Handsome Furs Plague Park

Man, that Wolf Parade album was really good. Like, amazingly great. Handsome Furs aren’t Wolf Parade but they come damn close. A side-project consisting of Dan Boeckner and his fiancée Alexei Parry, the songs are a little more atmospheric and open than the tight, riotous action of Boeckner’s main paycheque, and that’s fine. Incorporating more electronic backing and slow build-ups, this debut’s openness leaves you more in wonder than out of breath, which makes this a wonderful time whether you’re a Wolf Parade fan or not. Opener "What We Had” is a stomping, layered highlight where Boeckner’s voice does an admirable job communicating his emotion over canned drum machine and familiar guitar. Add in some blurry feedback and it sets the mood perfectly. "Dead + Rural” turns heads with its electro-stomp intro but with Boeckner’s guitar and voice still as strong as ever this could find a permanent place at your favourite indie dance club. Finally, "Dumb Animals” is as beautiful as things get, with its slow burn vocal layers and intoxicating combination of repeating, elongated fuzz. Catchy, eminently repeatable and downright awesome, it comes close to Wolf Parade yet is a different beast. But, please, don’t be afraid. (Sub Pop)