Franz Ferdinand is a band I liked when I was 15. Equipped with a Glaswegian swagger and 80s pop sensibility, they released a debut album in 2004 that immediately sounded like a greatest hits. The clever interplay of funky white guy guitars alongside Alex Kapranos’ Lizard-King croon made Franz Ferdinand an instant rock radio darling. Though at some point the novelty wore off. Franz Ferdinand has released four albums now and they all sound more or less the same. Some might argue that album no. 3 “Tonight: Franz Ferdinand” was a departure but take a song like “No You Girls” and tell me it couldn’t have been on any other Franz Ferdinand album. None of these lesser works have been bad just too safe. Franz Ferdinand has a formula, bless ’em for it, but it feels dated. Though I have grown up I feel like Franz Ferdinand is infinitely trapped in 2004. Which makes me question whether or not this album truly has taken right action.
The album kicks off with the marching cheer of its own title track. The song calls back to the group energy of “Do You Want To?” Minus the sing-a-long chorus. The song keeps afloat thanks to the fun jingly jangly guitars of Kapranos and Nick McCarthy. “Evil Eye” peaks more interest with a scary circus haunt behind its ominous crawl. Where melodies occasionally fall short, the riffs are always blazing. “Love Illumination”, “Stand on the Horizon”, “Treason! Animals” take a nice trip riding that thin line between rock, funk, and “Are we kind of disco?” It has its moments, but I’m looking for whole songs that’ll go down smooth.
I have nothing against these guys, I haven’t hated any of their albums. I just think the time has come for me to step aside for a new wave of fresh faced fans. I’m not sure who Franz Ferdinand’s audience is today but hopefully they’re happy. I’ll always have love for this band. I did see them live after all, though that was nine years ago. Sunrise, sunset
Favorite Tracks: “Evil Eye,” “Love Illumination,” “Stand on the Horizon”