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French Kicks | One Time Bells (Cooking Vinyl)
It may be a little too early to start placing bets on records of the year, but you couldn't go too wrong with a wager on 'One Time Bells' (released in the US last year) making whatever top ten list you happen to be reading this time next January. It's the musical equivalent of plunging a hand into a completely random bowl of Woolworths' pick n mix, and pulling out all your favourites. One minute French Kicks are trying their hand at DC style post-punk (the Q And Not U-like When You Heard You), the next they're out-Stroking The Strokes (who French Kicks used to headline above) with the garage-pop of Right in Time and the charming Trying Whining. Like all mixed bags, some of it won't be to everyone's tastes (much like those pesky white mice, ergh), but the chances of you finding a more varied selection of this kind of quality are just about nonexistent. Pour yourself a drink and join me in a toast; French Kicks are the greatest Nu-New York band to emerge since location emerged as a precursor to any actual music.

Mike Diver
CWAS #12 - Summer 2003