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Album Review: Wolf Parade Expo 86

By Jacqueline Smith

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Rating: 3/5
Verdict: Back as a stronger pack

Wolf Parade's Expo 86 album cover. Photo / Supplied
Wolf Parade's Expo 86 album cover. Photo / Supplied

Sub Pop's Montreal band return with their third album as a smaller, but more solid unit.

Expo 86 was a swiftly-produced album, recorded just a year after their 2008 release At Mount Zoomer. It is missing Hadji Bakara's synth manipulation, as he stood down to go to university, but the other four ensure it is not lacking in the electro department.

Following a year's hiatus after Mount Zoomer, it sounds as though the band have let all their bottled up ideas spill over their lyrics and instruments.

Again they weave a mess of erratic ideas together to create something unique but not too inaccessible and this time, very tight.

One of the punchiest tracks is Ghost Pressure, which combines subtle synth pumps and keyboard melodies with Spencer Kruger's almost arrogantly pompous vocals to create a pop song that weaves its way into your brain ready for a good rotational humming session at a later date. Opener Cloud Shadow On The Mountain on the other hand is the retro, grungy hair-shaker.

Elsewhere daftly named Pobody's Nerfect is a bit of a dull moaner, and Palm Road is too predictable, but in moody What Did My Lover Say and retro Two Men In New Tuxedos, Kruger is less focused on achieving melody than building drama - both are bold tracks and seem a good fit for his unusual voice. They are also proof that Wolf Parade work best untamed.

- NZ Herald

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