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FFS – FFS | Album Review

This collaboration between Franz Ferdinand and Sparks is a clever, convincing fusion between synth, indie and classic rock.

Source: Album Cover

Source: Album Cover

FFS is half-Franz Ferdinand – but don’t expect the safe sounds of guitar-led ‘Take Me Out’ and ‘Matinee’ on this debut.

A joint venture between Glaswegian Franz and American rock-turned-synthpop band Sparks, the album is an eccentric fusion: synthesisers are dragged straight out of the hands of eighties’ Gary Numan and combined with the dissatisfied lyrics of an angsty, nineties’ Pulp.

The album sets a jaded tone of fresh-faced, teenage anxiety with title track ‘Johnny Delusional’ – self-deprecation kicks in when lead singer Alex Kapranos describes himself as “borderline attractive from afar” and the refrain rings “Though I want you//I know I haven’t a chance”. ‘Police Encounters’ follows suit: it’s a fast-paced, fearful proclamation as Kapranos yelps about “having eyes for the policeman’s wife”.

‘Things I won’t get’ rings with the influence of Metronomy as its intentionally simple descriptions of the world as “hard” and people as “mean” aches with deep undertones of pent-up frustration. Seven-minute long ‘Collaborations Don’t Work’ is a delightful, tongue-in-cheek poke at the group’s intentions, breaking down the fourth wall between band and listener – and ironically proving collaborations do work with this shocking track showing the album at its best.

FFS’ self-titled debut is a seamless start to an unexpected partnership – and judging by track ‘Piss Off’, it would seem the band are unperturbed by the confusion the unlikely venture may have stirred in their respective fans. A merger demonstrating that too many cooks can in fact cook up a spectacularly tasty broth.

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