FFS - FFS - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab


by Nse Ette Rating:8 Release Date:2015-06-09

After learning Scottish rockers Franz Ferdinand were big fans of theirs, 70s US synth-rockers Sparks planned for a long time for both bands to record together. They finally got round to it late last year and the result is FFS, comprising a twitchy, lean rock sound with clever song titles and verbose lyrics shared between Alex Kapranos and Russell Mael, vocalists from both bands. While not the dramatic makeover one might have expected, it does give a well-needed shot in the arm to the groups' sounds, with both rubbing off on the other. 

'Johnny Delusional' is chirpy dance-rock with a slightly off-kilter bent and Sparks' Ron Mael's insistent piano riff constant in the background. "Fasten your seat belts we soon will land/ at LAX hope to see you again" goes the refrain on the martial 'Dictator's Son' during one of several musical detours in the song. 'Police Encounters' swings in a quirky manner, while the frantic dance/rock 'Save Me From Myself' (with some intricately layered harmonies) recalls vintage Franz Ferdinand. 

With no let-up in momentum, other standouts include the synth-heavy 'So Desu Ne', the singalong 'Piss Off', and a trio of ballads, the atmospheric 'Little Guy From the Suburbs' ("There are no heroes" goes the hazy refrain), the lovely synth-driven 'Things I Won't Get' (which reels off a list of unattainable desires which pale in comparison to love), and the satirically-titled, theatrical and piano-driven 'Collaborations Don't Work' (which meanders unexpectedly).

Sorry guys, collaborations work out just fine when done like this.

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