Wolf Parade

By: Jessica Grose

Indie rock and abject, spiritual depression go together like peanut butter and jelly: The danceable synthesizers and choruses of lively voices smooth like sweet jelly over the crunchy, convoluted harshness of the modern soul’s overburdened peanut butter. Songs like Wolf Parade’s “I’ll Believe in Anything” off the band’s debut full-length, Apologies to the Queen Mary, are a taste of this avant PB’n’J, with lyrics like “Nobody loves you and nobody gives a damn.” The same poor condition of Wolf Parade’s psyche is reminiscent of Modest Mouse’s “3rd Planet,” particularly where lead singer Issac Brock tells the listener, “Everything that keeps us together is falling apart / I got this thing that I consider my only art / Of fucking people over.”

The Wolf Parade/Modest Mouse connection is one that has been stressed over and over again, since Issac Brock was instrumental in getting Montreal natives Wolf Parade as his Sub Pop labelmates and he helped produce Apologies to the Queen Mary. But Wolf Parade is not merely a Modest Mouse imitator. The piano-based melodies on songs like “You Are a Runner and I Am My Father’s Son” sound more influenced by ivory rockers like Spoon and even Ben Folds.

Then there will be the inevitable Arcade Fire comparisons, which might be harder to shake. Wolf Parade, like the Fire, reside in Quebec. They’ve opened for Arcade Fire, and singer Dan Boeckner’s affected warbling even sounds like the Arcade Fire’s Win Butler. Wolf Parade also seems to be taking cues from the Arcade Fire with their ambitious, detail-heavy songcraft.

So Wolf Parade isn’t entirely original. So what? You know what else isn’t original? Peanut butter and jelly. But that doesn’t mean it’s not completely satisfying.

Wolf Parade is about to embark on a tour with their bedfellows and countrymen the Arcade Fire to support Apologies to the Queen Mary, and on September 17, the band will appear at New York’s Bowery Ballroom as part of the Spin-sponsored Sub Pop Records showcase during the CMJ Music Marathon.

Wolf Parade tour dates:

9/13, Denver, CO (High Dive)9/17, New York, NY (Bowery Ballroom – Sub Pop CMJ Showcase)9/18, San Francisco, CA (Warfield)*9/20, Portland, OR (Crystal Ballroom)*9/21, Seattle, WA (Paramount Theater)*9/22, Seattle, WA (Crocodile Caf�)9/23, Victoria, BC (Lucky Bar)9/28, Chicago, IL (Riviera Theater)*9/29, Minneapolis, MN (First Avenue)*9/30, Winnipeg, MT (Burton Cummings Theatre)*10/2, Saskatoon, SK (Odeon Event Center)*10/4, Edmonton, AB (Reds)*10/5, Calgary, AB (MacEwan Hall)*10/12, Fargo, ND (Great Northern Brewery)10/14, Chicago, IL (Schubas)10/15, Grand Rapids, MI (Intersection)10/16, Detroit, MI (Magic Stick)10/17, Toronto, ON (Horseshoe Tavern)10/21, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY (Bard College -Smog Building)10/22, New Haven, CT (Caf� Nine) (* with the Arcade Fire)

Link: Wolf Parade Official Website


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