Friday, 13 September 2013

REVIEW: Franz Ferdinand - 'Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action' (Domino Records)

Unless you were living under a rock at the time, you will know that there was something of a boom for British guitar bands in the mid 2000. When the groups involved in the movement began to falter towards the end of the decade, Franz Ferdinand were no exception. Five years on from the opinion-dividing 'Tonight' fans can be glad that their fourth full length effort is an improvement. 

They may have returned to safe territory with this one, but it would be unfair to criticise them for doing what comes naturally. The stomping title track that opens 'Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action' could be a close relative of 'Do You Wanna', and it's easily just as good. Similarly, the energetic 'Love Illumination' recalls the debut LP's 'Michael' and adds quirky synth lines and bursts of rasping brass into the mix. These and the Clash-esque funk-punk of the slightly cartoonish 'Evil Eye' provide the album's best moments, along with the infectious garage rocker 'Bullet', where they make a reconnection with the energy of their early days. Also worth a listen are the almost disco ballad 'Stand On The Horizon' and the more intense closer 'Goodbye Friends And Lovers', both of which make up for weaknesses like the uneventful 'Fresh Strawberries'. 

Elsewhere 'Brief Encounters' worships at the altar of indie legends Orange Juice but despite the curiosity-arousing lyrics, it's not a patch on Edwyn Collins and co, while 'Animals' is a bit messy. Even the best tracks here won't change the minds of those who have dismissed them in the past, but with this record Franz Ferdinand can lay a credible claim to being one of the few mainstream guitar bands of the 2000's who are still worth listening to. 7/10

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