French Kicks
w/ Arlo
Sun Feb 3

This being a preview for their upcoming show, and this here rag not having been printed at Kinko's, chances are you've already missed the pre-hype window for getting acquainted with the French Kicks. Their last record, a bloated EP called Young Lawyer, has been out for close to two years now, and even if they have yet to land on a major label, a certain amount of bigness is definitely in their future.

A foursome originally from Washington, D.C., the French Kicks play the type of indierock that should define the pigeonhole, and though they have been alternately described as Television-meets-the-Rolling-Stones and Fugazi-meets-the-Kinks, neither declaration truly does them justice. The French Kicks are a throwback, sure--what rock band isn't?--but, like every smart band, they embrace the past while tinkering with the present, and as surely as the rebirth of the New York rock scene can be attributed to youthful gentrification (in Brooklyn, especially), so the rise of the French Kicks is all but guaranteed to reach ridiculous proportions. Not a Britney Spears/'N*Sync monstrosity--for that would be absurd--but, at the very least, the maximum capacity allowed for an indierock group. Which means, sold-out shows and an appearance on Conan, maybe even Saturday Night Live.

Still, this doesn't mean you shouldn't go see them, but that you should be properly warned beforehand that, like fellow New Yorkers the Strokes, the French Kicks may soon be way too big for your indie sensibilities. Young Lawyer, which was released on the tiny Star Time Records, is a mere six songs, but those six recordings are just about as perfect as indierock can be. Brief, packed-yet-simple, each song sheds the girth of what much of indierock has become, and instead, leaves behind what you want and expect--a smart, catchy, and ridiculously creative recording.

A chance to see the French Kicks now, at the Blackbird, free from the looming riff-raff, shouldn't be passed over. After all, who know where they'll be playing this time next year, once success has grappled them.