On the 2009 self-titled debut album, the musicians in French Miami positioned themselves as exemplars of the frenetic, mathy post-punk sound. The group’s latest effort, an EP called Motor Skills, shows the trio in an entirely new light: they’re a band of crafty experimentalists, eager to test out new directions and explore uncharted aural terrains.
The Brooklyn-via-San Francisco act hasn’t entirely abandoned the chaotic zeal of that first album, and the impassioned sound of French Miami is alive in Motor Skills. It’s just been transposed into a smoother, kraut-rock-like style that suits the group’s electronic undertones and gives deftly calculated change-ups room to breathe.
Motor Skills works best when French Miami strikes a balance between the hyperactive pop-songwriting of the band’s zygotic sound and the ambient quality of its new direction. Songs like “Suge Night Driving” and the titular “Motor Skills” bounce with a kinetic flair and morph into an airy, hypnotic funk. Though not every song glides by with a collected cool, Motor Skills is an unexpected treat.
- Multiple songs Artist Website
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Please consider a donation to support our work as independent cultural critics and historians. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where costs have risen and advertising has dropped precipitously. We need your help to keep PopMatters strong and growing. Thank you.
// Notes from the Road
"Saul Williams played a free, powerful Summerstage show ahead of his appearance at Afropunk this weekend.READ the article