Random observations, teachings and musings of a well trained cubicle superhero.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Handsome Furs TueJuly 31@Lees

That it will be at least three years between Wolf Parade albums
is enough to
make anyone cry. But by now, co-frontmen Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner have had
enough side projects -- Swan Lake, Sunset Rubdown, Frog Eyes -- to craft a
Frankenstein-style WP album. Or have they?Boeckner said of his solo side
project, Handsome Furs, that it's "basically Wolf Parade without the guy that
everybody likes and no real instruments." But Handsome Furs' debut, Plague Park,
takes the man who's been called the Springsteen/Beck-sounding one of the group
and pairs him with drum-machine pyrotechnics courtesy of his fiancée, Alexei
Perry. Emotions are mixed, tempos largely steady; the two of them trudge along,
crafting some sheepishly sad, mixed-tempo electronica.

The opening
track, "What We Had," is an anthem to every relationship gone awry, with
hypnotic beat that almost manages to distract you from the fundamentally
depressing lyrics. On the plodding-through-the-wilderness/synth-glitch number
"Handsome Furs Hate This City," Boeckner sings of urban disaffection and
isolation, and the musical drive evident in the beginning of songs like "Cannot
Get, Started" and "Sing! Captain!" doesn't always hold through to the songs'
end; they start brightly but end slowly, like a road trip ending in a nap,
shades drawn.

Handsome Furs will no doubt be compared to the Postal
Service -- a side project given a drum machine that (surprise!) isn't quite like
the original. They're not here to comfort or rock, and dances will end
midflight, but Plague Park's blissfully crackling compositions will find fans in
anyone looking for a different brand of IDM: intelligent daydream music.

Karla Starr, Seattle Weekly

Handsome Furs: What We Had - (mp3)

HypeMachine Links: http://hypem.com/search/handsome%20furs/1/
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