French Kicks/Slo-Mo : Sheffield Barfly

Stuttering rhythms underscore a rash of stirring punk-pop peaches...

One night in Sheffield. Two more bands to worship. Here’s what you need to know.

Slo-Mo are developing at lightning pace from Sheffield’s best kept secret to British rock’s next real contenders. The effortlessly handsome David Gledhill as honed his inscrutable fusion of hyper-delic Monkees tunes and withering sarcasm to a razor sharp edge.

In ‘Death Of A Raver’, ‘Girl From Alaska’ and ‘Lost Stones’ they’ve already got three hits in waiting. You can read a little bit about Slo-Mo here. You’ll be hearing a lot more in the future.

The same should go for Brooklyn’s French Kicks who have every right to be held in the same high esteem as fellow New York musical magpies The Strokes. If The Strokes have stitched together their ouvre from Blondie and the ‘scratchy’ era Talking Heads, the Kicks have taken the more ambitious path of attaching a noo-wave skinny tie to the more listenable bits of the Captain Beefheart back catalogue.

Fronted by singing drummer Nick Stumpf, they are at once painfully direct and all over the place. Stuttering rhythms underscore a rash of stirring punk-pop peaches. ‘1985’ is a decent stab at a summary of their non-sequiturial thang – the title track of their Poptones LP Young Lawyer’ is possibly even better.

You hum the tunes in your dreams – you tap your feet in time entirely at your own risk.

Jim Wirth