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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Wolf Parade
At Mount Zoomer
Sub Pop

Rating: 6.7/10 ?


June 11, 2008
Maybe Apologies to the Queen Mary deserves a reappraisal. Sure, it's not a masterpiece, but it's definitely better than almost anything else any of the members of Wolf Parade have touched since the band split into so many often interesting, but inconsistent and frustrating fragments. When Spencer Krug's mad croon is just another chaotic element in the mix (as is the case on Sunset Rubdown, Frog Eyes, and Swan Lake) he is far less compelling (actually he's kind of annoying) than as the front of the band that produced the focused pop of "I'll Believe in Anything" or "You Are a Runner And I Am My Father's Son." And, obviously, when Dan Broeckner is given too long of a leash we get drivel like the Handsome Furs (ok, there were a couple good songs on there…).

So you could conclusively conclude that the band that made Apologies to the Queen Mary and its handsome companion EP had one of those cosmic "we're-better-than-the-sum-of-our-parts" compositions. That when they took the stage as Wolf Parade they were a much better band than any of the bands that feature members of Wolf Parade. So anyone who's curiously checked out each and every shitty Sunset Rubdown release, or tried their hardest to love the Handsome Furs, is probably either a) sick of Wolf Parade in general or b) excited to hear the next "official record" (or, secret option c) a little of both).

The good news is that At Mount Zoomer is better than all of the members' various side-projects (and even better than those cute Wolf Parade die-hards who put together mix CDs of the best songs, insisting so sincerely that there was a great album worth of material mixed in with the mess), but the bad news is that the good news ends there.

At Mount Zoomer is interesting and focused, but safe. "Call It Ritual" tries to shake another winner out of the same ingredients that made "You Are a Runner" a winner, but somehow it falls short. Maybe sort of in the way that a new Interpol song isn't exciting anymore; it's the same old thing. "Call It Ritual" does take a nice little spacey detour along the way, but the diversion is just the first of many places on the album where the band doesn't seem focused.

Maybe it's just being so jaded after such paltry fare on their other records that makes At Mount Zoomer a disappointment; after hoping for so long that they were saving all the best stuff for the Wolf Parade record, this is kind of a letdown. The plan was for all the hooky, tightly-wound pop songs to crop up when they reconvened after exorcizing the demons of indulgence. But Wolf Parade now sounds like a hyper, punky jam-band.

Which is a shame, because just when you've convinced yourself that "Language City" is as good as say, "Grounds for Divorce," your iPod will karmically intervene during a shuffle, and you'll actually hear "Grounds for Divorce" and shake your head, admitting to yourself that it's just not the same. It's not the same kind of empty, flash-in the pan that Clap Your Hands Say Yeah turned out to be, but it is a disappointing follow-up, and one that anyone who's been wading through the side projects probably could have seen coming if only hadn't been so blinded with hope.

Reviewed by Cory Tendering
No biographical information is currently available.

See other reviews by Cory Tendering

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