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Welcome to the wonderful acid carnival that is Wolf Parade.

Every time I hear a Wolf Parade track it always invokes a sense of one big party under pale moonlight and the moon seems to be grinning and looking down at all the confetti and dancing that’s going on under a huge red pavilion looking somewhat like a Terry Gilliam set.

Their third offering Expo 86 sits nicely with At Mount Zoomer and Apologies to the Queen Mary, literate, crunchy, delayed guitars and bright 80s synths all packaged in an energetic indie rock style with Spencer Krug‘s David Bowie like vocal stylings.

Nothing new or experimental going on here, Wolf Parade wear their indie rock tag on their sleeves and write well crafted melodic tracks but something seems to hold back making this album a classic or even above mediocre.

The tracks seem to come and go with such immediacy, drums hit hard from the get go and weather you like a little breathing space in your music Spencers vocals never seem to let up from the start of the album. Wold Parade are definitely exploring a dirtier post-punk on this album, hints of Modest Mouse are here and there when the synths and double tracked guitars meet with the fiery vocals.

Certain tracks on Expo 86 will fit in perfectly in their live set but as a coherent album it just about fails to bring the kind of excitement and enjoyment that their previous albums did. The songs have a tendency to blur and it’s hard to catch any hooks or points of reference if you wanted to cherry pick songs as standouts.

If At Mount Zoomer was their carnival dance party, Expo 86 is the cloud moving over that party.

Let’s hope the parade will find its way out of the storm.

Words: Dean Jones

Listen: WOLF PARADE – Expo 86

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