The beast, whose snarly bite once tore through three wild EPs, has been tamed again, with the second full-length release from Montreal's Wolf Parade.
"Apologies to the Queen Mary" was among 2005's most acclaimed releases, although the Canadian five-piece suffered a little backlash for spraying on studio shellac. The production lacquer on "At Mount Zoomer" is thicker still, but should win enough of a new audience to offset any disgruntled diehards.
"Language City" is smooth and flowing, with melodic keyboards padding a wash of drums and vocals. Singer Spencer Krug, who has always demonstrated an interesting vocal timbre, is well-served by the album's production, particularly on songs like the album's opening "Soldier's Grin" and the quirky piano dirge "Call It a Ritual."
The album's strongest offering, "California Dreamer," builds from guitar shimmers and blood-pulse drumming to reveal a grinding organ and a sweeping chorus frenzy.
A domesticated Wolf preys on this parade, but "A Mount Zoomer" is still worth hunting down.