Dan Boeckner has a great rock ’n’ roll voice, a craggy, croaking sound with a piercing tone on the top and some wavering vibrato on the low end. It sounds like a guy who’s shouting out of anger but can’t hide the hurt inside. One of the great delights of his band Wolf Parade was the contrast between Boeckner’s style and that of the relatively smoother-sounding Spencer Krug, the other singer-songwriter in the band. Wolf Parade came out of Montreal just as the rest of the world was going crazy for their fellow Canadians in Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene. But, as with many of the Canadian bands in the past decade’s crop, Boeckner and Krug had multiple projects going on, and this eventually stretched them too thin. Wolf Parade announced earlier this year that they would go on an indefinite hiatus. Boeckner hardly missed a beat, continuing with Handsome Furs, the band he has led for years with his wife, Alexei Perry.
Boeckner and Perry say their new release, Sound Kapital, was inspired by the music they heard on a recent trip to Eastern Europe. Maybe so, but songs like “Damage” and “Bury Me Standing” sound more like a crust-covered cassette of the Valley Girl soundtrack cranked up to speaker-blowing volume. I mean that as a compliment.
Wolf Parade fans may miss the variety provided by Krug, but Handsome Furs has their own interesting contrasts. When you hear Boeckner’s whiskey-and-cigarettes voice in the melancholy but peppy “What About Us?”, you may imagine Erasure crossed with the Replacements.
The Suuns and Talkdemonic also perform.
HANDSOME FURS: Casbah, Thursday, September 1, 8:30 p.m. 619-232-4355. $12.