Wolf Parade’s energetic brew of glam, prog, synth rock and satisfying discomfort - helped define 2000s indie rock with three critically celebrated albums and propelled a growing Wolf Parade fandom even after the band went on hiatus in 2010. A cautious reunion in 2014 led to the release of EP 4 last year and a handful of headlining shows that drew thousands. Now Wolf Parade are back with ‘Cry Cry Cry’, their first full length album in seven years, plus a world tour along with it.
The band’s first album produced by Pacific Northwest legend John Goodmanson (Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney, Unwound) at Robert Lang Studios outside of Seattle, ‘Cry Cry Cry’ is undeniably Wolf Parade - but with the renewed focus and creativity of a band that took the time to get exactly where we needed to be. The album takes the best parts of what makes Wolf Parade so uniquely electric - the soaring choruses, rousing anthems, sprawling guitars and chaotic keys - and finds a way to allow the best compositionally prog elements a firm seat at the table. It’s also a homecoming to Sub Pop, who released all three of the band’s previous albums.
“All of our albums are always a reaction to our last one,” says the bands Arlen Thompson. “[Our last album] ‘Expo 86’ was about as sparse as we get, and this time we wanted to make the palette a little larger.” ‘Cry Cry Cry’ is deliberate in its arrangements and embrace of the studio process. The result is songs like “Valley Boy”, a Bowie-inflected anthem for which Spencer Krug wrote lyrics after Leonard Cohen died the day before the 2016 election. “You’re Dreaming”, also influenced by the election and the spinning shock that followed, is driving, urgent power pop that draws from artists like Tom Petty and what Dan Boeckner calls one of his “default languages” for writing music. The swirly, synth-heavy crescendo of “Artificial Life” takes on the struggle of artists and at-risk communities. The album carries a sense of uprising that is not unrelated to Wolf Parade’s renewed determination to drive the band forward in uncertain times.