Wolf Parade’s Expo 86 reminds me of Judd Nelson’s nostrils [Album Review]

by oz on August 26, 2010

An affinity for 80s music may be a prerequisite to becoming a Wolf Parade fan. As I listened to Expo 86 for the first few times, visions of 80s movies started (literally) dancing in my head.  Midway through the albums fourth track, “Little Golden Age,” my visions became crystal clear. I could almost smell the pot smoke and taste the sweat off of Emilio Estevez as he tore off his shirt, cartwheeled around the library, and invented acrobat-dancing. Or did Kevin Bacon invent that?

If youre new to Wolf Parade, dont let the 80s reference scare you. I mostly think of that era of music due to the heavy use of keyboards and the vocals of Dan Boeckner and Spencer Krug who both have a flare for the dramatic. While past Wolf Parade albums have been created over long periods of time, Expo 86 was turned out quickly while keeping a keen eye on the details. In fact, this is Wolf Parades best album to date.

The album kicks off with lyrics that will have you hitting pause and rewind on “Cloud Shadow On The Mountain:”

I was asleep in a hammock
I was dreaming that I was a web
I was a dream catcher
Hanging in the window of a minivan
Parked along the waters edge
Id say that I was all alone
Id say that I was all alone
But I will never be born as a scorpion.

They had me at “dream catcher.”  I cant recall when Ive had this much fun listening to an album. Its one of the best of the year and Im hooked on several songs that include “Palm Road,” “What Did My Lover Say,” “Little Golden Age,” “In The Direction Of The Moon,” “Ghost Pressure,” and “Pobodys Nerfect.” Thats about the whole damn album. For me, Expo 86 is a perfect blend of unique songwriting, driving guitars, anthems, obscure vocals, and unbridled energy. I admit that this opinion wasn’t my initial reaction, but repeated listens and many weeks of devotion payed huge dividends.

Wolf Parade – What Did My Lover Say? (It Always Had To Go This Way)

Wolf Parade – Ghost Pressure

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Woody August 26, 2010 at 7:20 am

It certainly looks like all their jackets are from the 80s. I am pretty sure that’s my black Members Only on the left and my genuine fake leather bomber my Mom bought for me at JC Penneys before I left for college.

That being said – Wolf Parade is not my normal cup of tea but its a solid listen.

Lindsayfrom YAWMA August 27, 2010 at 1:49 pm

I instantly loved Apologies to Queen Mary. That album was beautifully melodic ..Since then I lost track of what Wolf Parade has been up to…gonna have to get this new album. Sounds a little dance-y but i’m sure it’ll grow on me.

Sir Indie August 30, 2010 at 5:35 am

“Ghost Pressure”

Their sound seems a little “aged”, but it works for them. They’ve obviously worked on and mastered how they want to come across in their music (very original)…so one can’t be mad. =)


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