Face Control

by Jacquelyn Lewis

The Furs’ sophomore effort, Face Control, pulses with drum-machine goodness.

Handsome Furs, the indie-rock side project of Wolf Parade guitarist Dan Boeckner and his wife, Alexei Perry, has developed its trademark minimalist sound by employing not a drummer but a drum machine to keep the beat. The Furs’ sophomore effort, Face Control, pulses in its entirety with elementary machine beats your kid brother could’ve crafted in ’85 on a Casio keyboard—and it’s infectious. Boeckner’s powerful vocal swagger and devastating guitar licks, with Perry’s thick synths, create a cool, controlled ambience. ‘I’m Confused’ has enough gusto to fill a dance floor, while ‘Passport Kontrol’ gives krautrock a twitchy nod. Conversely, ‘Talking Hotel Arbat Blues’ sounds like Bruce Springsteen by way of Arcade Fire, with its rumbling guitar, echoed vocals, and shiny keys. Closing track ‘Radio Kalininbrad’ is a gorgeous electro ballad, and by the album’s end, you’ll be hard-pressed not to fall for the Furs—corny backbeats and all.

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