Thursday, December 19, 2013

French Films' "White Orchid": Music Review

Nodding to the British 1980s, this reminds me of the early Psychedelic Furs (think of "India" or "Flowers" on their debut but without a sneer but with all the propulsion), or the guitar-based early, poppier but not silly or theatrical efforts of the Cure. Overall, that decade's sound is sustained with its similarity to the British indie rock of the mid-to-late 80s such as the House of Love or New Order. But, less of the torture of the former and less of the dance-beats of the latter.

That is, there's a strong undercurrent of melody. But, unlike some of their influences, French Films strips down the approach with a more rock-oriented direction, and a straightforward lack of studio effects or lyrical obscurity. From the middle of their album "White Orchid," "Latter Days" is a good example. The beat of "10:15 Saturday Night" by the Cure shifts into a more keyboard-driven mood, as in, say, "In-Between Days" from that band's middle period. "Long-Lost Children" may seem closer to the Chameleons or a less frenetic Wedding Present. "Juveniles" provides a riff-laden hook that draws you in with a combination of chords and keyboard overlay. It's very familiar, such a tune, but it's likeable.

Maybe not as innovative as future albums by the group may show, but it's winning in its simple charm. These five Finns deserve recognition for their embrace of an accessible style meriting revival. Hummable and jangly, this sinks into the back of your mind and makes the day more joyful. (10-1-13 to Amazon US)

No comments: