Monday, March 9, 2009

Handsome Furs - show 3/14 at the Blind Pig (Ann Arbor) + album review

(Handsome Furs are joined by Detroit's Silverghost and Child Bite, 3/14, Ann Arbor)
more info:

Blind Pig Web site


Handsome Furs
- Face Control
(Sub Pop)

Pretty hot, relentless dance-beats pounding at sweaty strobe-light paces
– the ever-pounding (but often distant, blunted percussion) mixed with light stabbings of synth and clangy, cutting guitars recalls the smoky style of The Kills, but mixes in more classic pop and early-day rock style. Most of the beats follow a steady one-two punch, with that giddily nostalgic and 80’s-indicative fuzzily echoed explosion to the cymbal crashes and the 8-bit sounding boomp-boomp of the synthesized bass drums.

This is the 2nd album from the often-labeled “side project” of Wolf Parade’s Dan Boekner, with Alexei Perry. Whereas their debut was a bit scorched with Krautrock stand-off-ish-ness and loner-stride indie-shreds, Face Control is a much more pleasing presentation in the realm of errant danceability mixed with dark overcast brooding and measured doses of nihilistic goth – (somehow tasting distantly of classic pop groups ala early 60’s.) There’s brief glimpses of even the cheesiest, yet-most-arresting romantic-pop of the New Wave era but refreshingly recalls Chrissie Hynde’s blend of contempo-sounding minimalist grit inescapably influenced by classic rock n roll. A true dance-rock record, (for those who loved the funky guitars-mixed-with-disco-rhythm of B-52’s will feel right at home), in fact – you may even want the guitars to back off a bit and just let the beats pound away. Also, the songs are actually given extra magnetism from its minimalist approach – often just sparse computers pulsing the percussion with these eerie but bewitching guitar tones we’ve not heard properly shredded out since Joy Division (ala “She’s Lost Control”) but measured by a whimsy we found in New Order (ala “Temptation.”)

Just like Plague Park before it, Face Control might lose you in the middle section. But, assuredly, side A is golden and the pace and electrified adrenaline starts swarming at a reliably invigorating pace for the hard-chugging closer.

listen - Handsome Furs - "I'm Confused"
sub pop

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