Release Date: May 17, 2016
Record label: Self-released
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
Review Summary: Back in flannel. Cynical cash-in or a genuine attempt to get some long dormant creative juices flowing? Reunion events like Canadian indie rock legends Wolf Parade’s five-night stand this week at New York City’s Bowery Ballroom could be taken both ways; at this point, the difference between either is practically negligible when comebacks are an expected part of the life cycle of any band that has had a modicum of success, cultish or otherwise. And anyways, can a return after a six-year hiatus be considered an actual reunion? When I reviewed Expo 86 in 2010 for this site (hold on a sec while I vomit everywhere), I wrote about the feeling of well-loved bands not standing up to the colossal structures they build up in your youth’s mind, nostalgia not only softening the edges but making everything seem bigger, better – and whether that unfairly taints everything after.
The year has yielded a handful of reunions and comebacks, but Wolf Parade were perhaps the most unlikely candidates to get back together. It’s not that their breakup was the stuff of legends — there were no smashed hotel rooms or inter-band fist fights. It’s just that everyone seemed way too busy to even consider it. In the five years since their 2011 breakup, band leaders Dan Boeckner and Spencer Krug have separately released an impressive six albums since their end: Krug through his Moonface moniker and Boeckner through his band Operators and Divine Fits, a side project he started with Spoon’s Britt Daniel.
“Is that a cardboard wolf?” “Gonna give it to Spencer during the encores.”. “Stupid. Love it.”.
Six years following their hiatus, Wolf Parade have returned to the land of the active, with a fresh EP in tow. Though their output has become increasingly divided between duelling frontmen Dan Boeckner and Spencer Krug, their latest release marks the band's most cohesive effort since their debut album, Apologies to the Queen Mary, while also bearing the mark of lessons learned in the decade since. Pairing Apologies' speed and anxiety with poppier song structures, the tunes themselves forge their own identities within the larger Wolf Parade canon: "Mr.
In a literal sense, Apologies to the Queen Mary has become 2005’s most essential record; shorthand for a set of qualities that defined a year considered to be indie rock’s artistic and cultural zenith. If you’ve been nostalgic for those times—and it seems like plenty are—it’s easier than ever to empathize with an already wearied Dan Boeckner when he slurs his first words on Wolf Parade’s debut LP: “I’m not in love with the modern world. ” And yet, the hyperspeed production, distribution, consumption and coverage of music allows Wolf Parade to make a comprehensive “triumphant comeback” despite only taking six years off.