Wolf Parade Expo 86

Wolf Parade Expo 86
For their third full-length LP, Montreal's Wolf Parade decided to record the entire album live-off-the-floor. The decision paid off; Expo 86 is far and away the band's most vital and cohesive record to date. Bringing the urgency of their live performance to record was a simple case of getting all four members playing at the same time while being recorded by a member outside the band, which in this case was Howard Bilerman. The continued cohesion of the songwriting styles of dual frontmen Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner, however, are less easily explained. Where the band's highly (and rightly) acclaimed first album, Apologies to the Queen Mary, was a pastiche of the two songwriters' styles, Expo 86 is an unrelenting album of straightforward, groove-tinged songs by both Krug and Boeckner. Album highlights "What Did My Lover Say? (It Always Had to Go This Way)" and "Yulia" are stunning examples of Wolf Parade's new mindset: positive, straightforward and for the first time, even fun. It's arguable whether it's the band's best work to date, but surely, Expo 86 is another fantastic album by a band that are growing together and evolving with each new album ― hallmarks of any great act. (Sub Pop)