After seven years away from the recording studio, Wolf Parade have picked up where they left off, sounding confident and full-bodied on their fourth studio effort, 2017's Cry Cry Cry. As before, Wolf Parade approach indie rock with the sense of drama of a prog rock band, reinforced by the operatic quaver of Spencer Krug's vocal work and the grand ambitions of the keyboards by Krug and Dante DeCaro. Despite their hiatus, Wolf Parade sound fresh and invigorated on these 11 songs, with the healthy snap of Arlen Thompson's drumming keeping the proceedings lively even when the group slinks into a languid mood on "Flies on the Sun" or aims for a moody effect on "Lazarus Online." (DeCaro's bass work is more subtle in the mix, but no less strong in execution.) While the group references a few of the major events that took place since Wolf Parade last made an album -- the death of David Bowie on "Valley Boy" and the passing of Leonard Cohen just as Donald Trump was rising to power in "You're Dreaming" -- most of the time the group seems to be looking inward, albeit with an intelligence and sense of purpose that prevents the material from seeming solipsistic.
Dan Boeckner's guitar is often dwarfed in the mix by the keyboards, but he adds a crunchy texture that lends an added weight and heft to these songs. And the production by John Goodmanson is an ideal match for the material, giving these performances the right amount of gravity without making this music sound swollen or pompous. Feeling strong and fit after their layoff, Wolf Parade don't sound like a band convinced they have something to prove on Cry Cry Cry -- it quickly announces that they're as capable and creative as ever, and the finished product is as strong as anything they've released to date.
|Lazarus Online / Wolf Parade||Wolf Parade||3:25|
|You're Dreaming / Wolf Parade||Wolf Parade||3:39|
|Valley Boy / Wolf Parade||Wolf Parade||3:38|
|Incantation / Wolf Parade||Wolf Parade||4:22|
|Flies on the Sun / Wolf Parade||Wolf Parade||3:42|
|Baby Blue / Wolf Parade||Wolf Parade||6:00|
|Weaponized / Wolf Parade||Wolf Parade||6:39|
|Who Are Ya / Wolf Parade||Wolf Parade||3:43|
|Am I an Alien Here / Wolf Parade||Wolf Parade||3:36|
|Artificial Life / Wolf Parade||Wolf Parade||3:48|
|King of Piss and Paper / Wolf Parade||Wolf Parade||4:47|