You Should Go Your Own Way

07/07/2010 4:03 AM |

Wolf Parade
Expo 86

Sub Pop

Expo 86 is the most collaborative-sounding Wolf Parade album yet, insofar as it’s not immediately clear which of the band’s two traditionally distinct songwriters is responsible for each song. Spencer Krug, whose Sunset Rubdown shines a light on his hyper-dramatic, emotionally complicated musings, stands in contrast to Dan Boeckner, who does a more straightforward guitar thing, albeit with a focus on the slyly danceable, with Handsome Furs. On Expo 86, the two approaches are mixed and matched in a way that’s confusing, almost unsettling for longtime fans of the band(s). It stands to reason that this would be the surest path to greatness&#8212combining the aesthetics of two very gifted songwriters&#8212and there are undeniable highs here, like the foreboding “What Did My Lover Say” and the glorious “Yulia.” But Expo also sounds a little bit like Krug and Boeckner hedging their bets, not quite convinced they wouldn’t be better off holding their best work for their other bands. It’s tough to blame them.