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Wolf Parade

Bands with the word "wolf" in their name, or any variant thereof, can be expected to be somewhat ferocious, or at least conniving. Wolf Parade, though, makes an almost comic image out of the archetypal wolf (picture wolves waving from decorated floats), and the music follows suit. In Where the Wild Things Are fashion, Wolf Parade's Apologies to the Queen Mary is an imaginative romp through a bedroom-forest, creating mischief that is both cuddly and rough.

"You Are a Runner and I Am My Father's Son" begins with Decemberists-style dramatics on the drums and piano. "I'm not in love with the modern world," sings Dan Boeckner on "Modern World," along with an acoustic guitar (think Arcade Fire), but the band's music seems pleased enough with the musical innovations the modern world has made available: keyboards, electronic guitars, electronic noises, punk and rock structures. Hadji Bakara's keyboards give the songs their imaginative texture; on "It's a Curse," for example, the spacey noises and keyboard melody turn the song from just another exercise in slinky punk into something almost pop. The cute keyboard intro to "This Heart's on Fire" is a nice contrast to the Velvet Underground groove of the guitars and vocals. The band's more gleeful and lo-fi Modest Mouse homage (not surprising, as Mouse's Isaac Brock produced the record) is especially apparent on "Grounds for Divorce" and "I'll Believe in Anything." The songs' reoccurring images (ghosts seem to appear often, as well as fire) and catchy hooks are delivered slightly messily--a little bit feral, a little bit tame. The result is a heck of a lot of fun, this parade of wolves.

More by Annie Holub

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