Indie Rock, 2004
If nostalgia sells, this Scottish group is laughing all the way to the bank with their debut album. I don’t know whether to laugh with them or to shake my head at the blatant rip-offs of New Romantic bands in every single song on this CD. Missing Duran Duran? Longing for the days of Frankie Goes to Hollywood? Can’t get over the fact that Billy Idol is not releasing anything new recently? Franz Ferdinand is the tasty placebo to satisfy your every desire.
Tracks like The Dark of the Matinee, Take Me Out, and Cheating on You are so catchy, so hard to resist, and so derivative of everything that came out in the 1980’s that I wonder whether I’m supposed to take this group seriously or just view them as a novelty one-CD wonder act. I understand that they have an EP before this CD that contain more hard-rock elements compared to this “I Ate and Vomited the ’80s” effort that made Oasis’s “influencing” by the Beatles seem subtle by comparison, but Franz Ferdinand is just what it seems to be at the surface and nothing more: a collection of sunny, breezy tunes that are completely devoid of anything that seems uniquely their own. Still, the quirkily expert way they mine nostalgia should make this CD a fun experience for people who still can’t get over the neo-punk synth-pop bands of the 1980’s.