Review: Handsome Furs

Time Out Ratings :

<strong>Rating: </strong>3/5

Montreal's Wolf Parade has joined the crowded ranks of Canadian indie supergroups like Broken Social Scene and the New Pornographers, who break up their album-to-album cycle with a plethora of side projects. Dan Boeckner and Spencer Krug share vocal duties for the band, each seemingly trying to up the theremin-driven ante on song after epic song. Each has also founded a separate group dedicated to his own unique singing voice: Guitarist Boeckner, who fronts Handsome Furs, sounds like Beck trapped in a cave, while keyboardist Krug's croon, at the fore in Sunset Rubdown, frequently cracks like an overly stimulated, deep-voiced adolescent's.

On Face Control, Boeckner and his wife, Alexei Perry—who controls the electronic rhythms and poses for American Apparel--style press shots with Boeckner (are we making music or pimping out our wife's dignity here?)—reaffirm that Krug is most of the brains behind Wolf Parade. That's no surprise, since Sunset Rubdown plays superior songs—and, for that matter, Krug's Wolf Parade work is usually fiercer. While it would be refreshing to hear well-written, high-energy Furs songs like '80s-throwback thrasher "Thy Will Be Done" and psychedelic clap-happy "I'm Confused" interspersed with Krug's anthems, on their own they blend together into an innocuous, synth-heavy blur...which is a shame, because the duo really does photograph well.

Handsome Furs play Mercury Lounge Fri 6.

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Face Control (Sub Pop)