Masters of understated indie pop, New York’s French Kicks have never quite earned the acclaim they’ve deserved this side of the Atlantic. Over there, they’ve enjoyed a residency on the Carson Daly show; here, a half-full Garage performance last year was followed only this week by a visit to the hellish surroundings of the Barfly. Suffice to say that they’re hardly A-List material in the eyes of the domestic indie-rock rags. ‘The Trial Of The Century’ is unlikely to alter opinions formed in the wake of the band’s previous albums ‘One Time Bells’ and ‘Young Lawyer’, but it is uncommonly sedated, much unlike the clattering shock and awe of so many other NYC outfits.
Lavished with luscious keys and gently chiming guitars throughout, ‘The Trial Of The Century’ tickles and teases the listener, offering subtle hooks that take time to appreciate, rather than rushing in and ensuring the line and sinker result. It’s an admirable approach, and one that may go some way to explaining why French Kicks are so under hyped over here. It’s not their style, for they’ve a style that’s entirely their own. Songs like ‘Was It A Crime’ and ‘You Could Not Decide’ redefine what it is to be ‘laid back’, whilst singer (and one-time drummer) Nick Stumph delivers his lines with such frankness it’s impossible not to take his tales to heart. If he were a politician, entire countries would bow to his whim.
Not that any of the above is going to make you actually get this. Pity.
8Mike Diver's Score