This is not a record that should be bookishly analyzed. It’s a
record that begs you to call your friends and rant about how you feel
the Rock in your veins. But I don’t know you all that well. You wanna
get a drink or something?
Beer number one:
This is better. No need for dispensing with chit-chat or
pleasantries. We can just talk about the music. After all, when you
hear something as epic as the opening drum beat that begins the album
on “You Are a Runner and I Am My Father’s Son” and then hear the piano
that accompanies it, the only thing you can really say is “Listen to
that!” And when Spencer Krug’s creaky, often-high-pitched voice comes
in, it quickly becomes no wonder why Isaac Brock digs on these guys and
produced much of the album. The Modest Mouse influence is apparent but
in no way detrimental to Wolf Parade’s sound.
Beer number two:
Aw, come on. Don’t look around the room like you have nothing to
say. Must. Drink. Faster. Let the titans of booze rain down upon me
with their wisdom! What am I talking about? Better yet, what is King
talking about on “Grounds for Divorce” when he says, “I had a bad, bad
time tonight”? Some of these songs are so catchy that you won’t notice
the gloomy themes that bubble up from time to time. There are ghosts
lurking in these songs, and if you listen closely, you can hear them
drifting behind that one door you’ve always been afraid to open.
Beer number three:
You like the Arcade Fire, right? Everybody does! Well, except for me
and like three other people on this planet (seriously, I’m keeping
count). I might as well let it all out since we’re being honest here.
But, yeah, these four Montrealites have toured with them. I feel like
Wolf Parade is a logical extension of what a band like the Arcade Fire should
be, if that makes any sense. In fact, guitarist Dan Boeckner has
moonlighted on guitar for the nauseatingly hyped band, and drummer
Arlen Thompson also did some of his pound pounding on one of Funeral‘s
tracks. If knowing that makes you go buy this record and listen to it,
then fine, that’s what it takes. Why are you so difficult to convince?
Sorry. I’m going to order another.
Beer number four:
Inspiration strikes! This here press release that came with the
album is perfect. It puts into words the nonsense that is this
transcendently, deceptively simple rock ‘n’ roll album. I don’t know
why I brought a press release into a bar. Don’t ask so many questions.
Throughout this piece of cardboard, a ridiculous conversation goes on
between the members of Wolf Parade (who are all drunkhow appropriate),
Winn Butler posing as God and the aforementioned Brock. It might be the
easiest way to explain (or further obfuscate) Apologies to the Queen Mary.
In fact, let me just read this quote to you: “And so together the four
of them made sweet nonsensical music that sounded like a bullfight,
only where the bull is a gorilla and the matador is a robot
precariously holding a baby and all the spectators are eagles and
whales with laser beams fore eyes and everybody cries when the gorilla
dies. Oh!” Bullfighters, gorillas, babies, oh my! Sorry, I’m a little
buzzed. But hark! “It’s a Curse,” especially when played as loud as
we’re listening to it now, wipes away the weirdness.
Beer number five:
“Sometimes we rock and roll/ I’d rather stay at home.” That’s from
“This Heart’s on Fire,” and it’s the best lyrical couplet I’ve heard
all year. I’m feeling random. If only Hunter S. Thompson would’ve tried
rock criticism to a further extent than just talking about Bob Dylan a
lot. Then again, maybe that was why Lester Bangs was plopped down on
this planet. I bet he would’ve liked Wolf Parade, and you should too. I
just tried to drink my beer without opening it. Did you put something
in my last one? What does it all mean? Oh, come on, do you really have
to go? All right, I’m going to finish this beer and maybe a couple
more. At least I have Wolf Parade to keep me company.