Handsome Furs


Album: Plague Park


Label: Sub Pop

Released: May 22

**** (out of five)

With the release of Plague Park, the Handsome Furs have proven once again that less is more. Dan Boeckner (co-singer/guitarist of Wolf Parade) and his fiancée Alexei Perry have created a modest, yet symphonic album comprised of bluesy guitar riffs layered upon pulsing beats and synth-like hooks. On standout tracks such as Cannot Get Started and Handsome Furs Hate This City, gloomy subject matter such as discontent and isolation has never sounded this infectious and contagiously satisfying.

Shapes And Sizes

Album: Split Lips,Winning Hips, A Shiner

Label: Asthmatic Kitty

Released: May 22

**** (out of five)

Shapes And Sizes seem to relish creating a sound that challenges you to define it. The Montreal youngsters dance around the line separating experimental jazzy avant-garde art noise and an only slightly more accessible indie new wave prog-pop. (Whew!) The band’s second album fuses these two seemingly irreconcilable styles expertly into something resembling a wonderfully overproduced production put on by the theatre and music departments of some gifted high school.

The Bravery

Album: The Sun And The Moon

Label: Island Records

Released: May 22

*** (out of five)

With the help of uber-producer Brendan O’Brien, The Bravery have drifted away from the synth-heavy simplicity of their debut towards slightly rockier territory with The Sun And The Moon.

Various skinny-tie synthesizers, pogo-stick beats and faint string sections are mashed up on top of a Strokes-ish foundation; creating a NYC-Britpop vibe.

Throw the drawl of Sam Endicott’s vocals into the mix and the twelve tunes become an awkward if not interesting new wave homage of sorts.