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Pop & Rock 2011: 30 Best Albums

Page 24

Pop & Rock 2011: 30 Best Albums
24. Handsome Furs Sound Kapital (Sub Pop)
"When I get back home/I won't be the same no more," sings Dan Boeckner on Sound Kapital's opening track, "When I Get Back." He's not kidding. Much of the material on Handsome Furs' third LP was inspired by the duo's travels in Eastern Europe and Asia, and these experiences clearly had a life-changing affect on Boeckner and wife Alexei Perry. The electro-punk rager "Cheap Music" includes shout-outs to Bucharest, Belgrade and Bangkok, while the politically-charged "Serve the People" paints an apocalyptic portrait of citizens rebelling against oppressive governments around the world. Adding to the foreign flair is the fact the album is named after a book about Beijing's underground music scene. But Sound Kapital is much more than an impassioned and deeply personal travelogue, since it also includes no shortage of pulse-racing electro bangers and synth-heavy rock anthems. Upbeat standouts "Bury Me Standing" and "Repatriated" employ repetitive, gradually-building structures that culminate in shouted crescendos and sound a bit like Bruce Springsteen might after a bender in an all-night dance club. If you were worried about the rumoured dissolution of Wolf Parade, don't be ― with Sound Kapital, Boeckner has proved that synthesizers work just as well as guitars and drums when it comes to crafting a kick-ass rock record.
Alex Hudson

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