The angular and synth-laden music of the self-titled debut album by San Francisco’s French Miami features shout out loud vocals mingled with math-rock guitar riffs and steady, rhythmic percussion that alternates between danceable, droning and explosive. In other words, musically, their self-titled debut album flows between dense, electrifying math-rock riffs, a la Battles, to hypnotic, jazz-inspired drones, a la Tortoise, but with coherent punk-rock styled lyrics. In addition to Battles and Tortoise, the album makes me think of bands like Trans Am or Fugazi. French Miami consists of drummer Chris Crawford, and Jason Heiselmann and Roland Curtis sharing guitar and synth responsibilities. The self-titled debut is phenomenal, and is easily one of the best albums from the Bay in the past couple years.
At a recent show at the Rickshaw Stop in San Francisco with Silian Rail, French Miami announced that they had recently signed to a new label, which I’d bet money means we’ll see them expand beyond the horizons of the local music scene in the not-so-distant future – especially since they are so good. Following an intro, the first full song on their self-titled debut, “God Damn Best,” opens with electrified, jittery guitar and Crawford’s steady, propulsive drumming while Heiselmann sings, “we make, we break, we cheat, we live.” During the bridge, jagged guitar bubbles up through a heavy wash of synth as Heiselmann asks, “whatcha gonna do with all that, whatcha gonna do with love, love, love . . . whatcha gonna love?” It is a powerful opener. Other album highlights include: “Science Fiction,” “Multi Caliber Rifles,” “Lil’ Rabbits,” and “SFO.” Stop by their website by following the link above to pick up a copy of the album.
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