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The Loggia playlist: Wolf Parade – Apologies to the Queen Mary (2005)

Verdict: 4 out of 5 bands with “wolf” in their name

Much like its title and cover art, the opening songs of Queen Mary are a little hard to parse at first. But as it grows on you, what started as discord gradually opens up into a very unique and unforgettable sound. Those familiar with Isaac Brock—the lead singer/songwriter of Modest Mouse—will instantly recognize his influence on Wolf Parade’s sound from the producer’s seat. Think “The Lonesome Crowded West,” but with less country twang and with the howling fury turned up to 11. It’s clearly a very emotional album, but one that owes its stylistic debts more to 19th Century Romanticism than teen angst. In a way, it’s almost fitting that the band fashioned their debut as an apology for breaking the ballroom doors of an ocean liner (the titular Queen Mary) in a violent séance. Now if that’s not rock and roll, I don’t know what is!

Wolf Parade use their guitars to produce a sort of percussion that is at once loud, driving, and elegant in its simplicity. The synths on “I’ll Believe in Anything” sound like a Commodore 64 as interpreted by Crystal Castles: fun, cheeky, and cool at the same time. This sound creates the perfect complement for Boeckner and Krug’s wonderfully disjointed falsetto. To call it “singing” almost misses the point, as Wolf Parade succeed at conveying raw sound and emotion as much as poetic meaning. While the words are at times a little hard to make out, there’s lyrical complexity buried within Queen Mary that rewards repeated listening. It’s a great record for both the start and end of a good night in that regard. No easy trick, but it makes Queen Mary something to definitely fist-bump along to either with friends or in private.  While their songwriting can get bit tedious and intense at times, Wolf Parade earns their right to self-indulgence by channeling their manic energy into an album that rocks out consistently from beginning to end.


The Highlights:


-”Shine a Light”

-The dueling aristocarast in the music video for “I’ll Believe in Anything”

– Great for sloppy sing-alongs



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