined strengths fuse into a jumpy number that actually doesn't get dull, even after the tenth minute rolls on by.
"At Mount Zoomer" is a strong showing for a second album, especially considering the relatively lack of repetition from their debut. The progression is not lost on this reviewer, oh no.
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