Local Wire

Franz Ferdinand

The post-punk revival is the new grunge. There's nothing wrong with wearing your influences on your sleeve, but today's revivalists are remarkable for their ability to stage complete simulations of the artists they seem to adore.

Which is not to say that Franz Ferdinand is bad. Its self-titled debut is enjoyable because it is derivative of such great music. Songs like "Take Me Out" and "Michael" feature fantastic guitar playing and the sort of sexy punk-funk bass lines that are all too rare in any decade. Lyrically, Franz Ferdinand is closer to its contemporaries the Strokes, sticking to vague themes of urban ennui and debauchery. If anything, it's here where it departs from its influences. Wire's Pink Flag and Gang of Four's Entertainment! resonated with the politically engaged sound of an iconoclastic counterculture; Franz Ferdinand engages in faithful nostalgia for that era sans the diatribes against Margaret Thatcher. Perhaps the safe fun of the post-punk revival isn't so bad. It's not revolution, but it might help keep Puddle of Mudd and Staind off the radio.

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Daniel Chamberlin