With the arrival of Sound Kapital, their third LP in five years, Montreal's Handsome Furs have refined and redefined their sound, proving once again that the duo (consisting of husband and wife Dan Boeckner and Alexei Perry) can do no wrong. This record also has more riding on it than past efforts, as it's Dan Boeckner's first outing after the demise of his other band Wolf Parade, who in the past have always taken priority over the Furs (with 2008's At Mount Zoomer and 2010's Expo 86 both following quickly on the heels of previous Handsome Furs albums, 2007's Plague Park and 2009's Face Control).
If you trace the progress in their sound between their three albums, you'll hear a newfound sense of urgency on Sound Kapital that was there before, but just not as apparent. Gone are the slower guitar-driven numbers, replaced almost entirely by layers of keyboards and a driving beat that never lets up. The Furs have always had great lyrics, but the subject matter and images painted on this album have never been clearer or more poignant. Written while on a tour across Asia, each song tackles another issue head-on, from government censorship in countries like Myanmar to youths fighting oppression through music. Surprisingly, despite the heavy subject matter, the record's overall tone is quite hopeful. Clearly, with Sound Kapital, the pride of Montreal have created an album to make you dance and think.