With each and every side project, comes a new perspective of Wolf Parade. With Swan Lake, we heard a darker more haunting sound, caused by songs like "A Hand At Dusk" and "Spanish Gold 2044". Sunset Rubdown was loud and angry with songs like "Black Swan", "Silver Moons", and "Dragon's Lair". Handsome Furs was electronic with "Talking Hotel Arbat Blues". Each side project contributed to Expo 86, in one way or another. On the album Wolf Parade created a more live and electronically influenced sound, even the album artwork displayed live photos of the band, instead of the previous albums, which featured various drawings and paintings. The album opens with Spencer Krug's shaky and powerful voice setting the scene of the track "Cloud Shadow On The Mountain", which takes us on a musical journey through the mind of Wolf Parade, the track is loud and electronic when it wants to be, but doesn't rely on the usual crash-cymbal power-chords that other bands would. Instead, it weaves in and out of noise, drawing influence from such bands as The Pixies and Black Sabbath. After the echoing chords of the opening track, the album turns to "Palm Road" a slower song, with the energy of the first. Drummer, Arlen Thompson drives this haunting track from the beginning to the end, continuing the beat as electronic textures and bass transform the song into a masterpiece that leads right into "What Did My Lover Say". Heavy synth notes guide the noise saturated song through its various sections, and provide the perfect platform for Spencer Krug's voice. The entire album clearly draws influence from many of the post-punk and no-wave bands that defined the late 70's New York scene, bands like The Contortions, whose driving drum and bass notes, combined with scarce guitar noise heavily influenced Expo 86. One common theme through out most Wolf Parade songs, is that they end sounding different than how the song started. This concept also applies to the album as a whole, as it treads through several themes and sounds it ends sounding different than the beginning, which is what is so fantastic about the album, it begs to be listened to more than once. The best track on the album has to be "In The Direction Of The Moon" which opens with a heavy synth bass, then a danceable beat and echoey guitar noises. As the song progresses, and moves through the sections in a quiet-loud-quiet-loud format, one thing is certain, Wolf Parade has created a masterpiece, that is easily one of the best songs of the year. The album ends with "Cave-O-Sapien", a loud and upbeat track, that provides the first time listener with the urge to turn up your systems and play it again. In the end, that feeling is what separates a good album from a great one.