Wolf Parade, "Expo 86"
Montreal rock outfit Wolf Parade received critical acclaim for its 2005 debut, "Apologies to the Queen Mary," and three years later for follow-up "At Mount Zoomer." For its third album, "Expo 86," the band tempers the musical diversity of its predecessors and focuses more on standard rock fare. The track "Two Men in New Tuxedos" features Wolf Parade singer Spencer Krug (who splits lyrical duties with guitarist Dan Boeckner) musing over upbeat guitar strums and peppered-in synth, while "What Did My Lover Say? (It Always Had to Go This Way)" utilizes a Jack White-inspired guitar line. Elsewhere, prog rock a la Muse dominates the song "Ghost Pressure," and the hint of new wave heard on "Little Golden Age" and "Yulia" brings a welcome breath of fresh air to the album. Wolf Parade may have defined its own sound with its past two releases, but sometimes a more straightforward approach is a nice change of pace.