By Mike CarneyJuly 19, 2007
Most engaged couples spend their time gearing up for the big day by auditioning wedding singers, tasting cakes, and picking out the right invitations. Wolf Parade guitarist Dan Boeckner and poet-fiancée Alexei Perry, however found the time to write a stark, moody album with little more than a guitar, a drum machine, and their combined imaginations.
Although The Handsome Furs embrace minimalism and repetition to give them an identity distinct from that of Wolf Parade, Boeckner employs the same affected croon and fractured guitar riffs that helped formulate the sound of his primary band. On Plague Park,
The Handsome Furs sound like they are expressing their disillusionment with just about everything. The record was released at the end of May, but doesn’t really do as a summer album. It evokes the feeling of being alone in dark, cold subway tunnels with Boeckner’s urgent vocals and Perry’s persistent drum machine beats acting as the dusty breeze filling the station as trains pull out. This formula does not waver through out the record’s first eight tracks until Perry picks up a tambourine and Boeckner breaks out an acoustic guitar for the closer, “In the Radio’s Hot Sun.”
The brooding, jaded artist gig has been played countless times over, especially in this sort of electronic synth-pop format. However, Boeckner and Perry do it exceptionally well, and Plague Park is a very good album.