Handsome Furs is a name under which former Wolf Parade guitarist and complete badass Dan Boeckner and his wife record sandpapery electronic music. The duo blasts simple melodies constructed with heavy guitars and powerful beats. The follow-up to their solid ’09 release Face Control, Sound Kapital is another Boeckner-taught lesson in badassery.
Despite my profound admiration for Dan Boeckner, I was a little nervous when I heard that Handsome Furs’ latest album was written entirely on keyboards. Why would Handsome Furs, a band that lives, eats, and breathes harsh and fuzzy guitars, ditch their guitars for infant-sized synthesizers? Simple, they were just too busy doing badass shit to spend time in the studio with their guitars. Keyboards would fit in the tiny van they used to illegally tour in southeast Asia. That seems like pretty awesome excuse to me.
This transition has, amazingly, resulted in an overall improvement in the band’s sound. Boeckner’s vocals mesh well with the in-your-face attitude of their electronic style. The concise melodies that are a staple of the Furs’ sound are now more fleshed out. Although Sound Kapital may at first feel cold, Handsome Furs have successfully injected a blast of life into their electronic music, not by any means an easy task.
Sound Kapital, like all of Boeckner’s works, is very consistent. The band gets going with the brilliant Damage and never looks back. Sound Kaptial is great. Pick it up.