Review ·

As a Montreal resident, I have to admit I have it pretty good. Not only am I super hip because Spin magazine says so, but I've also had the chance to watch the meteoric rise of recent media darlings such as the Unicorns and the Arcade Fire. Wolf Parade could be Montreal's next. As if being buddy-buddy with the Arcade Fire weren't enough to build up a buzz, Isaac Brock was so impressed with the four guys in Wolf Parade that he orchestrated their signing with Sub Pop and agreed to produce much of their debut. That album, Apologies to the Queen Mary, is due this fall, but the good people from Sub Pop, smart cookies that they are, have released this four-song EP to get people into a suitable tizzy in anticipation.

Featuring two tracks set to appear on the debut and two non-album B-sides, this EP is a quick and dirty introduction to the band. Opener "Shine a Light" chugs along with bouncy guitar riffs before it peaks with a keyboard explosion. "You Are a Runner and I Am My Father's Son" is cool and calm with its static-infused washed-out guitars. The band shows off its pop sensibilities in "Disco Sheets." With its infectious, handclap-filled chorus and new-wave groove, it's too bad this ass-shaker won't appear on the album. "Lousy Pictures," the other B-side, is the only real miss here, sounding too congested -- the keys, guitars and sleigh bell all vie for attention.

With the hype machine in full force, all the pieces seem to be in place for this to be a huge year for Wolf Parade: favorable write-ups in trend-setting publications, tours with current "it" bands, a coveted spot on the recent Believer magazine music-issue compilation, and an indie favorite producing your album. Still, hype can only get you so far. What this EP does for Wolf Parade is show that there's substance behind the accolades.

Video and pics of Wolf Parade performing at CMJ 2005

Prefix review: Wolf Parade [Apologies to the Queen Mary] by Austin L. Ray

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"You Are a Runner" mp3

Wolf Parade Web site

Sub Pop Records Web site

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