Release date: June 29, 2010
If Iron Maiden and Ratatat have taught us anything, it's that electric guitar harmonies are unarguably awesome. If you heard the two new songs from the upcoming Wolf Parade album, you've been assured that Spencer Krug has also learned this musical fact. Expo 86 is Wolf Parade's best album by far. I can't even remember what their first two albums sound like anymore. And now that I've heard this, I don't even care about the upcoming Arcade Fire album either. There's no way it'll beat Expo 86. But if a Canadian band releases something better than this in 2010, I'm moving up north.
I'm one of those suckers for accessibility. There are so many hooks on this album, you'd have to be an asshole to hate on it. I know Wolf Parade flirted with that before, but they seemed a little too concerned with maintaining some sort of fuzzy quirkiness instead of just letting loose and rocking out. And we all knew they were capable of some epic stuff, I'll Believe in Anything couldn't have been clearer on that. But there was always a bunch of filler. I don't know what good that did for anybody though. I always skipped those noisy tracks on their last two albums. But there's not a single track on Expo 86 I want to skip.
They've gone a little bit Modest Mouse on us. And I know a lot of people won't hear that as a good thing, but come on, Good News For People Who Love Bad News wasn't that bad in retrospect. So Wolf Parade is pulling in the disco drums we've come to expect from The Killers or Franz Ferdinand. But don't worry. It's okay. Spencer Krug didn't screw this up. The band just sounds more inclined to encapsulate an audience at an outdoor festival now, instead of just at a college town basement show.
I couldn't be more pleased with this record. Truth be told, Wolf Parade is simply focusing on their strong points now: hard-driving rhythm, unpredictable harmony, and catchy-as-all-hell melody. Expo 86 will result in their firm establishment as one of the best rock bands today. It's not just indie anymore. This rock and roll is packaged for the masses. Forget those odd time signatures and glockenspiels, this is 2010 people. Fuck irony. Wolf Parade is setting a tone for a decade of damaged ear-drums and post-MTV sincerity.
LISTEN: What Did My Lover Say (It Always Had To Go This Way)