With Expo 86, Montreal’s Wolf Parade has expanded their electro-pop indie rock in size and scope while delivering danceable efforts that their fans will devour. Guitars and keyboards sound grandiose over wordless choruses; large enough to fill up some arenas that band is on the road to headlining. Dan Boeckner and Spencer Krug are the most cohesive as song writers they have been in this bands career, coalescing easily throughout and making it more difficult to recognize who wrote which song. The whole of Expo 86 is sturdy while individual playing is allowed to venture out towards the fraying edges. There doesn’t appear to be a standout number here, and that’s just fine.
Keyboard jabs spar with guitars on all the tracks while the driving drums can give way to orbital rotations on “In The Direction Of The Moon”. “Ghost Pressure” disco dances around, strutting its sexy stuff, while “Podoy’s Nerfect” crashes alive and vibrant with rhythmic fluency. The marching “Two Men in Tuxedos” strides back to the wordless chorus motif winningly working out again. Lyrically they can run from the surreal dreams (“Cloud Shadow On The Mountain” “Cave-o-Sapien”) to longing for days past (“Little Golden Age”) constantly tossing in “woah-oh’s” everywhere they are needed and some places they aren’t.
Songs do have a tendency to run long as half the disk flirts with the six minute mark, some editing would have helped the repetition and overall flow; however the end product of Expo 86 sounds exactly like a band brimming with confidence in the midst of their creative stride.