At some point between its release in 2005 and 2017, when I picked up the band’s LP from a local used record shop, Wolf Parade performed live in (most likely) Seattle or Bellingham, WA. During this show, a person by the name of Sam had the guys sign this album.
It was Sam’s 21st birthday.
This album now resides in my collection, and the memory of that day has likely subsided into the ether for both this human named Sam, and the band of the day: Wolf Parade.
“Against the Day” by Wolf Parade
Wolf Parade has progressed since their 2005 Sub Pop debut, Apologies to the Queen Mary. We’ll get into that a bit more later.
“Against the Day” (currently available digitally on Sub Pop’s website) is the band’s first new material since their 2017 LP Cry Cry Cry.
It gives us heavier keys and synth than we’re typically used to, with parallels to some of the earlier Handsome Furs (which, of course, is a project of Wolf Parade’s Dan Boeckner).
Synths have been part of their collective since the beginning, but here it’s a greater focal point. And there’s a darkness to it perfect for the shorter days now upon us in mid October.
We also see Boeckner and Spencer Krug sharing vocal duties.
To accompany the track, the band pulled in James Kerr / Scorpion Dagger to create this post-apocalyptic animated video (with additional annimation by Levi Buffum:
“Against the Day” is another quality release by Wolf Parade, and I for one look forward to adding their new release to my collection when it arrives.
We’ll see if I’m lucky enough to snag a Loser Edition.
Revisiting Apologies to the Queen Mary
Hearing the new track, I had to pull Apologies to the Queen Mary for a listen. It’s been a while.
This is what I love about bands like Wolf Parade: rediscovering them through new material. “Against the Day” will be on repeat for a while, but it’s created within me a desire to revisit the releases of old.
And Apologies to the Queen Mary is where it all began for me.
Comparing then with now, the album is much more raw and has an angsty punch to it. This is apparent from the earliest notes of “You are a Runner and I am My Father’s Son”:
I remember first hearing it and being absolutely sucked in. “You are a Runner” drew me to the band, the rest of Apologies made me a fan.
“Modern World” seems tame, smoothed out after the knockout we received with “You are a Runner”, but it holds no less power thanks to a cool swagger. Then they bring back the staccato elements with “Grounds for Divorce”.
Further favorites include “Same Ghost Every Night”, “Shine a Light”, and “I’ll Believe in Anything”.
This back and forth can be heard throughout Apologies to the Queen Mary, and it’s a trait they have, for the most part, retained from those early days through “Against the Day”.
The band has refined their sound, but the niche they created nearly fifteen years ago remains steadfast in their sound.
What do you think of the new track? What’s your favorite from Wolf Parade? Let me know in the comments below.