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Album Review: Franz Ferdinand – Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action

 
By on Thursday, 8th August 2013 at 12:00 pm
 

Franz Ferdinand Right Thoughts Right Words Right Action coverFranz Ferdinand headlined Reading and Leeds in 2006. Cast your mind back to that for a minute: a band at the height of their powers, with an album that has sold over 3 million copies, they’d won the Phillip Hall Radar Award in 2004, two BRIT Awards in 2005 for Best British Group and Best British Rock Act and had been compared to The Who and The Rolling Stones in the pages of the New Musical Express. High praise no matter what scale of cynicism you’re working on, this was a band with pomp, pride and a spring to their step.

Roll forward 7 years and as politely as I can express this, I’d forgotten that Franz Ferdinand were anything more than that poor bloke who gets the blame for the cause of World War I. Whether that is my inherent sense of forgetfulness or a reflection on the bands somewhat fall from grace, is yours for the mulling. But GCSE/O-Level history lessons aside, the Glasgow indie-rockers are back with a new record, ‘Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action’. Since their self-titled debut, it seemed their journey was taking the shape of a baby oil-drenched slippery slope, with Alex Kapranos leading the slide, shirt off and splashing for dear life.

With ‘Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action’ they may have hit a slight incline. Nothing dramatic, but enough to at least to grab the attention of potential naysayers and remind them that these Glaswegians are some of the best lyricists and creators of funkery that have graced these bonny shores in a while.This record swings like the ‘60s and ebbs and flows with some funky freshness that I haven’t seen from Franz in a while. The choruses that Franz have become known for are lurking in the deeps too.

The album also sees the band delve into altogether murkier territory, in subject matter at least. I’m not talking White Lies’ epic levels of doom mongering, as these boys aren’t capable of that (so I think), though Kapranos does get a bit touchy in final song ‘Goodbye Lovers and Friends’, as he spits out “Don’t fake your memories / Don’t give me virtues that I never had”, to leave us on a rather unpleasant note. It seems an overawing sense of sullenness is the underlying theme of this album, with the image of Kapranos being batted about, bullied and maligned for being that archetypal skinny indie boy coming to mind. But intrinsically, that is what Kapranos is. The conventional indie kid.

I suppose this could be looked at as a quintessentially indie album, with flecks of disappointment and glumness interspersing the album and track ‘Treason! Animals’ chugging along like a gospel funeral parade, a la ‘Live and Let Die’, with more synth. But with less murder and stuff. But that would be an overtly simplistic view, it’s certainly not about disaster, but those typical themes of loss, monogamy and lust are explored in trademark indie fashion. “Rigid in the matrimonial superking bed / pretend to sleep / pretend to sleep / pretend to sleep” paints a hauntingly poignant image of infidelity during ‘Brief Encounters’. Combining that with the erstwhile suspicion and honkytonkery of ‘Evil Eye’, and it’s an album that is showing enough signs of bi-polar and suspicion to have even the most psychiatric professionals scratching their heads.

Lyrical gushing aside, musically it suffers from a lot of the flaws Franz Ferdinand suffered during ‘Tonight: Franz Ferdinand’: a certain predictability that detracts from what challenges to be a rather exciting deeply charged record. Instead, it sounds flat at times, with track ‘Fresh Strawberries’ being a mid-point in mediocrity that has my interest waning severely by the end.

It seems whilst they have climbed the highest highs (they’ve played with bloody Doctor Who, which no matter anyone’s reckoning is undeniably cool) they seem to have hit an iceberg, perhaps not of Titanic-like proportions, but instead enough to cause a serious graze in the hull of the good ship Ferdinand. Keep ploughing ahead boys, surely a late 2018 resurgence is on the cards. I’m thinking Other Stage at Glastonbury? See ya there, boys.

7/10

‘Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action’, the new album from Franz Ferdinand, will be released on the 26th of August via Domino Records.

 

Video of the Moment #1273: Franz Ferdinand

 
By on Saturday, 27th July 2013 at 6:00 pm
 

Excitement is building for Franz Ferdinand‘s return to record shops: their next album ‘Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions’ follows a week later, on the 26th of August. Looking more like an outtake of the Monkees than a music video, maybe that’s the point of this visual for ‘Love Illumination’. It’s supposed to be madcap. Or at least I hope that was the intention. Watch it below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ooq23i-QGBM[/youtube]

 

Video of the Moment #1249: Franz Ferdinand

 
By on Monday, 8th July 2013 at 6:00 pm
 

Franz Ferdinand‘s long awaited return comes in the form of forthcoming single ‘Right Action’, out on the 19th of August on Domino. Their next album ‘Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Actions’ follows a week later, on the 26th of August. Crazily enough, the album is available for preorder now in regular CD, deluxe limited edition double CD (with an , vinyl, digital download and DomMart only double vinyl (packaged in a hand numbered die-cut gatefold sleeve). The exclusive bonus disc in both the double CD and double LP, entitled ‘Right Notes, Right Words, Wrong Order’, is a document of a thrilling live session captured at the legendary Konk Studios in London. And if that isn’t enough for your Franz addicts, Domino will be releasing ‘Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action – The Passport Edition’, which will be limited to 500 copies worldwide and will feature a deluxe edition of each physical format of the album, all 7”s and 12” singles and access to the highest quality audio files possible, as well as exclusive tracks and content. ::wheeze, gasp::

While not as in your face and raucous as ‘Take Me Out’, the video for ‘Right Action’ will remind of the one of that former hit from the Glaswegians. Watch the video below.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqTsUtQLRFk[/youtube]

 

Preview: Field Day 2012

 
By on Monday, 23rd January 2012 at 9:00 am
 

London’s favourite indie festival, Field Day, is back for another year in Victoria Park this summer (the 2nd of June) and the lineup couldn’t be hotter. Despite only being a 1-day festival, Eat Your Own Ears have crammed in a huge number of bands and artists across the whole day on different-sized stages. Although the exact placing and timings of performers hasn’t yet been announced, headlining the all-day extravaganza are the Scottish indie-rock crowd-pleasers Franz Ferdinand (pictured above, many moons ago). With a new album slated for release later this year, expect a raucous display of fan favourites like ‘Take Me Out’ with a splattering of new material.

But if those album chart-botherers aren’t your thing, don’t despair, there’s something for everyone. The synthesized specialists Metronomy will make a sun-soaked appearance in London, giving their 2011 LP ‘The English Riveira’ a good summertime airing. But of course there’s more. Radio1 favourites the Vaccines, electro wizard Hudson Mohawke, American folkster Andrew Bird, IDM extraordinaire Gold Panda, Californian dream poppers Mazzy Star, indie’s current hot property Spector and many more.

Tickets for Field Day are now on sale via the official Field Day Web site and other ticket outlets. Early bird tickets are currently priced at £39.50 (not including booking charges, etc.) For more information and for further lineup announcements, visit the official Web site.

An alphabetical list of artists performing are after the cut.
Continue reading Preview: Field Day 2012

 

Video(s) of the Moment #679: LCD Soundsystem

 
By on Friday, 13th January 2012 at 6:00 pm
 

LCD Soundsystem is, if you recall, now defunct. (I think I know some people who are still in the red after going up to see them play Madison Square Garden one last time in 2011.) However, that didn’t stop them from finally making a video for their cover of Franz Ferdinand‘s ‘Live Alone’, a song they recorded for a special Record Store Day release. Trust James Murphy to make this sleazy song even sleazier. To help you recall the original, I’ve also embedded below Franz’s live performance of the song at Oxford Street HMV in 2009. (Yes. That was over 2 years ago. Yes. Where have all the years gone? We are getting old.)

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WPxLv8ZLnJU[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LT3xeo9uNE4[/youtube]

 

Domino Celebrates Record Store Day

 
By on Wednesday, 13th April 2011 at 11:00 am
 

In case you have been living under a rock, here’s an important reminder: this Saturday, the 16th of April, is Record Store Day, which means get out there and support your local independent record retailers! It’s now more important more than ever, as high street shops shutter up as more people download music online (legally or illegally)…

One label that is celebrating this event in a big way is Domino Records, whose most famous recent acquisition is probably Ireland’s Villagers (pictured above). The Domino “menu”, if you will, on offer will be as follows:

Rekords Rekords Record picture disc 10″ (featuring Queens of the Stone Age and others)

Arctic Monkeys – ‘Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair’ white label 7”

Clinic – ‘Ladies Night’ 10”

Franz Ferdinand – ‘Covers’ EP coloured vinyl 12″

Villagers – ‘Villagers live at the Workman’s Club – Dublin, 16th September 2010’ LP

James Yorkston – ‘It’s Lovely To Be Heard’ 10”

Wild Beasts – ‘Albatross’ 7″

Lone Pigeon LP – ’28 Secret Tracks’ (limited vinyl pressing)

About Group special LP with limited bonus 7”

The Kills – ‘Satellite’ 10”

Villagers/Charlotte Gainsbourg – split 7” – Because Records/Domino US (limited quantity available in the UK)

Listen to several of the tracks on these special issues below. As usual for Record Store Day, these will only be available as supplies last. For more information on these special releases, go to the Domino Web site.

 
 
 

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