Fans of Dan Boekner's other band, the comparably cheerier and poppier Wolf Parade, might initially be thrown for a loop by the minimal stark low-fi landscape he constructs here with fiancée Alexei Perry. But Plague Park is no less melodic and a lot more subversive. Employing the same squiggly synths and antiquated drum boxes (and little else) you hear on Wolf Parade's Apologies to the Queen Mary, the pair plays at being moody malcontents with a post-modern poker face. To hear them complain about urban living (there's a song called "Handsome Furs Hate This City" that also gives rural cities a hard time) and that "trash from the parking lot floats up to the sky," and then sing it over what sounds like the greatest sing-along sea chantey in the world, it's hard not to feel like you're witnessing some twisted celebration. No matter how icy the musical setting is, Handsome Furs offer warmth. Come in from the cold already!
Serene Dominic writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.