Handsome Furs - Sound Kapital
I've always found Handsome Furs to be the most consistent project of Dan Bloeckner's. The duo formed with his wife Alexei Perry have routinely delivered, and try to do so again with the new album Sound Kapital, out June 28th.
The album begins with the very promising "When I Get Back". The song features some experimentation that has a lot of potential, with a country vibe floating beneath a wave of electronics. Unfortunately, that does not appear again on the album.
"Damage" careens further towards the electronic end of the spectrum. It's a taut track that always seems to be on the verge of spinning out of control.
Sound Kapital lacks a song as immediately compelling as either "I'm Confused" or "Radio Kaliningrad". "Memories of the Future" is an obvious attempt at that, but it's too forced and inorganic an effort to honestly fulfill that role.
There's a fascination with the '80s that creeps its way, either subconsciously or by design, into several of these songs. For example, "Bury Me Standing" has the sterile sound of '80s techno pop, as does "Repatriated" (with its Neil Diamond-esque vocals). Even more egregious is "What About Us", a track that has the hollow, tinny arrangement of early industrial music (think a flat Front 242).
The initial hope that one gets with Sound Kapital is that Handsome Furs would be pushing the envelope in interesting new directions. The reality that sets in very quickly though, is that the band are playing it safe, a fact that leads to an actual regression in their music.
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