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Handsome Furs – Face Control (2009)

April 10, 2009

I loved last year’s At Mount Zoomer, by the dudes at Wolf Parade and against the norm I favoured it over their critically acclaimed debut. Spencer Krug seems to take all the fame with his multitude of side projects and doesn’t leave much of the spotlight for comrade in arms, Dan Boeckner, but Dan and his wife Alexei Perry have created a darkly fun electro album with this years Face Control under the guise Handsome Furs. Also against the norm I think I favour this over the more popular Krug projects which left me a little dissatisfied. Or perhaps lowered expectations just mean I can enjoy things better. Either way it is a well put together and written album that isn’t afraid to try new things.

“Legal Tender” starts things off with some hand claps and simple synths before Boeckner’s distinct vocals kick in. The  first chorus take a step back and bask in the minimalist hand claps and vocal hook before building into a strangely restrained but still foot stomping electro track; only really letting loose on the bridge with flailing guitars but then it’s all over too soon.  The album follows along the same line with flashes of guitar and dark, European influenced, synths and beats. It wouldn’t sound out of place at a club night but there is enough guitar to keep more open minded rock fans interested.

“Talking Hotel Arbat Blues” is fast and relies on a relentless kick drum driven beat and Boeckner’s repeating line of ‘I don’t know what I’ve been told but everything little thing’s been bought and sold’. The guitar weaves all round the place switching between simple punk riffing and almost abstract guitar lines. “I’m Confused” has a strong rock intro before settling into a dance beat with pointy synths and smooth guitar chords before some shrieking guitar kicks in during the chorus; possibly the most ‘indie rock’ thing on this electronic album. The album is really tied together by Boeckner’s unique vocal shouts and melodies while Perry does an excellent job of creating beats that will suit his style. This is a fun album with great contrast between loud and soft and I love hearing artists branch out from their usual style.

Official Myspace
Handsome Furs – Face Control

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