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Wolf Parade - At Mount Zoomer

Fellow co-blogger BLR publicly promised never (or at least for sometime) to post again about Canadian bands. So when I got my hands on the new album from Wolf Parade, there was no choice than to post a review myself (the non-Canadian expert).
Originating from Montreal, the band was formed in 2003 when Spencer Krug was asked to open for the Arcade Fire. The original lineup consisted of Spencer (prior Frog Eyes and currently involved in Sunset Rubdown), Dan Boeckner (prior Atlas Strategic and currently also in Handsome Furs) and Arlen Thompson. A year later they got Hadju Bakara on board and yet another year later Dante DeCaro (formerly in Hot Hot Heat). After a couple of EPs, the band was signed to Sub Pop by Isaac Brock of Modest Mouse and finally released their debut Apologies to the Queen Mary in 2005. The band was an instant success story (as most Canadian bands) but despite this they decided not to instantly follow up with a second album but rather wait for 3 years (although most of the band members and especially Spencer and Dan were kept busy during this time with their side projects).

The wait however is over (or almost) as their sophomore album At Mount Zoomer (originally titled Kissing the Beehive but later named as a reference to their recording studio instead due to copyright infringement) will be released on June 16. The album follows the same ingredients as their debut, with Spencer and Dan taking turns in both composition and vocals. However, the sound is much different this second time around. First of all, the album is much deeper and darker than the first (which had an uplifting feeling).The instantly likeable hit melodies have now also been replaced with more complex themes and a retro feeling of grand-rock compositions. This is more evident in their extended tracks such as the superb California Dreaming and Kissing the Beehive. To me, these are signs of Spencer and Dan blending more as a band (along with the rest of the members) and avoiding repeating themselves.
One of the best things about the album is the quality of the songs, with all nine tracks sounding amazing and also unique. It should have been expected after their debut (or just because they are Canadian). This is one of those albums which I instantly know it will get into my list of this year’s best releases (although some people may be put off since it requires more time and effort than their debut). Enjoy some of their tracks and be sure to check out Sub Pop for pre-orders..

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Athens66 started off as a common project by a bunch of friends but quickly turned into almost a personal blog (although some remains of previous posts can still be found). Currently, the Team has been narrowed down to two members, who besides being old friends and schoolmates share the same joy for Music, Movies, Alcohol and Pro Evolution sessions.

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