Photography by 333bracket…
“This is going to hurt me more than it hurts you…”
Probably one of the worse lines you, as a kid, may have ever heard from a parent. It was the line many parents used just moments before they were out to physically hurt you. Their weapon of choice varied from parent to parent, of course, and my dad’s choice? The belt… More specifically, about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2″ wide leather dress belt with the “D” embedded in the belt buckle he wore to work that he’d use on the back of my bare legs.
Hurt like a bitch.
When one of my stepmoms would punish me, letting me know I went too far and that I had to wait in my room until my father got home, I knew I was in for some pain. I’d shake with fear when I heard his truck pull up, when I heard his muffled voice come into the house and hear just bits of conversation as he was downloaded on the days events.
I’d watch the door, waiting to hear his foot steps, waiting to see the knob turn, already crying. There was usually some words, but the only ones I remember where those quoted above. If it hurt him, it never showed.
I’ve been listening to the new Wolf Parade, Expo ’86, since this weekend. Normally, when we don’t have glowing things to say, we tend to just not write about it… But, like all things in life, there are exceptions. Those exceptions are my favourite bands. To ignore a Decemberists, REM, Sunset Rubdown, etc, etc, and pretend like they never happened is just… well, disingenuous. If TSURURADIO is disingenuous then we are nothing.
The line my dad — and many others, for that matter, which begs the question, how did all these dads catch on to that line? — used was bullshit. It didn’t hurt him. I can’t tell you how many family get togethers involving grandparents and aunts & uncles & cousins & whatnot where they would recollect with a sort of demented glee the “whippins”. Not only the whippins they gave, but also the ones that they received from my grandfather (and he from his and so on)!
But I’m not going to lie to you. Let’s talk about Expo ’86 and believe me, this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.
First the good. The songs aren’t bad. Many, like “In The Direction Of The Moon” & “Cave-O-Sapien” are lots of fun. In fact, I’ll go as far to say “In The Direction Of The Moon” is my favourite track on the album and I’m pretty sure it’ll end up on some future mixtapes here and there. I really like it.
In fact (x2), most the songs are just fine! Really, nothing really wrong with them at all. But… they are, for the most part, just there. They sound uninspired & almost plodding like “Yulia” or like in “Two Men In New Tuxedos” which sounds like pretty much any Krug song you may have heard a thousand other times with bits of psychedelia thrown in for good measure.
This threw me off. I had read this was recorded pretty much live, as opposed to my favourite album of their’s, At Mount Zoomer. So, when the album seemed kinda bland I thought maybe it was me, maybe it’s the 2 weeks of rain here, maybe it’s my mood, my sore nutsack — yes, wrong saddle + titanium clips where vasectomy is + 2,000+ miles = unhappy testes, but don’t worry, back to my right saddle and 2 weeks of my colourful American Apparel colourful undies giving me support where I need it… I’m good to go!
Where was we? Oh yeah.
But I listened again & again, took a break, listened and wrote about other albums, came back to it, over and over and over again and well….
I’m sorry Wolf Parade but this is kinda boring.
I don’t know, you guys are so good in your respective bands of Handsome Furs & Sunset Rubdown, maybe it’s time to, you know, scale things back a smidge and just worry about those bands and do your fun little collabos here and there? I don’t know. You guys seemed so excited about this one too! How you had two albums worth of awesomeness and stuff, how you guys just got in there are played and played! I was excited too.
I want you to sit here and think about what you’ve done. I’ll let you know when dinner is ready.
1. Cloud Shadow on the Mountain
2. Palm Road
3. What Did My Lover Say? (It Always Had to Go This Way)
4. Little Golden Age
5. In the Direction of the Moon
6. Ghost Pressure
7. Pobody’s Nerfect
8. Two Men in New Tuxedos
9. Oh You, Old Thing