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Plague Park by Handsome Furs
Released: May 2007
Label: Sub Pop Records
Wolf Parade guitarist Dan Boeckner and his drum-machine-operating fiancee Alexei Perry build an impressive set of tunes from skeletal sonic elements -- usually just a distorted blur of guitar and a ramshackle rhythmic churn. The simplest ones, like "What We Had" and "Snakes on the Ladder," are the most successful, recalling clever stylists like Beck and Sparklehorse. When the songs get dressed out with synth patches and echo chambers ("Handsome Furs Hate This City" or "Dead + Rural"), they still wisely leave the graceful melodies in the foreground.
Nate Cavalieri