Handsome Furs

Plague Park | Sub Pop
By CHRISTOPHER GRAY  |  May 21, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars

Playing Bruce Springsteen to Spencer Krug’s David Bowie, Dan Boeckner came across as the humble workhorse of Wolf Parade — a sobering anchor for Krug’s restless imagination. Plague Park (out this Tuesday), the debut from Boeckner’s new side project Handsome Furs (with his fiancée, Alexei Perry), confirms the Springsteen comparison while underlining the importance of Boeckner’s contributions to Wolf Parade, particularly on the band’s acclaimed 2005 debut, Apologies to Queen Mary (Sub Pop). On Plague Park, Boeckner sings of doomed, collapsing cities and doomed, apathetic denizens in almost hopeless terms. But the eponymous pleas of “Sing! Captain” and his blissful guitar licks slyly subvert the abject fatalism of his lyrics. Perry’s synth/drum machine compositions sometimes overreach — it takes Boeckner’s most Springsteenian moment to salvage the ugly French techno pulse of “Dead + Rural.” At their best, though, Handsome Furs do for the disaffected what the Postal Service did for sentimental Death Cab cuties: they deliver more of something not quite the same.

Related: Off the record: Week of May 11, 2007, Variety pack, Wolf Parade, More more >
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