When I got it: Leaked, back when getting a leak was genuinely exciting, after emailing the band email address about when it would be coming out, back when that was something I wasn’t too embarrassed to do. I did buy it on CD though, right after it came out.
What I originally thought: Official Favourite Album status. Though I did (genuinely but obviously pretentiously) think a lot of the EP versions were better, I knew the words to every song and considered whether or not the relative placings of Spencer Krug songs and Dan Boeckner songs was optimal. I liked the Krug stuff most, which would hold true for solo material. I ordered a fake ID off the internet to see them play in Whelans when I was 17, got into arguments about how they were better than Arcade Fire, considered buying an organ from Music Maker and generally acted like a fan. I would categorise the intensity of my affection for this album as 10/10.
The interim: Here is the Wolf Parade tag dealing with everything Wolf Parade-related since 2007. Second album was briefly listenable, third was mostly bad. I got very into Sunset Rubdown.
What I think now: This is one of the albums on the list that probably only made it for legacy reasons, but I was really, really, really into it, so I couldn’t leave it off. I think it has aged fairly badly – not as badly as Arcade Fire, whose cloying levels of sincerity now seem pretty abominable, or Broken Social Scene, who were primarily (a form of) style over substance – because of its centrality to that mid-2000s Canadian indie rock sound, either in reality or in my mind. The result is that some of the moments that seemed to have genuine power now seem almost like cheap emotion. That is not to say that there aren’t still great bits. I just mean that the hollering on I Was A Runner doesn’t seem as fresh and feral as I once thought it did, even though Dear Sons and Daughters and I’ll Believe In Anything still work for all their abstract aspirationalism. And the Boeckner parts, as I suspected in 2005, are dullard Springsteen Revival music, especially given the development of indie rock in the interim. I enjoyed listening to it in full, but there were no new revelations and I’d probably need to be either drunk or very unhappy to do it again soon.