Wolf Parade’s third studio LP attempts to straddle the ghostly and mesmerizing pop of their stellar debut Apologies to the Queen Mary and the sprawling, fuzzed-out prog of followup At Mount Zoomer.
The Montreal quartet is mostly successful in this balancing act, delivering a handful of thematically-obtuse pop missiles heavy on reverb and guitar, with trademark synths still lurking low in the mix. There’s plenty of Queen Mary-esque verve and vigor; “Palm Road” is a delightfully skuzzy guitar-rocker buoyed by straight-outta-DEVO Casio lines, and “Pobody’s Nerfect” is Wolf Parade in fighting trim—a cacophony of gritty guitar, Moog, rumbling drums and crashing cymbals. Occasionally things get a little too wacky (“I had a vision of a gorilla / And he was a killer, a killer!” co-frontman Spencer Krug yelps on rollicking closer “Cave-O-Sapien”) but you can hardly fault the band. Their weirdness is eminently infectious and, as always, theirs’ alone.