After years of mediocrity, boring albums, boring bands and generally being a bit shit, the British indie scene is set to explode into life once more in 2004. This album is the symbolic start of it all and could be largely responsible for what may be the biggest shift in the music scene since Oasis crashed into the charts a decade ago. Charting in the UK at number three in January with their second single ‘Take Me Out’, a feat unheard of in years by an indie band, Franz Ferdinand have crashed into the British scene with aplomb – and with a debut album this good, the world beckons.
It all starts out so innocently though, with an acoustic guitar being strummed over incredibly mellow vocals. Until, that is, the bass line kicks in and after about fifty seconds the album gets into full swing with guitars that sound strangely like 80s post-punkers Gang of Four. After the first track it is plain to see that garage rock may be on the verge of being beaten to death by a group of skinny art school lads from Scotland.
What follows over the next 11 tracks is a glorious celebration of love, hate, sex, rejection and life, all backed by a dance-punk version of The Strokes. It is the funkiest Indie music since Sean Ryder and those crazy Happy Mondays. The lyrical inventiveness on display is also quite brilliant: ‘Take Me Out’ places two lovers at opposite ends of sniper rifles after one rejected the other at a party, while ‘Jacqueline’ is a joyous celebration of life on the dole.
The whole album is so fresh and so distantly related to anything that has come out in years that it begs for attention in a sea of Pop Idols, derivative rock/metal and endless amounts of Hip Hop.