Friday, 21 May 2010

review: wolf parade @ oran mor, 19th may

“Where’s Spencer?” shouts a hil-arious (or possibly just confused) member of the crowd. “Er, he’s there” deadpans Dan Boeckner, presumably used to being overshadowed by his prolific bandmate. Despite Boeckner taking lead on nearly half of tonight’s set – including highlights Language City and Shine A Light – Spencer Krug’s reputation as savant songsmith extraordinaire ensures the Montreal muso takes centre stage (figuratively and, incidentally, literally).

A large part of the night is given over to tracks from forthcoming third album Expo 86, and while extensively previewing unreleased material is often cause for concern and trips to the bar, the six new tracks showcase a purified, exhilarating sense of purpose. In a way, they’re more ‘Wolf Parade’ than ever before. Krug’s various projects – Sunset Rubdown, Swan Lake et al – seem to be growing more distinct over time, with Wolf Parade now firmly the punchy pop wing of his empire.

It almost makes the closing magnificence of Kissing The Beehive sound anomalous, its baggy multi-part expanse newly suggestive of a Rubdown interloper (albeit one with a particularly funky coda). With only room for a handful of tracks from each of their previous releases, fans inevitably crave more, but leave disappointment-free.

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