The further we're removed from Arcade Fire's 2004 chamber-pop masterpiece Funeral, the harder it becomes to wax ecstatic about epic Canadian indie rock. The incorporation of multiple broken-down drum kits, sprawling arrangements and hyper-dense sound collages has become about as derivative and clichéd as flannel and fuzz pedals were in the mid-'90s. But over the years Montreal's Sunset Rubdown (a side project of Wolf Parade mastermind Spencer Krug) has continually proven itself one of the real-deal purveyors of this type of music. Indebted to the eccentricities of Byrne, Bowie and, of course, the Boss, the band's latest album, Dragonslayer, brims with a sense of urgency – which is culled from a live recording style that perfectly captures its members' talents and energetic spirit. The standout track "Idiot Heart" builds on call-and-response flange-laden guitars and Krug's lazy vocal delivery until layers of shimmering chimes, spastic drum patterns and Camilla Wynne Ingr's delicate backing vocals arrive to carry the song toward its synth-heavy climax.
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