FFSFrom Glasgow to Los Angeles, or the other way around, FFS has crafted a delightfully unique blend of whimsical pop and punchy, dance rock that serves up the best the two bands have to offer.

FFS is the debut self-titled album and first collaborative work released from a band that came together when members of Scottish rock band Franz Ferdinand eventually merged with tenured American rock band Sparks after the two groups had habitually played together and been friends since the mid-2000s. Sparks got their start in 1971 in Los Angeles and after losing attention throughout the ’80s, regained hold of their career with their 2002 release, Lil’ Beethoven.

Franz Ferdinand released their debut self-titled in 2004, also on Domino Records. The two bands first thought about working together following the band’s 2004 album. Eventually, Ron Mael of Sparks sent the band a song called “Piss Off” which ended up as the last track of FFS.

The record is undoubtedly a blend of the two groups with the unmistakable voice of Franz Ferdinand front man Alex Kapronos present throughout. Sparks, however, wins out ownership of the album stylistically. FFS does often, inevitably, blur the lines of musical input between the two groups – particularly in the track “Collaborations Don’t Work” where creative control seemingly jumps back and forth between the two.

Tracks like “Save Me From Myself” and “Piss Off” channel the quirky, theatrical elements Sparks brings where edgier, rock ballads like “The Man Without a Tan” and “So Desu Ne” could fit right in with Franz Ferdinand’s earlier repertoire.

Further releases from the group are likely but for now, they are staying busy on the album’s preliminary tour through Europe.

Recommended If You Like: Franz Ferdinand, Sparks, The Strokes, Spoon

Recommended Tracks: 3, 1, 8, 6, 11

Do Not Play: None

Reviewed by Harrison Hipp on 07/15/15                                

KJHK 90.7 FM