Published Oct 30, 2018The latest record from Wolf Parade's Spencer Krug is actually two albums: nine of the tracks are jazzy, sax-centric art-rock jams, while the other seven are marimba-based epics sung with a vocoder and featuring lyrics about the Greek myth of the Minotaur. On their own, both albums would be uniquely experimental; together, they're downright bizarre.
This One's for the Dancer & This One's for the Dancer's Bouquet is a disorienting listen: the two sessions are interwoven in the tracklist, rather than presented as A- and B-sides, meaning that the whole thing tick-tocks between avant-rock and futuristic calypso. It's an admirably strange structure — one that doesn't make much aesthetic sense, but keeps things unpredictable for a whopping 83 minutes.
The juxtaposition of the two is particularly flattering on the marimba songs. With the cascade of plinking marimbas, wacky vocoder singing and detail-rich lyrics about the Minotaur, it's the sonic equivalent of being bombarded by an avalanche of gumballs.
Compared to these neon soundscapes, the more rock-minded songs don't stand out quite as much, but they have their own subtle beauty: the minimal grooves of "Sad Suomenlinna" sound like krautrock by way of Radiohead, while the simmering "Hater" suddenly explodes with sublime swirls of horns.
Krug has said that this is his last Moonface album before he abandons the alias and begins releasing music under his given name. With that in mind, This One's for the Dancer & This One's for the Dancer's Bouquet is a weird and wonderful farewell from the idiosyncratic project. (Jagjaguwar/Outside)