Face Control

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Face Control
Studio album by Handsome Furs
Released March 10, 2009
Recorded 2007-2009
Genre Electropunk
Length 38:27
Label Sub Pop
Handsome Furs chronology
Plague Park
(2007)Plague Park2007
Face Control
Sound Kapital
(2011)Sound Kapital2011

Face Control is Handsome Furs' second full-length album, which was released through Sub Pop Records.[1] The album was recorded and mixed by Wolf Parade's Arlen Thompson at Mount Zoomer, and it was mastered by Harris Newman at Hotel2Tango.[1]

The album's title takes its name from the face control policy seen in upscale Russian nightclubs where people are admitted based on physical attractiveness.[2][3][4]

Background and Release[edit]

The album was heavily influenced by the Handsome Furs' travels through Eastern Europe. Dan Boeckner has referred to the album as a "travel diary."[5] In choosing the album's title, Boeckner said:

Face Control was originally set to be released on February 3, 2009. However, the album's release dated was delayed until March 10, 2009,[1] due to a legal issue.[6] According to the official Wolf Parade fansite, the Handsome Furs referenced a New Order song on the track "All We Want, Baby, Is Everything".[6] In order to use the reference, the band needed to legally clear it with New Order, which took some time to do and caused the release to be pushed back.[6]


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars link
The A.V. Club (D) link
Drowned in Sound (8/10)
Pitchfork Media (8.0/10) link
PopMatters (7/10) link
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars link at the Wayback Machine (archived April 10, 2009)
Spin Magazine (8/10) link

Face Control has received generally positive reviews. On the review aggregate site Metacritic, the album has a score of 68 out of 100, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[7]

Pitchfork Media's Paul Thompson praised the album, writing "On every conceivable level down to the cover art, Face Control bests its predecessor, adding stuttering nuance to their previously too-spare sound, which they drape over some of the finest songs Boeckner's ever written."[8] Drowned in Sound's Alexander Tudor compared the album to Bruce Springsteen's Born in the U.S.A., writing "Yeah, it’s THAT good..."[9] Margaret Reges of Allmusic called Face Control "...a solid album, and just another example of Boeckner and Perry's tingling creative chemistry."[2]

Matthew Cole of Slant Magazine gave the album a mixed review, writing "Fans of off-kilter pop will enjoy at least a few of the stronger cuts, but too much of Face Control sounds like the unfinished blueprint of a much better album."[10] In a scathing review, The A.V. Club's Chris Martins wrote "Everything about these songs feels lazy, from the sludgy rock and tinsel-thin beats of 'Evangeline' to the couple’s weak approximation of The Knife on '(White City)' to the half-assed 'Dancing In The Dark' paean at the end of 'Legal Tender.'" Martins concluded: "This is easily the most flavorless fruit yet to fall from the Wolf Parade family tree."[11]

Spinner named Face Control the best Canadian album of 2009.[12] The album was nominated for the Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year in the 2010 Juno Awards, where it lost to Metric's Fantasies.[13] In addition, Face Control was one of the long list nominees for the 2009 Polaris Music Prize.[14]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Handsome Furs.

No. Title Length
1. "Legal Tender" 2:50
2. "Evangeline" 3:40
3. "Talking Hotel Arbat Blues" 2:40
4. "(Passport Kontrol)" 1:24
5. "All We Want, Baby, Is Everything" 3:08
6. "I'm Confused" 3:35
7. "(White City)" 1:27
8. "Nyet Spasiba" 4:18
9. "Officer of Hearts" 5:44
10. "(It's Not Me, It's You)" 1:33
11. "Thy Will Be Done" 3:16
12. "Radio Kaliningrad" 4:52


The following people contributed to Face Control:[15]

Handsome Furs[edit]

Additional personnel[edit]

  • Jouko Lehtola - Artwork
  • Harris Newman - Mastering, Remastering
  • Dusty Summers - Art Direction
  • Arlen Thompson - Audio Engineer, Engineer, Mixing


Chart (2009) Peak
US Billboard Independent Albums 44[16]
US Billboard Heatseekers 16[16]



  1. ^ a b c Sub Pop Records, Handsome Furs: Face Control, subpop.com, November 12, 2008.
  2. ^ a b Reges, Margaret. Face Control - Review. Allmusic. Retrieved 28 June 2011
  3. ^ Boersma, Caitlin. Everybody Has a Fucking Xylophone: An Interview with the Handsome Furs. KUPS. 14 May 2008. Retrieved 28 June 2011
  4. ^ Radio Free Canuckistan, "Dan Boeckner Interview", December 12, 2007.
  5. ^ a b Carew, Anthony. Interview: Dan Boeckner of Wolf Parade and Handsome Furs. About.com. 7 July 2010. Retrieved 28 June 2011
  6. ^ a b c Wolf Parade Fansite, "News News News", wolfparade.nonstuff.com, December 31, 2008.
  7. ^ Critic Reviews for Face Control. Metacritic. Retrieved 28 June 2011
  8. ^ Thompson, Paul. Album Reviews: Handsome Furs. Pitchfork Media. 12 March 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2011
  9. ^ Tudor, Alexander. Handsome Furs - Face Control. Drowned in Sound. 9 March 2009. Retrieved 28 June 2011
  10. ^ Cole, Matthew. Handsome Furs: Face Control. Slant Magazine. 9 March 2009. Retrieved 28 June 2011
  11. ^ Martins, Chris. Handsome Furs: Face Control. The A.V. Club. 10 March 2009. Retrieved 28 June 2011
  12. ^ The Best Canadian Albums of 2009. Spinner. Retrieved 30 June 2011
  13. ^ JUNO Awards - Alternative Album of the Year. Juno Awards. Retrieved 30 June 2011
  14. ^ 2009 Winner & Nominees Archived 2013-01-07 at WebCite. Polaris Music Prize. Retrieved 30 June 2011
  15. ^ Face Control - Credits. Allmusic. Retrieved 28 June 2011
  16. ^ a b Face Control - Charts & Awards. Allmusic. Retrieved 28 June 2011.

External links[edit]