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Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary (Cover Artwork)

Wolf Parade

Wolf Parade: Apologies to the Queen MaryApologies to the Queen Mary (2005)
Sub Pop Records

Reviewer Rating: 4.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: RyanMRyanM
(others by this writer | submit your own)

It's safe to say there's been enough buildup surrounding the release of this album to fill in any lesser album, but where Apologies finally satisfies in ways earlier releases couldn't is in perhaps the simplest of ways: amount and variety. Not that past releases haven't been good -- they were -- or .
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It's safe to say there's been enough buildup surrounding the release of this album to fill in any lesser album, but where Apologies finally satisfies in ways earlier releases couldn't is in perhaps the simplest of ways: amount and variety. Not that past releases haven't been good -- they were -- or engaging, but there is only so far twenty minutes of music can take you. Finally tackling a full-length (albeit one that isn't necessarily lengthy either) leaves Wolf Parade with much more room to expand their sound and fully realize the nuances that can bring opposing pieces together.

Granted there is nothing inherently special about Apologies, and while it's nearly obligatory to reference Modest Mouse or the Arcade Fire, from which there are clear similarities, the successes here are far more subtly embedded within the interplay of the songs and their differences. "Same Ghost Every Night" is particularly epic, yet leads its unassuming delicacy into the pounding stomp of "Shine a Light." Perhaps even more surprising is how this adds to the latter, drawing a stark distinction between the emotions and the zeal for unassuming ramblings -- even if both are present in some sense in them all. So while the pieces are unassuming and somewhat expected, the linkage between them is what is ultimately satisfying. So while it's simple to attribute its likeability to the recent breakout successes from both styles, doing such is merely a cursory observation; in truth, the album continually plays off contrasting elements: The youthful exuberance of "You Are a Runner and I Am My Father's Son" or the mechanical delivery in "Modern World;" the atmospherics in "Dinner Bells" and the straightforward build through "I'll Believe in Anything."

With more time to expound on each section than in the past, Apologies sees Wolf Parade increasingly cognizant in controlling the back and forth movement, with plenty of time to switch off, thus fully realizing each section. The album is neither smooth nor deterred; while moments are choppy in their zeal for bounding effects, others smooth it out with slowly fashioned pieces that ease into the differing moods. The vocals are consistently strong, rough and steady, and they convey that underlying emotion without any manipulation and maintain an approachable edge. This multifaceted approach finds room for pieces that should seem foreign or at least somewhat intrusive surrounded by such contrasting approaches, which only enhances the flow of the album.

Apologies finally finds Wolf Parade coming into their own, allowing themselves time to fully expand their sound and manipulate the mood and approach to maximize the effect. And while it's not without its points of contention and the inevitable debate of which version of previously released songs is better, the ease with which they manipulate different approaches into an amalgam of focused, affective and catchy songs is impressive, and all the more satisfying.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
Weezer - WeezerDead to Me - Cuban BallerinaDescendents - Cool To Be YouDillinger Four - Midwestern Songs of the AmericasThe Weakerthans - Left and LeavingExplosions In the Sky - The Earth is Not a Cold Dead PlaceChoking Victim - No Gods / No ManagersDescendents - Milo Goes To CollegeThe Loved Ones - Keep Your HeartLeftover Crack - Mediocre Generica

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Marlon (October 26, 2005)

I happen to like The Hold Steady and Wolf Parade more than Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, but that's just me.

Anonymous (October 25, 2005)

Some people in the indie circles regard this as the second coming of Christ which it's not, but it's very good. Easily one of the year's best to date.

In regards to a few of the below posts. Yea, CYHSY is really really good too, but Wolf Parade is better then the Hold Steady or Stephen Malkmus (leastwise his solo stuff, Pavement of course, pretty much was the second coming of Christ). Most of you probably know this already, but I'd say if you are new to indie check out the Pixies, Pavement, Dinosaur Jr. and Guided by Voices before anything else (sorry, not a Sonic Youth fan). Bands from a time when indie 'rock' was actually rocked.

To a poster further below, I'd take CYHSY, Death From Above 1979 and the Shins over any of the bands you listed below (though I never cared much for the Arcade Fire or M83 either).

To all the people going on about "F Pitchfork this, F Pitchfork that", well you're just ignorant.

bemused (October 25, 2005)

The jury's still out on this band in my opinion. The music is good, the songs are decent and I like the singers syle-but the fact he mymics Isaac so much kind of annoys me.

If you're trying to decide between getting this or something else that has huge indie buzz surrounding it, definitely check out Clap Your Hands Say Yeah or the Hold Steady first or Stephen Malkmus for that matter. All 3 are better than this

-Chris-

Anonymous (October 24, 2005)

Way better than Wolf Brigade. WB is overrated crap; they make the Weakerthans sound like ORD-era JTB.

Vocally, both singers sound a bit like Isaac Brock, although there's a little something about their voices that grates on me after a few songs. The Modest Mouse/Arcade Fire-hybrid is a perfect description of their sound, though emphasis should be placed on AF. Wolf Parade lack the indie-redneck twang that made Modest Mouse's first two proper full-lengths so amazing.

Oh, and Wood/Water blows. 3.2 is a generous score for that snoozefest.

-Chinatown

Anonymous (October 24, 2005)

Are these guys anywhere near as good as Wolf Brigade?

Marlon (October 24, 2005)

"Fuck Pitchfork. Its one person's opinion. A number means nothing. Music means everything."

Since when Pitchfork ONE person? You're a fucking idiot.

rkl (October 24, 2005)

Wolf Parade - Apologies to the Queen Mary
Posted by Anonymous on 2005-10-23 14:33:40

can people please get a link to the band's website and some mp3s when they write a review. its just sheer laziness not to bother.

are you volunteering webspace? some bands dont have mp3s up, and hosting them to be perused by the folks of punknews.org would take some serious bandwidth.

poopypants (October 24, 2005)

I just got this album this weekend ; recommended highly by my 'indy' friend...i usually dont get too into what hes into but this is a great fall album. i like it a lot

paul

Anonymous (October 24, 2005)

Pitchfork only gave The Promise Ring's "Wood/Water" 3.2 so you really can't believe a word they say.

Anonymous (October 24, 2005)

Fuck Pitchfork. Its one person's opinion. A number means nothing. Music means everything.

Anonymous (October 24, 2005)

I've found an interesting thing about albums that get more than 8.0 on Pitchfork Media. Chances are, that the band is really good at first. But after a couple of weeks, the album becomes less and less interesting, until finally you shelf it for a couple of months before you dig it up, listen again, and sell it.

Proof:
Death from Above 1979
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
The Shins
The Arcade Fire (though I still like them)
M83

I wouldn't put blame wholly on Pitchfork, they probably get hundreds of thousands of discs to review, and it's easy to get over enthusiastic when you hear something poppy and novel after hearing so much of the same. No one can tell what album is going to become a classic, which is why I think one's best bet is to go with albums that are given between a 6.7 and a 7.8, these will be the albums that have some staying power, or at least take some time to digest before you make a final decision.

Proof:
Gorillaz
Ted Leo
D. Yellow Swans
Plot to Blow up the Eiffel Tower
Lifter Puller

LevitateMe (October 24, 2005)

Any Modest Mouse album that Isaac Brock sings on because that is the main similarity.

kenjamin (October 24, 2005)

He never really compared them to Modest Mouse. It was more like the influence was clearly evident. Which Modest Mouse album though? That's the real key.

localh (October 23, 2005)

so this is gay "indie" butt rock then?

Anonymous (October 23, 2005)

Good, but way overrated. To compare them with Lonesome Crowded West-era Modest Mouse (you know, when they were still a great band) is ludicrous.

-Chinatown

Anonymous (October 23, 2005)

Their EPs are better, but bare in mind that I fucking adore their second EP to no end. This gets an 8, then another point for "I'll Believe in Anything".

I accidentally posted this in the review of their third EP.

Rob.

Anonymous (October 23, 2005)

I agree with some of the comments. It's good, but not THAT good. I think Wolf Parade is over-rated, but they're still decent, and they're better than The Arcade Fire, especially their live show (which I highly recommend).

Anonymous (October 23, 2005)

saturday aint just for oldies no mo? thats good, some of the oldies were bad....was that what was displayed in the joke reviews i missed?

Anonymous (October 23, 2005)

http://www.subpop.com/scripts/main/discography.php?cat=true&disp lay_type=discog_single&title=Apologies to the Queen Mary&PHPSESSID=7bd769e0f68936474a456cb81cecb47e

Anonymous (October 23, 2005)

can people please get a link to the band's website and some mp3s when they write a review. its just sheer laziness not to bother.

Anonymous (October 23, 2005)

best album of the past 3 decades except panic at the disco

and that is beating some albums

Anonymous (October 23, 2005)

this album is more punx then the unseen

fOr ThE pUnX!!!!!

Marlon (October 23, 2005)

"why the hell is this the same review that's on absolutepunk?

WHAT IN TARNATION IS GOIN ON HURR"

The same guy wrote them.

theundergroundscene (October 23, 2005)

also this cd is this year's arcade fire

way overrated

theundergroundscene (October 23, 2005)

why the hell is this the same review that's on absolutepunk?

WHAT IN TARNATION IS GOIN ON HURR

LevitateMe (October 23, 2005)

This is a good album, but it's not that good.

Anonymous (October 23, 2005)

What the hell is going on here?

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