Less suck, more rock

Band one, On The Speakers: total suck.
Band two, The Joggers: wasn’t there due to band one’ssuck.
Band three, The French Kicks: didn’t suck like one wouldthink.

Returning home from the Monday night French Kicks show atBerbati’s I purchased a can of Sparks. Like the false alcoholismthat drinking a can of Sparks implies, the French Kicks are notwhat they seem. Just as swilling a tall can of orange ‘Tussin maybe the mark of a true alky, listening to the pre-recorded versionof the French Kicks may be the sure ticket to 1980s freedom synthrock.

However, as with the beverage and with the band, things are notalways as they seem.

Feeling tired? Sparks picks you up. Feeling down after theshitty Sting/Bono opening cover band? The French Kicks will pickyou up as well. On Monday night, they were romantic enough toentice couples to couple.

Unlike their underwhelming and overproduced 1980s bootlickingalbum Trial of the Century, the band actually has more pinache andswagger in their live show than most of the drunken rabble kickingout jams at house parties in southeast Portland.

On One Time Bells, the track “Close to Modern” seems like a badblue-eyed-soul rendition of “We Built This City.” Live, it comesoff as an intriguing, scary, zombie Marvin Gaye rave-up.

Although The French Kicks mimic Hall and Oates in recorded form,unlike Hall and Oates, the French Kicks’ private eyes are notwatching you, they’re merely staring at you in an awkward sort ofway.

While clearly trying to shirk the Hall and Oates references oftheir last album, their latest single “One More Time” has beendescribed as a synthed-out Morrissey tune. Saved only by thefalsetto refrain landing within the fortieth second on record, livethe song comes off as a threatening sample of pop’s bettermoments.

The question is: how did the French Kicks manage to get such ashitty record producer, one who fails to recognize their rawtalent? Fire that no-talent fuck and hire the geniusfood/liquor-chemist who invented Sparks.

Sparks is the new French Kicks – the French Kicks that canentice more than 80 people to show up to their performance, theFrench Kicks that play a set lasting longer than 40 minutes. Nexttime, lads, get a real producer and maybe you’ll land a gig on anight other than a Monday.

Sparks n: Premium malt beverage with caffeine, citric acidblend, taurine, guarana-siberian ginseng blend, artificial andnatural flavor unit and certified color.