Wolf Parade | Expo 86

Sub Pop (2010)
By REYAN ALI  |  July 1, 2010
2.5 2.5 Stars

OTR070210_wolf_main

Wolf Parade kick-start their third album by getting right into rambling poetics. “I was asleep in a hammock/I was dreaming that I was a web/I was a dreamcatcher hanging in the window of a mini-van parked along the water’s edge,” says guitarist/keyboardist Spencer Krug in a shaky vocal on “Cloud Shadow on the Mountain,” before synths yelp and guitar effects creak and ruminate. Welcome to Expo 86, a world where Krug and fellow singer/guitarist Dan Boeckner guide you through a tangled indie-rock meadow overrun with luminous instrumentation, shifting moods, and lyrics dotted with evocatively kooky turns of phrase like “I take my meals with weirdos and play with my rocket ships.”

According to its PR material, Expo 86 is sorta framed in tribute to the Vancouver world’s fair all four Wolf Paraders attended in 1986, before they all met, and the record captures the vibe and excitement of an adolescent’s big day out. There are triumphant highs (“Cave-o-Sapien”), wistful medium highs (“Pobody’s Nerfect”), and forlorn, confused lows (“Ghost Pressure”). The problem is that the experience can feel as if it were aiming to be too big, and then the tracks become overloaded. “Ghost Pressure” is dominated by a frostbitten, ridiculously catchy synth line, but the song dissipates its emotional force by running a minute too long. Ambition might sound like an odd thing to chide a band for, but if Wolf Parade had figured out when to push the hooks and when to pull back the excess, Expo 86 would have shone.

WOLF PARADE | House of Blues 15 Lansdowne St, Boston | July 12 | 8 pm | $22-$25 | 888.693.BLUE or houseofblues.com

  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Wolf Parade,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY REYAN ALI
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   MARNIE STERN | THE CHRONICLES OF MARNIA  |  March 13, 2013
    In the arena of charming and entertaining indie-music figures, Marnie Stern stands unopposed.
  •   NO REST FOR BLACKBIRD BLACKBIRD  |  March 13, 2013
    Blackbird Blackbird's 2012 EP Boracay Planet takes its name from two sources: Boracay — a beach-filled, postcard-perfect island in the Philippines — and a dream Mikey Maramag had about the tourist trap, despite never having visited.
  •   WILD BELLE PUSH MAGICAL BUTTONS  |  February 11, 2013
    Wild Belle's multi-ethnic allegiances — Afropop, reggae, and rocksteady — fuse into American indie-pop and classic rock. Results are, at varying times, tropical, tepid, and tempestuous.
  •   THE LUMINEERS AIM FOR THE RAFTERS  |  February 01, 2013
    Jeremiah Fraites isn't famous — at least not yet. The drummer of the Lumineers, the folk trio who experienced an outrageously fruitful 2012, is talking to me two days before appearing on the January 19 Saturday Night Live, but he doesn't sound convinced that his band have crossed the fame threshold.
  •   PHANTOM GLUE COME INTO FOCUS  |  January 23, 2013
    Variations of "nightmarish" and "psychedelic" come up repeatedly as Matt Oates describes his band's work — which makes sense, given that Phantom Glue trace their roots back to Slayer, the Jesus Lizard, and cult post-hardcore act KARP.

 See all articles by: REYAN ALI