Wolf Parade is a Canadian indie rock quartet that formed in Montreal in 2003 from musicians that were all from around the Vancouver area. They are kind of like a supergroup in reverse. All four members have always been highly involved and visible in the Canadian indie music scene, but most of their activities occurred after Wolf Parade’s formation. Spencer Krug, who started the band initially, has also fronted the bands Frog Eyes, Sunset Rubdown, Swan Lake, and Moonface, while Dan Boeckner, his musical partner in crime, has been involved with a number of other groups, including Handsome Furs, Divine Fits (with Britt Daniels of Spoon), and most recently, Operators. Second guitarist, Dante DeCaro was a founding member of Hot Hot Heat and has another project called Johnny and the Moon and drummer Arlen Thompson has done production and session work with a host of fellow Canadian bands, including Boeckner’s Handsome Furs and Arcade Fire. Yeah, I’m out of breath just typing all that.
I got into this talented bunch of guys upon the release of their brilliant debut album, “Apologies to the queen mary”, in 2005. Their jittery, frenetic blend of power pop and post-punk drew me in right away, each song a revelation wrapped in a riddle, with Boeckner and Krug tag-teaming the mike like it had offended them in some way. Their second and third albums were unleashed with just as much thunder and then, in 2011… they dissolved. Each member returning to or starting up the aforementioned projects as if Wolf Parade was only ever meant to be just one of their passing fancies.
Fast forward to the early days of 2016 and there were rumblings from their website that appeared to be more than just empty winds. An new EP followed in the spring, as did a triumphant resurrection tour (one stop of which I happily caught), and now, there’s a brand new full-length due out this coming Friday. But back to the matter at hand.
“Palm road” is the second track that appears on “Expo 86”, Wolf Parade’s third album and the last to be released before the hiatus. It’s a Dan Boeckner track. Driving guitars mixed with Krug’s wonky, extraterrestrial synths, Thompson’s punishing drums and Boeckner’s vocals like an unpolished Springsteen, all rough and tumble after a night of playing for drinks at a dive bar, whose stage is more broken glass than wood. It’s raw and fist pumping and a crowd of like-minded fans shouting along at the chorus line as loud as their lungs will allow. Yes indeed.
For the rest of the Best tunes of 2010 list, click here.