Are those tears of joy for a new Wolf Parade album?Sub Pop, 2017
8.5 / 10
What a year. I mean, really. There have been many great albums, but also, think about all the extra goodies like LCD Soundsystem releasing a new album. And now, Wolf Parade after a seven-year hiatus. It’s like the Canadian Invasion is in full-swing again. Already this year we got records from Broken Social Scene and Arcade Fire. And the new Stars album is set to release later this month also. But enough about the past and the future. Let’s focus on the present; specifically, the new Wolf Parade album, Cry Cry Cry. What’s the significance of the tri-Cry? Well, Wolf Parade’s members are feeling the pain of 2017 and also mourning the passing of their heroes like Leonard Cohen and David Bowie. I think we can let them shed a few tears.
But rather than get all sad and mopey, the band is rocking with the intensity of their younger peers. Step aside, kids; let the old guys show you how to do it. And they do. Although many remember the band for their experimental past, they kind of play it straight on Cry Cry Cry. Sure, they throw in some crazy change-ups and fill out their songs with interesting sonic notes that will perk your ears in curiosity. However, the strangest element of Wolf Parade’s music remains Spencer Krug‘s inimitable vocals, which set Wolf Parade apart from other bands. Except maybe Moonface, but there’s a good reason for that.
The album kicks off with a somber stunner “Lazarus Online”, which instantly reminded me of David Bowie’s final album, Blackstar. If you remember, that album had a song titled “Lazarus”, and here, Krug somewhat channels Bowie’s spirit. He refuses death or any type of opposition, “Let’s fight / Let’s rage against the night.” It resonates on an emotional level that makes it feel epic, yet it isn’t what Wolf Parade would refer to as one of their epic songs. Two of those come later and back-to-back in “Baby Blue” and “Weaponized”. Both come in over six minutes and give you a lot to devour. But I’m assuming you brought your appetite, and you’re likely to still be hungry for extra servings after.
“Weaponized” in particular comes to a crashing finale in its middle, but rather than come to an end, a somber piano pulls more life out of the song. The guitars and drums act like waking limbs ushering us toward a true finale of unparalleled joy. Everything spirals together in a climax that will blow your brains out of your skull. But just as strong as Cry Cry Cry‘s two epics is the album’s closer, “King of Piss and Paper”. It’s about a certain white king put in place by blind men while others suffer. Don’t fret though. Rather than end the album on a sour note, it’s a thrilling push to stay resolute and not give up. You may cry cry cry, but never stop fighting.