Indie Rock
Sub Pop
June 17, 2008

Don’t be fooled by the fact that At Mount Zoomer, the sophomore full-length album from Montreal quintet Wolf Parade, contains just nine songs. While that may appear to be a measly output on the surface, what the tracks lack in number they make up for in scope.

At Mount Zoomer clocks in at nearly 50 minutes thanks to cuts like 11-minute closer “Kissing the Beehive,” which manages to avoid growing tiresome thanks to steady tempo changes and extended jams that capture the band’s improvisational recording style.

The majority of At Mount Zoomer’s songs were recorded at the same Montreal church that fellow Canucks, Arcade Fire previously used as a studio. The benefits of such a venue’s acoustics are most evident on tracks like the Arcade Fire-esque “Soldier’s Grin.”

The haunting “Call It a Ritual” opens with a cinematic, strut-worthy piano notes, and a cheerful blend of keyboards and synthesizers inject some unexpected catchiness to “Language City.”

Throughout the record, the members of Wolf Parade (vocalist/guitarist Dan Boeckner, vocalist/keyboardist/guitarist Spencer Krug, drummer Arlen Thompson, keyboardist Hadji Bakara and guitarist/percussionist Dante DeCaro) wear their influences on their collective sleeve. The strut-worthy “Fine Young Cannibals” is essentially a thinly-disguised rip-off of Television’s “Marquee Moon,” but it’s a better tribute than the Bowie-imitating “Animal in Your Care.”

So while At Mount Zoomer doesn’t contain many more songs than any of the several EPs the band has released since 2003, it’s a helpful reminder to listeners that sometimes good things come in small packages.

Tour Dates:

July 7: Pontiac, MI @ Crofoot Ballroom
July 8: Chicago, IL @ House of Blues
July 9: Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
July 12: Vancouver, BC @ Commodore Ballroom
July 13: Seattle, WA @ Marymoor Park
July 15: Portland, OR @ Crystal Ballroom
July 17: San Francisco, Ca @ Fillmore
July 18: Hollywood, CA @ Henry Fonda
July 19: Hollywood, CA @ Henry Fonda
July 20: San Diego, CA @ Cane’s
July 21: Tucson, AZ @ Rialto Theatre
July 24: Dallas, TX @ Palladium Ballroom
July 25: Austin, TX @ La Zona Rosa
July 26: Baton Rouge, LA @ Spanish Moon
July 28: Atlanta, GA @ Variety Playhouse
July 29: Raleigh, NC @ Disco Rodeo
July 30: Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
July 31: New York, NY @ Terminal 5
Aug 2: Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
Aug 3: Montreal, QC @ Metropolis
Aug 9: Toronto, ON @ Koolhaus

About The Author

Elizabeth Raftery is senior editor of Blast. Follow her on Twitter.

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