Montreal quartet Wolf Parade's full-length debut fully lives up to the potential bred by their early EPs. They use Apologies to the Queen Mary producer Isaac Brock to their best advantage, acknowledging their debt to Modest Mouse but using his ear as a resource to tinge their endearingly brittle indie pop tunes accordingly. Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner both sing in that certain kind of wry yelp that seemed so quirkily marketable in the mid-2000s -- see the Shins, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Hot Hot Heat -- and it doesn't hurt that most of Wolf Parade's songs are distinctive, too. "Shine a Light" and "You Are a Runner and I Am My Father's Son" repeat from the self-titled EP, "Grounds and Divorce" bops along on cheery keyboard effects and an eight-note guitar solo, and Boeckner honks roughly over the modified new wave of "It's a Curse." Wolf Parade admit their love and theft of the past 30 years of rock music, from Bowie to Black Francis. They allow that, then purposely strip the songs of any slickness or accouterments, so the keys and squiggly guitars and terrifically simple drums (Arlen Thompson might play just a kick drum and one big snare) teeter and balance together in a hectic and gloriously alive pop state.
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AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus