Handsome Furs

Rating: NNNNN

There’s good reason why some bands are talked about more than others, and it’s rarely due to the quality of their music. With radio and video play becoming increasingly irrelevant, new factors are now crucial to creating that career-launching chatter.

Here’s why PETA-perplexing brood duo Handsome Furs are all the rage at the moment:

Links to notable artists from years past: Main man Dan Boeckner plays guitar and sings in Wolf Parade WP bandmate Arlen Thompson, along with Chad Jones (aka Frankie Sparo), contributes to Handsome Furs recordings.

Fortuitous acquaintances: Arcade Fire, Modest Mouse and comedian/label-mate David Cross have all had Handsome Furs open their shows. The Furs’ first European tour was booked before they’d released a single song.

Scandinavian connection: Concept for Plague Park album inspired by the Helsinki burial ground for victims of a 17th-century plague that is now a lovely park in the middle of the city.

Outlaw rep: Cancelled tour dates in May when they were denied entry to the U.S. for some mysterious reason that was never fully explained.

Awards received just for being hot: Galaxie Rising Star Award at NXNE 2007

Reside somewhere cooler than you: Montreal’s upwardly mobile Mile End neighbourhood

Indie label cred: Sub Pop

Inspired by artists you know are awesome but haven’t actually heard: Paavoharju, Islaja, Beherit, Uhrilehto, Nídhöggr

Myspace friends: 8,562 including Fergie, Twiggy, Anna Friel, poster artist Rick Griffin

Tastemakers on board: Alternative Press, Stylus, Prefix, New York Times, Flare

Pitchfork praise: Debut disc Plague Park scored a 7.2 rating.

Lazy reviewer comparisons: Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown, Frog Eyes, My Bloody Valentine

Overseas hype: “The folky gloom-tronica of What We Had thumping like the heart of the Postal Service trapped inside a metallic pencil case and the anguished chorusing of bedridden souls on Hearts Of Iron, especially, make a trip to the dark side near impossible to resist.” (NME)

Breathless blogger love: “Plague Park possesses an unsightly surface layer of cluttered sound and alien screeches that require swift penetrating to enjoy the sticky gooiness that resides within.” (Drowned In Sound)

Handsome Furs (www.myspace.com/handsomefurs) play Lee’s Palace (529 Bloor West) with Silver Springs on Tuesday (July 31). $10 advance. 416-870-8000.

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