Wolf Parade Wolf Parade EP (EP #3)

[Sub Pop; 2005]

Rating: 4/5

Styles: indie rock, Canadian indie, lo-fi
Others: Modest Mouse, Arcade Fire, Frog Eyes

It appears that I have the honor of being the first TMT writer to review a Wolf Parade record, yet another Canadian band -- from Montreal, no less -- to generation boatloads of buzz over the border and across the sea from their homeland. This EP is the third appetizer provided by the band to lead up to their Sub Pop full-length debut due out in September, and anyone who's heard these teasers (which, really, probably add up to the majority of the LP anyway) is likely chomping at the bit by now. The band's first four-song disc was their most lo-fi and was highlighted by the slow-burning "Dinner Bells," six and a half minutes of a very simple but remarkably compelling guitar figure and Spencer Krug's ever-ragged, emotive vocals. The band followed up their first EP with an even stronger six-song effort, which covers the broadest range of their sound to date, including the shout-a-long "Dear Sons and Daughters of Hungry Ghosts" and another beautiful, plaintive dirge, "The National People's Scare."

On their third EP, Wolf Parade takes another baby step away from the muddy sonic fields of their debut and get just a touch more accessible. Each of Wolf Parade's four songs are among their catchiest -- "Shine a Light" and "Lousy Pictures" are Wolf Parade's meat and potatoes. The songs are loud, urgent, original, and (at least this time) lyrically comprehensible. "You are a Runner, And I Am My Father's Son" is even harder-hitting and represents the band at their most Modest Mousey. The lyrics are vintage Brock surrealism: "I'll draw three figures on your heart / One of them'll be me as a boy / One of them'll be me / One of them'll be me watching you run / Into the high noon sun / Farther than guns will go." "Disco Sheets" is a synth-driven workout that sounds like new Modest Mouse recorded by old Modest Mouse, if you can grok that shit.

Love it or hate it, Wolf Parade is going to be big. More accessible than Frog Eyes, more harder-rocking than The Arcade Fire, and dirtier than the oft-mentioned (I'm really sorry) Modest Mouse is nowadays, the only thing left in question about this band is how much of their first album we have yet to hear. The way they're batting now, though, is enough to satisfy just about anyone.

1. Shine a Light
2. You are a Runner, and I am my Father's Son
3. Disco Sheets
4. Lousy Pictures

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