Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Best Albums of 2008: #8

At Mount Zoomer
Sub Pop - 06/17/08

At Mount Zoomer is easily the most underrated and under appreciated release of 2008. It might be because the group's two side projects, Sunset Rubdown and Handsome Furs, have released such strong records in between Apologies To The Queen Mary and At Mount Zoomer, but it seems as though the expectations for this album were incredibly high. I just don't understand the blase reaction to this album. I mean I get that this record isn't as 'important' as their debut; it doesn't push any boundaries of indie rock, nor does it introduce any drastic new sounds, but it definitely rocks harder than most of the albums released this year. The album, like its predecessor, sees two very distinct songwriters trading tracks throughout the album, however, whereas, I thought the first record belonged to co-front man Spencer Krug, At Mount Zoomer is dominated by the other front man, Dan Boeckner. That's not to say that the Krug-penned tracks are not good, but Boeckner's writing, which is much more anxious and jittery, works better with At Mount Zoomer's less straightforward and convoluted sound. His lyrics fit perfectly with the prog-heavy sound of this album. However, it wouldn't be a Wolf Parade record if the dueling songwriter aspect was not present, therefore, the Krug tracks act almost like an antagonist, complementing the other tracks extremely well. Highlights include: "Language City," "Soldier's Grin," "Call It A Ritual," and "The Grey Estates."

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