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Record Rating: ***

Franz Ferdinand - Franz Ferdinand Named after the Austrian archduke whose assassination triggered the First World War, Franz Ferdinand are four young Glaswegians who play likeable art-rock and whoíve managed to generate their fair share of hyperbole and myth in recent months thanks to their quirky music videos.

The self titled debut album is doing rather well at the moment Ė and itís all thanks to their first single 'Take Me Out'. For thatís the song thatís making it happen for this in the USA right now, and it's not hard to see why. For the song cribs its strident chord progressions from bands like Led Zeppelin and The Smiths and self-conscious lines mock the 70ís glam rock scene. The eleven tracks are all not bad Ė for the guitars shimmer in all the right places on some of the tracks, the drum kicks hard, and lead singer Alex Kapranos does his best job simultaneously imitating the Talking Heads and David Bowie. Indie rock bands like the White Stripes and the Strokes are bringing back this sound in fashion, and Franz Ferdinand seems to have jumped onto that bandwagon. Auf Achse the stand out track - is a cool tune ripped straight from Duran Duran's classic 'Planet Earth' - and works really great. But thatís about it. At least 5 tracks over here sound forced and bitty, sinking far too deeply into the bottomless bit of derivative punk-rock. Itís what youíd get if Blur or Pulpís Jarvis Cocker made a record drunk. Not happening.

Still, there are atleast four happy time party anthems with singer/guitarist Alex Kapranos, guitarist Nick McCarthy, bassist Bob Hardy, and drummer Paul Thomson throwing about heaps of bass, yelping guitars and funny lyrics flying about on their debut. They wonít change the world or even the music scene, but they might make a rainy day easier to pass by.

Read our other reviews:

Keane - Hopes and Fears       Prince - Musicology       Hanson - Underneath       Voyage 3- Various Artists      


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