Friday, March 13, 2009


Where erie is a verb and dark is a proper noun.

Handsome Furs are the personification of dark love. They ooze with grim and grit and belts and whips. Modern lovers in a cold world. The ultimate paradox of the age old wonderment of man to express his emotions and the neo-evolution of the computer to dictate how man feels when he does so.

Plague Park, the handsome duo’s first crack at the formal release of full length album, they of course being Dan Boeckner (Wolf Parade) and his saucy partner in crime, was an awe inspiring event for me. I couldn’t get enough of the metal sounds contradicting the heartfelt lyrics belted and breaking in grand fashion. The more epic and more moving the song the deeper I was sucked in. Sadly, many were not as shaken by the work as I. Handsome Furs seemed to be nothing more of a side project for Dan while the other focal point of Wolf Parade, Spencer Krug, continued to crank one revolutionary tale after another. Never one to be dismayed but lack of support in my own musical tastes, I grew even more the fan of the first album in spite of those that would want me to do otherwise.

Expectations were among the highest I’ve had for a follow up album when I let the opening pop of Face Control unleash itself. Enter the paradox once again. Now, settled and stronger in their sound, Handsome Furs have made a complete and well written and produced album. It delivers on many levels and brings with it the ability to appeal to more of a base, more dance, more pop, more current indie. I see it as a venture lost.

Where are the epic cries and the dark misery of lonesomeness? Why are they so in love that they never see dark? Yes, the guitar work is strong and the beats move a crowd now, but songs that clock in at 1:50 to 3:20 are a far shadow to the master works of the last album.

Sad am I indeed. Expectations and paradoxical letdowns aside, this is a quality album. I regard many of the aspects that the band have grown to excel at. The lyrics are as bold and thorny as ever, just not sung with the desperation that I so yearn for in Boekner’s voice. The album is sexier, but in a more direct way. I’ll have to give this more time, but for now my face is far from controlled.


The Dark Lovers embrace...I'd probably write songs with her as well.

I'm Confused - Handsome Furs, from Face Control:

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