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Expo 86

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iTunes Review

With their third album, Montreal’s Wolf Parade really expand their sound to create deeper atmospheres where the keyboards take on a dark passion and the reverb adds a cavernous growl to tunes that desire great mystery. “Palm Road” is the sound of a cement mixer jamming up its gears, while “What Did My Lover Say (It Always Had To Go This Way)” turns up the keyboards on David Bowie’s ‘80s period. “Little Golden Age” turns in a perfectly alienated new-wave groove. “In the Direction of the Moon” takes synths into the anthemic territory once occupied by the Waterboys. “Ghost Pressure” twists to a sweeter light. “Pobody’s Nerfect” uses isolating textures to create greater distress. “Two Men In New Tuxedos” loosens up an early Talking Heads rhythm. “Oh You, Old Thing” could be another shout-out to David Bowie. What holds everything together is the brilliantly cohesive playing and the songs that are as catchy as new wave will allow. 

Customer Reviews

Reconvened Resurgence

Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner have dipped away from their respective side projects, Sunset Rubdown and Handsome Furs, to reassemble the riff-rifecheerioclangclangkadash sound that is Wolf Parade at its finest. The sound is the perfected combination of Apologies to the Queen Mary's playful choruses and echoes and At Mount Zoomer's reverb bass lines and cymbal claps; it is the perfect combination of Krug and Boeckner, Sunset Furs/Handsome Rubdown, if you will. Overall, Expo 86's sound leans towards the archetypal Wolf Parade, so listeners who enjoyed Apologies to the Queen Mary will be quite pleased.

A little disappointed

This is definitely a good album, but unfortunately it's not a great album. It's exciting and refreshing to hear new material from one of my all-time favorite bands, but I've been impressed much more by Sunset Rubdown's albums than the last two Wolf Parade ones. This album feels more conventional, more expected. Their not pushing their own limits, nor are they pushing ours. This is a safe album. I recommend people listen to it, but I'll still suggest Apologies over this.

Much like The Arcade Fire, the bar was set ridiculously high by their debut album. I hate to say it, but the albums which followed just don't compare.

If Voltron were a band... would be called Wolf Parade. Having this band release an album is like having Handsome Furs, Sunset Rubdown, and Frog Eyes unite. Unlike many others' reviews on here, I was hesitant to think these guys could top Mount Zoomer. I still consider it one of my "home base" albums in the ranks of Boxer (the National) and Funeral (Arcade Fire). Although I owned all their albums, I didn't understand their sound until I saw them live in Dallas. Each hook is clear and concise live, and I personally found myself saying over and over "you've got to be kidding me." If you're new to the band, check out Kissing the Beehive and listen all the way through (Mount Zoomer) to understand how they work (it's one of the rare WP songs where Krug and Boeckner toss the lyrics back and forth). I'm on my third rotation of Expo 86 and there is no disappointment. Pure rock and roll with the hooks that reel in an avid listener (e.g., Little Golden Age). I've been fairly disappointed with hyped up releases this year, and it's refreshing to know WP stuck to their roots and finally brought a good album to 2010.


Formed: March, 2003 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

The indie rock combo Wolf Parade formed in 2003 in Montreal, where the band's first show saw them opening for Arcade Fire. From there, bandmates Dan Boeckner, Spencer Krug, Hadji Bakara, and Arlen Thompson recorded and self-released a four-song EP, followed by a six-song recording in 2004. They eventually gained the attention of songwriter Isaac Brock, who doubled as the frontman of Modest Mouse and an A&R rep for Sub Pop Records. Brock helped the band secure a deal with Sub Pop while serving as...
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