Release Date: Jun 17, 2008
Record label: Sub Pop
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
Where Apologies showcased a young, energetic band still searching for its sound (with the production help of Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock), Mount Zoomer features the same outfit harnessing all the things that made its debut so appealing, but with a conscious effort to avoid rewriting the same record. The overall feel is less exuberant and more patient, with drummer Arlen Thompson handling production duties at his own Mount Zoomer recording studio. The arrangements seem to be better thought out, as well; the guitars function more as melodies or lead parts than rhythmic elements, and the keyboards occupy a higher (or at least equal) place in the mix.
With eight side projects split amongst Wolf Parade’s five members, some wondered if the guys were spreading their musical talents a little thin. Thankfully, At Mount Zoomer is a formidable collection of catchy indie art-rock that won’t disappoint fans of their acclaimed debut. With songwriting duties evenly shared between vocalists Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner, Zoomer’s peaks are opener Soldier’s Grin, the delicately melodic Fine Young Cannibals and the upbeat track The Grey Estates.
Wolf Parade’s Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner are determined to leave their mark on the world. It may have been a few years since the first Wolf Parade album, but that’s certainly not due to laziness on their part. It’s amazing that they even find time for Wolf Parade in among their busy schedules with Sunset Rubdown and Handsome Furs, but here they are with album number two, the sweetly melodic At Mount Zoomer.Like many albums written separately by two distinctive songwriters (see Spacemen 3’s Recurring for an excellent example of this), At Mount Zoomer is a collection of songs that don’t slot together seamlessly.
It’s always an advantage for a band to have more than one principle songwriter. In Wolf Parade composing duties are split evenly between Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner. As far as which is the stronger force here, it’s hard to tell. Their interplay was key in the success of their first album, Apologies to the Queen Mary.