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on 13 August 2010
Wolf Parade have long been the commercial, unit-shifting division of Spencer Krug's Canadian conglomerate. Less challenging than the commendable Frog Eyes and Swan Lake projects, and less boisterously epic than his flagship weird Sunset Rubdown, Wolf Parade have chugged along in murky indie-rock waters on two previous outings pleasing many, but not all, on their way.

The inventive debut Apologies To The Queen Mary was gloriously hit and sadly miss, and its successor At Mount Zoomer downright disappointing in comparison. Wolf Parade may be the most attainable of Krug's arsenal, but overall, to these ears, also the least likeable - until now that is.

Less than the sum of their parts on at least one of the two previous attempts, Expo 86 seems to have struck a winning balance. It's interesting and sufficiently challenging, poppy but varied. It's epic too, as the drum battery, galloping tempos and shifting refrains of the opening tour de force "Cloud Shadow On The Mountain" so definitely confirm. And you could rarely say that about Apologies.

Consequently, the album's 55 minutes fly by keeping the listener largely enthralled. The relationship Krug has with fellow singer and songwriter Dan Boeckner, a man not short of bands himself, finally sounds entirely complementary. Whilst the pair arguably fail to produce true fireworks on Expo 86, it nevertheless has an exciting backbone.

Krug's theatrical howl sounds refreshed set against the enviably tight and patient new-wave indie-rock spikes of "What Did My Lover Say?", as well as on its intelligent sister "Ghost Pressure". Thrusts of synths set the latter apart, and whilst whiffing a touch of The Bravery they are blended into the mix much less derivatively, even though the resultant subdued delays of "Oh You, Old Thing" have a touch of the Gary Numans to them.

The beefy "Pobody's Nerfect", which is as close to much-likened Modest Mouse as Wolf Parade come on this occasion, is surprisingly sing-along in between its classic rock riffs, and "Yulia" doubles that feeling, coming on like Springsteen - all throat-growled blue-collar stuff with militaristic progressions and a discernible hands-in-the-air quality.

Ultimately, Expo 86 finally does Wolf Parade more than justice, at last making at least this penny drop.
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on 23 August 2010
I liked Apologies to Queen Mary and was keen to see what they come up with next. But the second album didn't live up to my expectations, it seemed that they put a bunch of unloved songs together just because they had to produce another album building on the success of the first. I even thought that the band may fall apart as band members were involved in other projects (e.g. Sunset Rubdown).

However, I could say that I'm quite pleased with Expo 86. The album is more catchy than the previous and got a bit more character, so looking forward to seeing them live in October. Bet the crowd will be more lively having listened to the album for a couple of months and hope the WP will come up with new versions rather than replicating the sound on the cd.

Now for the music. Some of the songs have a bit of an 80s tinge to them and some even remind me of Ladytron, Knife and Modest Mouse stuff. The lyrics also seem a bit easier to relate to, more dreamy and personal. But it's still in no way a cheesy or a copycat album. Not sure how to describe it as I'm not a proper reviewer, so I'd say if you liked ATQM, you won't be disappointed in Expo 86.
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on 22 August 2010
I've loved both their previous albums for years, so when I heard a few months ago that a new Wolf Parade album was not far off, I got very excited. I ordered it as soon as possible after the release date, and for the first week of getting it, listened to it non-stop. I absolutely love it. I might even dare to say I think it's their finest yet. If you liked Apologies and At Mount Zoomer, you'll want to give this one a listen. Fantastic lyrics, melodies, and songs. As always.
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on 28 September 2010
I saw these guys live a couple of weeks ago, and I have to say amazing!!! Songs like "What Did My Lover Say (It Always Had To Go This Way)" and "Cloud Shadow On The Mountain" were insane live and add to the bands already impressive live set. This album feels more well rounded and is a logical next step for Wolf Parade.

I thoroughly enjoy this album, it gets a certified "2 thumbs up" as far as i'm concerned. Rollercoaster ride of emotions....
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on 27 August 2010
This is an excellent album. More accessible than there previous excellent albums.

The songwriting is strong and mature with a unique flavour. Uniquity by its nature reduces mass appeal. Long may that continue, because the pay off for us ion the know is sublime.
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on 22 September 2013
Heard a track from here on a film and had to get the album to see what else they had done.
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