I mentioned it in my review for their self-titled EP, and it bears repeating here again: Wolf Parade aren't doing anything that you haven't heard before. They do, however, have an uncanny knack for creating lo-fi tracks that scratch and crawl their way into your head. With a rough mixture of analogue synths, jangly guitars, yelping vocals, and competant basslines, the group works in much the same way that Modest Mouse did on their first couple releases. They take their rough charm and run with it, continuing the giddy momentum they hinted at on the aforementioned EP.
The disc opens with "You Are A Runner And I Am My Fathers Son," (one of two songs on the previous EP), then backs things off ever-so-slightly with the acoustic guitar and piano-backed "Modern World." Members Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner switch back and forth on lead vocals (with literally almost every other track) and it's worth noting again that the slightly drawling vocals of Krug remind me a bit of Beck when he's not in mellow mode. With "Grounds For Divorce," the group starts a steady ramp-up and the gritty guitar/synth mixture of the track alternates between marching verses and more lush choruses.
Those looking for the group to truly rock out need look no further than the one-two punch of "We Built Another World" and "Fancy Claps." The former blasts out of the gate with a blistering guitar attack before dropping back a smidge with quieter, synth-laced sections while the latter lets the synths run even more rampant, bolting through dizzying arpeggios backed up with a dance-attack rhythm section and chunky guitars. It's one of the best tracks on the album and one of the best they've ever created (in their short lifetime).
From there, the group slows the pace but keeps things rough and tumble, piling on little instrumental touches here and there and sometimes spitting out vocals well worth the sing-along. Another highlight is "I'll Believe In Anything," a track that is about as anthematic as the group gets, always feeling like it's on the cusp of something bigger and bigger as it unfolds like a string of gradually louder and more epic choruses. In a few places, the nearly fifty minute release sags a smidge and/or feels like the group is regurging a bit, but for the most part it's a highly enjoyable romp from a group who seems like they'd be a blast live. It bears repeating, Hail Canada!