Local Wire

Handsome Furs @ Crescent Ballroom

Until last June, it was difficult for Montreal's Dan Boeckner to separate his two musical projects. The collaboration with wife Alexei Perry (Handsome Furs) and the full-time source of his paychecks (Wolf Parade) both achieved a balance of '80s synth-pop and punk rock attitude. But when Wolf Parade went on indefinite hiatus in June, it left more room for Boeckner to collaborate with his short-story-writing sweetheart. Perfect timing, too, considering the duo chose to release an album late that very month, featuring a record sleeve sporting full-frontal female nudity (very NSFW). Consider it a cliché, but the Sound Kapital cover is representative of what's inside — a baring look at the duo, exposing an identity completely removed from Wolf Parade, with guitar riffs gone and icy, industrial keyboards boldly standing in their place. Written entirely on synths and keyboards, its ambient, pulsating melodies and electro beats may scare off indie-rock purists, but for the rest of us, it's a jolt in the arm — sexy, dangerous noise that's sounding more and more like Boeckner's full-time gig with each listen.

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Christina Caldwell