Elizabeth Stolfi
staff writer
March 22, 2004
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Franz Ferdinand Franz Ferdinand
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Rock Music Reviews
Franz Ferdinand- Franz Ferdinand

So let's get right down to it. Who, What, When, Where, and why? Who; Franz Ferdinand, Britian's newest pop sensation on the verge of hopping the Atlantic. What; David Byrne's voice and skanky-raw-garage-indie fun. When; The debut album is currently #3 on the British pop charts, and the subject of MTV's latest "You Hear it First" installment. Where; Originally from Glasgow, Scotland. Why; Because they can, baby!

Initially, the album's first track, "Jacqueline," misrepresents the band's style. Soft lyrics and an acoustic guitar, honestly, kind of throw you off. Suddenly, a raunchy bass line that sounds like something off of the Pixies' Surfer Rosa strikes up the album with no apologies. The album's second track, "Tell Her Tonight," ridiculously resembles a cross between early Devo and anything from Remain in Light.

Since the resemblance is obviously deliberate, it's completely acceptable. The third track, "Take Me Out," could lead someone to label Franz Ferdinand as the British Strokes. It seems that any band that sounds like they recorded with an 8-track in a basement becomes a Strokes copy-cat. Though the Strokes have made the commercial staple for bands like Franz Ferdinand to be on MTV, the influence is definitely from a different spectrum than The Strokes.

Tracks like "Auf Achse" and "This Fire" play with the dance-rock genre that's made careers for bands like The Rapture and The Faint. Disco bass lines and repetitive lyrics grace many of the tracks on Franz Ferdinands self titled debut. "This fire is out of control/I'm going to burn this city," repeats singer Alex Kapranos in a fashion that Mick Jagger would admire.

The middle page of the album booklet features a picture of each member of the band in different poses, one of them doing a dance move on his toes and holding his top-hat; Sweater vests, black dress pants, and buttoned collared shirts all around. Don't forget the comb over haircuts. No, style is not an issue for this band. They pretty much have that whole talent/coolness package going for them pretty well.

Franz Ferdinand is definitely one of the better bands to achieve chart success in a while, in America or overseas. A revolution of 80's inspired punk new wave bands seems to be getting bigger and better every year. With bands like Modest Mouse and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs making it to rock stations daily countdowns, there is definitely a developing market for this interesting sound that's been sparking all over the world.

Release date: April 20, 2004
Label: Sony
Rating: 8.5 / 10