Apologies to the Queen Mary
About 47 minutes into Wolf Parade’s debut full-length, Dan Boeckner ardently shrieks, “This heart’s on fire!” till his vocal chords shred and run red in fanatical fervor. Words that would bleed cliché in lesser hands become the band’s magnificent manifesto on this year’s hands-down rock-and-roll wonder Apologies to the Queen Mary. Boasting members that have performed with Frog Eyes and The Arcade Fire, the band was picked up by Sub Pop, and produced by Modest Mouse’s Isaac Brock. While there is a slight Modest Mouse influence, one could argue that the upstarts outscore the veterans. The band teeters between the pop rock sensibilities of Boeckner (“Shine a Light,” “Modern World”) and the more perverse, skewed funhouse creak and groan of Spencer Krug’s contributions (“I’ll Believe in Anything” and the haunting “Dinner Bells”). Wolf Parade’s strength is that there is absolutely no filler, no dead space. Canada’s newest and greatest musical export is almost enough to forgive our neighbors for Geddy Lee.