June 22, 2010

Handsome Furs - Face Control

Back in 2006, Dan Boeckner split off from Wolf Parade, his former band, to form a great indie/electronic duo with his wife Alexei Perry called Handsome Furs. This is their second album entitled Face Control, and by golly, it's something else. At first, they just sound like your average electronic, maybe house band, until you hear Boeckner's imperfect but satisfying voice. When i listen to his voice, i think of Beck Hansen's voice a lot. The two of them have very similar sounds. Wolf Parade's first album in 2005 ,called Apologies to the Queen Mary, is much more about the concept of heavy drum beats, banged piano chords, and clashing vocals. The first song "You Are a Runner and I Am Your Father's Song" sung by Spence Krug of Sunset Rubdown, is a bit like a mix of Cold War Kids' style and Alec Ounsworth's (of Clap Your Hands Say Yeah) unsound but unique voice. The rest of the songs sung by him also have that kind of Ounsworth feel. Remember that SNL cowbell sketch? Everytime I listen to I'm Confused, it reminds me of that, even if the cowbell's much quieter than the song. I like the Chinese kind of impression on (White City), with that instrument at the beginning that i don't know the name of. The chord changes are kind of interesting on Officer of Hearts, a much more calm song. The soulful song All We Want Baby, Is Everything kind of makes me feel like i'm running really fast across the desert, being chased by a pack of wild dogs. But since the song is a happy song, the dogs are happy. They're not trying to eat me, it's like we're just playing a game of tag, i suppose. But then I'm Confused comes on, and the dogs go all evil on me, and suddenly i'm actually trying to escape being eaten alive. Okay, I'm a little confused by my relation to the songs. But anyway, i like (Passport Control) a lot too. It's very catchy, and easy to get stuck in your head, like the songs on the Say Hi album. I think since the song is short enough, i'll listen to it each time i'm getting my passport checked at the airport. Just to remind me of them. It might grow into a habit, eventually. But let's stop talking about Julian, and his silly plans for the future, and get back to the album on a whole. In my opinion, it's certainly a sharp turn away from Wolf Parade. But with this handsome record, the sharp turn doesn't end in a fiery crash.


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