I’m cool when band bros flirt with other ideas and start side projects. But what I’m not cool with is when the most important bro in a seriously amazing rock band gets obsessed with tonssssssssss of side projects and kinda loses sight of what’s most important in his world. I’m talking about you, Spencer Krug. Yeah, ye of WOLF PARADE and side projects FROG EYES, FIFTH OF SEVEN, SUNSET RUBDOWN, SWAN LAKE and now MOONFACE. I was lucky enough to live in Montreal when Krug and his PARADE bros dropped Apologies to the Queen Mary. I have no problem saying that the album is one of the 10 best rock records of the last decade (THE STROKES Is This It?; INTERPOL Turn on the Bright Lights; PHOENIX Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix; RADIOHEAD Kid A; MODEST MOUSE The Moon & Antarctica; and so on and so forth).
At Mount Zoomer, WP’s second album, was not too critically acclaimed, and that’s cuz it just wasn’t amazing. That’s fine. That kinda thing happens to bands that aren’t RADIOHEAD. I pray MOONFACE doesn’t mean THE SECOND BEST TWO-SINGER BAND OF THE DECADE (#1 AnCo) is done. Krug is an amazing, dynamic musician. He reminds me a lot of Billy Joel. He’s an absolutely phenomenal songwriter and he churns ’em out like it’s his job (funny). But he hasn’t done anything that even touches Apologies. Maybe a couple songs from Zoomer are up there. Fine Young Cannibals and Kissing the Beehive are both good songs. But none of those other outfits even touch what Krug was able to do with Dan Boeckner.
I guess Krug didn’t realize what he had with Boeckner. Krug’s a great singer, so is Boeckner, but Boeckner sounds perfect singing in Krug’s production. PERFECT. That’s not something that comes around every day. ANIMAL COLLECTIVE’s Noah Lennox and Avey Tare have figured out how to coexist perfectly in a track. After a few albums they are shining loud. But where AnCo took some time to get there, Krug and Boeckner hit the ground shining that brightly. I can’t stress enough how well Krug and Boeckner sound together. Krug is cool and smooth, Boeckner is hectic and raw. They are black and white, they are calm and frenzied. They are PERFECT. And they are apart.
It just doesn’t make sense to me. There must have been a problem within the band. There must be a rift. They must not still be friends. Because if they’re still friends, and if they’d still sing together; if nothing’s come between them, then fuck them, cuz they took away the next I’ll Believe in Anything from my future, and from your future. I hesitate to name another song from the past decade that builds to such a crescendo as I’ll Believe in Anything does; that has the back and forth powerplay of two brilliant vocalists, boasts lyrics like “give me your eyes, I need sunshine, your blood, your bones, your voice and your ghost,” and so easily makes itself at home in your memory. Surfacing all the time.
I like SUNSET RUBDOWN. The last album, Dragonslayer, was good. Idiot Heart off that record is ridiculous. So good. It boasts a similar structure to I’ll Believe in Anything, but it’s missing something. It’s missing the energy of WOLF PARADE. It’s missing Dan Boeckner and the other bros. Arlen Thompson, WP’s drummer. That guys straight gangster. Stop skirting greatness, Spencer
UPDATE: WOLF PARADE is currently working on a new album. I am a fool, albeit good intentioned.
WOLF PARADE-I’ll Believe in Anything