New Music: Wolf Parade - Expo 86

Sometimes I feel like I gush about all things Wolf Parade; including every side project that Dan and Spencer are involved in. Since those two are so prolific one or the other seems to have a new album out every six months. This time it's the third LP from the band that pays the bills, Wolf Parade. The album is titled Expo 86 and comes out tomorrow (June 29th) on Sup Pop. With a debut album that rivals the best debut albums and a disappointing sophomore release, the band has a lot to live up to on the third album. I'm not exactly sure if they deliver but it's a fun listen along the way.

Just like on the other Wolf Parade albums, both members share the best songs on the albums. As a huge Spencer Krug fan, I'd like to be able to say his songs are the better of the two, but with Dan Boeckner songs like 'Little Golden Age' it's hard to. Boeckner definitely brings more pop sensibility to Wolf Parade as usual with songs like 'Ghost Pressure' and 'Yulia'.

Krug is usually a bit more out there, but seems to play things fairly straight on Wolf Parade albums. The album opener 'Cloud Shadow on the Mountain' is the most traditional Krug song and sounds like it could fit perfectly on a Sunset Rubdown album. Another Krug highlight is 'What Did My Lover Say? (It Always Had To Go This Way)' but his best song, and the best track on the album, is definitely 'In the Direction of the Moon'. The track definitely relies heavily on a synthesizer like the rest of the album does but when combined with the spastic guitar, the track hits on all notes and is the highlight of the album.

Expo 86 doesn't hit the highs found on Apologies to the Queen Mary but it also doesn't quite have the lows that At Mount Zoomer had. All around it's a pretty enjoyable album and is what we've come to expect from anything Krug and Boeckner touch these days.



Poindexter said...

Really excited for this album. Matt, usually we see eye to eye on much things music. But here, I have to disagree whole-heartedly about your feelings on Wolf Parade's sophmore album 'At Mount Zoomer'. While it definetly lacks the immediate hooks of their debut 'Apologies to the Queen Mary', I believe 'Zoomer' songs are more cohesive between Krug & Boeckner. It's one of those more of a "grower" than a "shower". After many listens, I just have to say it's a more dominant album.

Matt said...

Dex, I'm not sure if you'll even see this reply since it's so far after your post, but I went back to At Mount Zoomer today. There are definitely a few real gems on this album ('California Dreamer' and 'Kissing The Beehive') that can stand up to the best stuff off Apologies, but I still think some of the stuff in between is not up to par with the debut or the new album.

I will admit I probably didn't give it enough listens when it first came out so I'll spin it a few more times over the next week or so to see if it grows on me.