NMWYH Rating: (out of five)
Touted as the new Strokes, Interpol or what-have-you, Glasgow's Franz Ferdinand is riding enough hype about their recently released EP, entitled Darts of Pleasure, to become the next big thing in independent rock. I can't count how many times recently that I've heard some band compared to the aforementioned acts (e.g., Stellastarr*, British Sea Power, The Stills, or even curiously the Walkmen etc.); I naturally rolled my eyes and carried on.
Darts of Pleasure clearly demonstrates that, though the EP on the whole is noteworthy but not extraordinary, Franz Ferdinand has some serious potential — and perhaps this is the source of the mammoth hype for these Scots. The five-song EP opens up with one of the catchiest songs I've heard all year (no silly, not just the last 35 days). Like several tracks from the Strokes materpiece, Is This It, the title track "Darts of Pleasures" is a vibrant and dynamic rock song. Singer Alex Kapranos flawlessly transitions between flaunting his rock mojo (belting "I know that you will surrender") and, in the next breath, seductively whispering "You can feel my lips undress your eyes / Skin can feel my lips / They tingle, tense anticipation". Although the percussion and fuzzy vocal effects of the title track certainly recalls The Strokes to some extent, the swift pace of the song and its overall energy are defining and differentiating. The icing on the proverbial cake comes at the end of the song: an introductory bouncing bass line, culminating in infectious repeated group chants of "Ich heisse Super Fantastisch / Ich trinke Schampus und Lachfisch!" (German for "My name is super fantastic / I drink champagne and salmon"). Absolutely brilliant — download "Darts of Pleasure" now.