» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Handsome Furs
Face Control
Sub Pop

Rating: 6.3/10 ?

March 11, 2009
Handsome Furs are not your typical husband/wife indie-rock duo, cooing about the growing pains of love and marriage à la Mates of State; however, their sentiments don't stray too far from a "you can surely try to be more alive" quasi-optimism. If Matt and Kim, of the band Matt and Kim, are the genre's cutesy, city-dwelling newlyweds, consider Handsome Furs to be the couple who have fled the city and harbor apprehension toward the whole Twitter thing.

Dan Boeckner's discontent with modernity is well-documented: it wasn't four years ago that he was pleading "I'm not in love with the modern world" on Wolf Parade's Apologies to the Queen Mary and later, "We hate this city/ filled its drone" on the Furs' debut, Plague Park. He and his now-wife Alexei Perry share their global-minded views on Face Control, their latest and greatest dirge for our ever-complex world. Seconds into its opening, the gruff voiced Boeckner avows, "don't wanna hear about the weight of the world," on "Legal Tender" only to find that weight upon his shoulders a few songs later on the restless "Thy Will Be Done," confessing, "I get the feeling like I have no purpose."

Though Face Control attempts to sound like a well-traveled reflection on the stark, hollow soundscape of Eastern Europe, its stripped-down quality proves to be more lo-fi overkill than artful necessity. Perhaps the Furs are going for the form-fits-meaning approach, conveying minimalism in both sonic construction and ideology. And yet, they're fighting fire with fire: for a message that essentially rejects western ideals and the superficial connectedness of modern technology, its Perry's electro-beat that really resonates. Nothing says contemptus mundi like the ambient synth of "Evangeline" or the amorphous fuzz of guitar on "(It's Not Me, It's You)."

An interesting listen, Face Control has an eerie vibe, as though something beneath the surface is just a bit off. It is haunting with anxiety-riddled keyboard, Casio-emulating drumbeats, and repetitious hooks, sounding as if it were recorded on a cassette tape and buried for two-decades. Ultimately, the Furs aren't trying to bring everyone down; on the contrary, they implicitly propose that a life without its unnecessary constraints makes for a better living. They're just going about it in a roundabout way.

Reviewed by Lara Longo
Lara Longo is a writer and photographer from Brooklyn, NY. In 1989, Lara received her first CD player and album, Appetite for Destruction; ever since, music is something she has fawned over, hated on, and played loudly. Her work has also appeared in Relix and New York Cool. Lara’s interests include sharks, European television, and the Hammond B3 organ.

See other reviews by Lara Longo



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