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Album Review

Wolf Parade, 'Expo 86'

June 28, 2010

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Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade sings with a haughty, infinitesimally nasal throatiness yearning for closeness but holding back at arm’s reach. It’s a voice that so closely resembles Interpol’s Paul Banks that much of “Expo 86’’ is the sound of him dragging his band, intentionally or not, into soundalike territory. “Yulia,’’ “Little Golden Age,’’ the spiky “Cave-O-Sapien,’’ and especially “Two Men in New Tuxedos’’ are as Interpol-y as they come, with spacious guitars, propulsive drums, and a post-punk romanticism as impassioned as it is inscrutable. The best songs draw from other sources. The hooky, compact “Oh You, Old Thing’’ has the too-smart-for-their-own-good melancholy of Steely Dan, while “Cloud Shadow on the Mountain’’ pivots around an extended midsection that nods to the interlude in Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused’’ (plus a touch of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs’’), with the drums insistently pushing forward against guitar grunts and declamations by Boeckner until they fling back into the song with heavy inertia. “Expo 86’’ is ultimately too dense for its own good, with interesting things happening on a surface that’s so difficult to pierce that there’s eventually little urgency to keep trying. (Out tomorrow) MARC HIRSH

ESSENTIAL “Oh You, Old Thing’’

Wolf Parade performs at the House of Blues on July 12.