Wolfie! Here, Wolfie!

Wolf Parade are one of those funny old bands that, on first listen, you think “Oh yeah, angular, post-punk rockers with some arty bloke yelping on top”. But something grabs you, some little catchy tune, a drum roll here, a guitar lick there, and before long you’re humming along to it on the Tube even though you’ve not got your iPod with you that day, much to the consternation of your fellow travellers.

Wolf Among Wolves

What I’m trying to say is that they are Quite Good. And they’ve got a new album coming out next month, titled “Expo 86“. If it’s half as good as “Apologies to the Queen Mary” then I’ll be a happy man.

MP3: What Did My Lover Say? (It Always Had To Go This Way) by Wolf Parade

MP3: Shine A Light by Wolf Parade

Out on Jun 29th on Sub Pop!

Buy “Apologies to the Queen Mary” (CD)

Do I Know You? Sunset Rubdown and Wolf Parade

I was listening to the new Sunset Rubdown album “Dragonslayer” the other day, and a thought struck me. And that thought was: “This sounds like those weird, angular Wolf Parade songs with the chappie yelping theatrically over the top”. A few songs later and my mind was made up – this must be the yelpie Wolf Parade chappie. Then a little voice starts up in the back of my head, going, “You knew this, you know. You’re getting old”.

And so I am. Tell you what, it’s terrible getting old. When you have conversations, read, watch TV, listen to music, about 50% of it just goes flying off into the ether as though it never happened. And I’ve not even 40 yet. God knows what I’ll be like as a pensioner. And my memory was always selective at the best of times. Sigh.

Sorry, seem to have taken a bit of a detour there. Age, you know. Anyway, Sunset Rubdown are indeed the spinoff band of Mr Yelpie, Spencer Krug (that’s a top name). Hailing from Penticton, BC, Canadyland1, he’s a prolific fella, not only recording as Sunset Rubdown and Wolf Parade, but also playing with Frog Eyes, Fifths of Seven, and Swan Lake. As I might have already mentioned, he’s got quite the idiosyncratic style, and whilst this is largely held in check in Wolf Parade, contrasting nicely with Dan Boeckner’s more measured approach, in Sunset Rubdown it’s given full rein.

It’s not a bad record, you know, but you do wish Mr Krug would hold in some of his more dramatic touches, as on some songs, it just sounds like someone’s thrown a bunch of musicians together and told them to play the first thing that pops into their heads. Now, it takes a great deal of skill to do this trick, as TV On The Radio demonstrate, and it doesn’t always pay off here. But some tracks, like “Apollo and the Buffalo and Anna Anna Anna Oh!”2 do work, and rather well too.

But compare and contrast with “Grounds For Divorce” from Wolf Parade’s debut “Apologies To The Queen Mary”. When he’s reined in a bit, he produces far more listenable records. Let’s hope the next Wolf Parade album isn’t too far away. Not that I don’t like Sunset Rubdown, you know, but sometimes too much is too much.

1 Which, I was pleased to discover, is not too far from Kamloops, where I once spent a hugely amusing and drunken long weekend back in 2004.

2 Crazy title, crazy band.

MP3: Apollo And The Buffalo And Anna Anna Anna Oh! by Sunset Rubdown

MP3: Grounds For Divorce by Wolf Parade

Buy “Dragonslayer” (CD/MP3)

Buy Wolf Parade’s “Apologies to the Queen Mary” (CD)

Like my blog? Please help spread the word: Add To FacebookAdd To DiggAdd To RedditAdd To DeliciousAdd To TechnoratiAdd To StumbleUpon