My 50 Favorite Albums of 2008: #40

Number 40

Wolf Parade had a lot to live up to with their second full-length, At Mount Zoomer. Following one of the most talked about debuts in indie rock over the last few years (the Isaac Brock-produced Apologies To The Queen Mary, of course) put both a lot of pressure on the group, and anticipation in the hands of every eager fan foaming at the mouth for an encore. Still, I had every bit of reason to believe Wolf Parade could somehow muster up a terrific sophomore, because I believe anything Spencer Krug’s puts his mind to can be molded into genius. For half of Mount Zoomer, there is a captured brilliance; but then the second half of the album, although good, fails to build on the fantastic opening half. I have absolutely nothing against the co-primary writer of the group, Handsome Furs’ Dan Boeckner, it’s just that he in no way can hold a candle to the phenomenon that is Krug, and the songs have an obvious lesser quality to them when he takes the lead on Zoomer, which happens just a tad too much and keeps it from ultimately making its way higher on this list. But the top half of the record makes a good enough case to solidify the album as a very good one, and although I have secretly leaned toward the dream of hopping in a time machine and somehow convincing these Canadian boys to release just the first five tracks as an EP and call it a day, I finally decided that I do like the second half, it’s just that the opening side is too good to even recollect what happens over the last four numbers. Plus, there’s just a lack of Krug in the final half, which doesn’t spell disaster but hurts. As it turns out, there wasn’t as much pressure on following up Apologies as there was the challenge of making Zoomer live up to At Mount…and oh what an opener this one has.

1.Soldier’s Grin
2.Call It A Ritual
3.Language City
4.Bang Your Drum
5.California Dreamer
6.The Grey Estates
7.Fine Young Cannibals
8.An Animal In Your Cave
9.Kissing the Beehive


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