“One Time Bells” (COOKCD256)
Irish Release 2nd May 2003
Check out the new video from French Kicks
Kicks is not a traditional rock’n’roll band. Although they
have elements of snarly garage rock, slick new wave and giddy classic
mod-pop, they remain completely unique. The four of them work together
like draughtsman creating musical architecture – a note is never
wasted, a drop is never spilled. Their songs always seem to be on an angle,
hovering just at breaking point. They cut to the quick with lurching riffs
and palpitating percussion but they are also cute and coltish and undeniably
catchy. At heart, this is simple pop music, with hooks hookier than velcro
and disarmingly pretty three-part harmonies.
Following the release of their debut ‘French Kicks’ EP (on My Pal God Records) and the accomplished ‘Young Lawyer’ follow-up (both engineered and produced by Greg Telenfeld), they went on the road for several months with Nick’s brother Lawrence replacing James on bass. In the UK, Alan McGee’s post-Creation label Poptones released the ‘Young Lawyer’ mini-album with three additional tracks from their debut EP, bringing them over to Britain for an enthusiastically received tour. In autumn 2001, the boys retreated again to Talenfeld’s New York studio to record their debut full-length record.
The result, ‘One
Time bells’ is a perfect crystallization of French Kicks taut, clipped
and frequently beautiful sound. A highly diverse album, it manages to
align all sorts of disparate elements into a streamlined, organic whole
- and all in an economic 38 minutes 53 seconds. Things that sound irregular
or dissonant the first time you hear them gradually come together like
a painting or a jigsaw. Because of this, it might take time to get to
know French Kicks – but once you do, their music is likely to become
an indelible, compulsive addiction.
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