Spencer Krug and Dan Beckoner always showcased a certain intelligence and deep emotional breadth in their developed art rock under the Wolf Parade guise.
Now, almost eight years on from the last album, they reunite to hit us with another dose; an album that finally competes with the debut. ‘Cry Cry Cry’ has all the power and angst of ‘Apologies To The Queen Mary’, but with a synth-driven and polished exterior, cementing it well and truly as a 21st century artistic rock gem.
Their educated and mature lyrical content is still prevalent as ever on this record. With it’s brief, subtle mentions of death, and focusing it’s rage against the ‘night’ as opposed to the ‘dying of the light’, ‘Lazarus Online’ seems to paraphrase Dylan Thomas with un-subtle discretion. Nethertheless, it cements their poetic admiration evidently, giving polite nods to their apparent literary influences that more bookish listeners will recognise.
Elsewhere, there’s more jovial use of piano keys. Songs like ‘Incantation’ and ‘Who Are Ya’ accompany uplifting anthemic indie arrangements, complete with gang vocals, almost chanting hooks that ring out over shuffled, jittering instruments. The latter gives a hint of Sparks-esque idiosyncrasy, rolling along at a pantomime’s pace. Theatrical, humorous, and charismatic, it opens the curtain further to showcase their other methods and approaches to writing.
Brass is used effectively throughout the record to give lift to the more canticle of songs. ‘Baby Blue’ preaches along, atop a solid bed of hammond organ, swelling brass, and an intricate bass hook. This is a standout track; Standing aloft, it’s possibly the best six minutes of music that this band has ever produced.
In summary, ‘Cry Cry Cry’ is Wolf Parade’s richest record, in the sense that it has the broadest stretch of instrumentation. Together, it feels complete as a body of work. It displays their most mature (yet simultaneously accessible) examples of songwriting.
Wolf Parade should be wiping the tears (of joy) away, safe in the knowledge that ‘Cry Cry Cry’ is their greatest achievement as a band to date. Welcome back.
Wolf Parade ‘Cry Cry Cry’ is out now
Words by Jack Stevens