Artist – Album: Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
Released: 9th February 2004
Sounds Like: Spiky Scottish garage rock
Take a look at Alex Kapranos, lead singer of Franz Ferdinand, and you can see that he’s all elbows and cheekbones – a sharp, angular looking man for a sharp, angular band. He has a bit of Jarvis Cocker about him and, like the Pulp singer, he’s similarly comfortable with witty wordplay and sparkling social commentary. He dresses dapper and cool, like the best of the 21st century frontmen. It’s almost too perfect.
The very best tracks on Franz Ferdinand’s self-titled debut – we’re talking ‘Jacqueline’, ‘Take Me Out’, ‘The Dark of the Matinee’, ‘Darts of Pleasure’ - also verge on perfection. These are stomping party tunes as suitable in big rock clubs as kitsch indie bars. Taking their post-punk cues from groups such as Wire, Orange Juice and Roxy Music, these songs were a refreshing break from the Limp Bizkit led nu-metal trend or the new reality TV pop acts such as Hear’Say or Darius (remember him??). Remarkable lead single ‘Take Me Out’ became an instant classic, rightly hailed for its furiously strummed opening verses and shift of dynamic to crunching guitars and anthemic chorus.
The album, though, is inconsistent, and there are songs scattered amongst the classics that fail to hit the heights. ‘This Fire’ feels like it was pulled together in a matter of minutes (although it was still voted the 29th best song of 2004 by Australian rock radio station Triple J), whilst ‘Tell her Tonight’ and ‘Come On Home’ are just a tad forgettable. Still, it’s a great debut and a sign of things to come from Glasgow group.
Albumaday... rating: 8/10
1. Jacqueline – 3:49
2. Tell Her Tonight – 2:17
3. Take Me Out – 3:57
4. The Dark of the Matinee – 4:03
5. Auf Achse – 4:19
6. Cheating on You – 2:36
7. This Fire – 4:14
8. Darts of Pleasure – 2:59
9. Michael – 3:21
10. Come On Home – 3:46
11. 40 – 3:24
Listen to ‘Jacqueline’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGzvDANQWQ8
Also released on the 9th February:
2003: Architecture in Helsinki – Fingers Crossed