Released in 1999, the debut EP by the French Kicks predates the entire post-punk revival kick-started by the Strokes some two years later. Though the Washington D.C. quartet shares a certain retro sensibility with bands like the Killers and the Arctic Monsters, their reliance on smart pop hooks above winking references to MTV hits of the early 1980s puts them at a level above many similar bands. There is also a musical toughness to songs like the rocking opening track, "Arena," and the propulsive, danceable closer, "So Many Cakes," that's unusual in this new-wave revival context. Though they gained greater renown with their later releases, THE FRENCH KICKS proves that the band had their sound down cold from the very beginning.
French Kicks Review