“From the first beat of ‘Expo 86,’ Wolf Parade wastes no time jumping headfirst into the high-energy sonic explosion of their third full-length album. Named after Wolf Parade’s initial meeting place at the World’s Fair of 1986 in Vancouver, ‘Expo 86′ gives listeners a rare blend of danceable hard-rocking tracks that are neither the least bit cheesy nor pretentious.
Produced by Howard Bilerman of Arcade Fire fame, ‘Expo 86′ was written and recorded just over the course of three months following a yearlong hiatus of the band. A considerably short time for a group that has typically spent a significant amount of in-studio hours recording their previous records, the intuitive nature of ‘Expo 86′ shows a more intense side of Wolf Parade than seen on earlier works. A sense of urgency is felt throughout the album, most notably on the hauntingly frantic first track “Cloud Shadow On the Mountain” and also on “Pobody’s Nerfect,” an anthemic fist-pumper featuring thrashing guitar riffs with just the perfect amount of sweet synths.
Further differing the recording process of ‘Expo 86′ from previous works is the lack of keyboardist Hadji Bakara, who took a break from Wolf Parade to pursue a doctorate degree in English Literature. Instead of taking on a new member, the band decided to divide Bakara’s responsibilities amongst themselves by having each member play a synthesizer in addition to their regularly played instrument. This would explain the deliciously eclectic synth sounds heard throughout the record, such as on “Oh You, Old Thing,” which features D-50 string sounds reminiscent of the Cure, and the Kraftwerk-y head-bopper “Ghost Pressure”.
Wolf Parade’s unrelenting energy throughout ‘Expo 86′ makes this album an essential addition to the summer 2010 catalog of any music fan. By far their best recording to date, Wolf Parade proves the saying “haste makes waste” clearly does not pertain to them.” — Beth Harper, Verbicide Magazine