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Polaroids Of Androids

Record Reviews

9.3

Handsome Furs
Plague Park

I think I was supposed to be Canadian. Of my list of favourite musical artists, a higher than what could be considered an anomaly percentage of the entrants hail from Canada. Over the past few years, Broken Social Scene, Cadence Weapon, Sunset Rubdown and Wolf Parade are just some of the artists that have made me gush like a grade 7 school girl over that boy in year 9.

For a while I thought it was Spencer Krug that was the magic that made both these bands so phenomenal, but after hearing Handsome Furs it's quite evident that Dan Boeckner had more of an influence than is immediately recognisable. And what's more, it's even arguable that he gives more to the Wolf Parade sound than his highly talented contempory.

Plague Park is a triumph in a musical landscape that is cluttered and convoluted, more for what it doesn't do than what it does. There are no frighteningly mind-blowing but still slightly cheesy guitar solos. There are no obnoxious indie rock horns. There isn't even the standard guitar/bass/drums. Instead, what Boeckenr and his partner in crime Alexei Perry do with just a drum machine, an acoustic guitar and Boeckner's haunting vocals simply engulfs the listener in authenticity, rendering any expectations of what minimalist music should be null and void.

The inherent simplicity of the repetitive loops that build and morph for the duration of the record means that focusing on the core ideas of the songs is made all the more easier. And far from becoming monotonous or boring, the repetition makes for a welcome change from the over-the-top-trying-to-do-too-much nature of some of modern music.

There is no way that the melancholic beauty of songs such as What We Had, Handsome Furs Hate This City or Cannot Get, Started can be overstated, the later evoking the same feelings and mood (as well as melody) that Bruce Springsteen's Dancing In The Dark does.

While it's rare that music so simple sounds so good, the inverse that good music is usually simple is evident on Plague Park. Thank you Handsome Fur's for delivering what should be hailed as a modern masterpiece.

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Handsome Furs

 

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