Wolf Parade, Cry Cry Cry (SubPop) —
Wolf Parade fans should be overjoyed by the Canadian band’s first studio album since 2010’s Expo 86. Cry Cry Cry
finds them taking on a post-punk/goth sound akin to Joy Division or Bauhaus, but with a 2017 sensibility that sustains the effort through 11 memorable tracks.
Prophets of Rage, Prophets of Rage (Concord Music Group) —
The incoming Trump administration seemed an ideal time to unite members of Rage Against the Machine, Public Enemy and Cypress Hill to storm the barricades with the unified power of invective. But while the end result may satisfy more youthful Antifa slogan-chanters, there is too much here that sounds rhetorical and forced, making one wonder if history always repeats itself as farce.
Weaves, Wide Open (Buzz/Kanine/Memphis Industries) —
Jasmyn Burke of Toronto’s Weaves already was breaking molds as an African-American woman fronting an art-punk band recalling X-Ray Spex and Pink Section. But while a Springsteen influence can be detected on her band’s second album, Wide Open
really owes more to British mid-‘70s pub rockers like Graham Parker and Brinsley Schwarz, which means Burke and her cohorts are stretching themselves more than most pop artists today — and successfully so.