Wolf Parade – Thin Mind
Overall, Wolf Parade have carefully crafted another winning record. Maybe not one to win over new fans, but Thin Mind is a solid addition to a sparkling oeuvre
Thin Mind is mostly back to basics Wolf Parade. The departure of multi-instrumentalist Dante DeCaro last year means that the band has returned to its original trio, something embraced on the new album, helping them to focus more keenly. Which is ironic, as the album is all about technological anxiety and how it 'thins' our minds, preventing us from really appreciating things or concentrating.
Under Glass opens the album with a mission statement: we're still 'free in our minds' but 'nobody knows what they want anymore'. It's a sharp, polished song with typical Wolf Parade chords and Dan Boeckner's paranoid croon. The album is a little more experimental than previous efforts, especially in their liberal use of synths. In Julia Take Your Man Home, Spencer Krug imagines a more toxic version of himself in various 'drunken jerk' situations, and it's kept chugging with some kooky percussion and wacked-out synth-work.
Boeckner and Krug split lyrical duties as usual, giving the album a nice to and fro feel from song to song. Their stories tend to work better in the specifics (about Vancouver Island in Forest Green, about a small wedding in As Kind as You Can), rather than when they try to impose grandiose platitudes (The Static Age – sadly not about The Misfits album, but about technology and empires and stuff).
Despite the synth prevalance, the band manage to avoid sci-fi pastiche until Against the Day goes all in while telling a story of 'Lovecraftian, geological love'. It was hinted at throughout, particularly the outro to Forest Green and on Wandering Son, but they throw caution to the wind here. It's a striking pose for a band with such a consistent sound, but they pull it off well and it's a welcome jolt of energy before Town Square ends things in more familiar territory.
Overall, the band have carefully crafted another winning record with just a few tweaks to their regular formula. Maybe not one to win over new fans, but a solid addition to a sparkling oeuvre.
Listen to: Under Glass, Wandering Son