The Handsome Family

Last Days Of Wonder

[3/5] Being the protagonist in the Handsome Family’s latest album isn’t exactly the most uplifting thing in the world: First, you forget your wallet on the bus; then elevator doors close on you; and finally, “the only voice that answers is the whir of the ceiling fan”-and, keep in mind, that’s all in the first two minutes of the first track. However, despite the melancholic nature of Last Days Of Wonder, the husband-and-wife duo of Brett and Rennie Sparks have transcended the alt-country tag with these songs. “These Golden Jewels” is a Tom Waits-worthy waltz; “Bowling Alley Bar” sounds like a Willie Nelson outtake; and, despite the subject matter, the jazzy “After We Shot The Grizzly” is actually kind of uplifting-if you can get past that part about finding a human skull in a cave. (CARROT TOP) Jonah Bayer