With this fresh digital EP, French Kicks have taken on four cover tunes that spring from seemingly disparate sources: Lindsey Buckingham, The Ramones, The Shirelles and Colin Blunstone (The Zombies). Yet, the tracks are nearly identical in sound and feel, united and played in a laid back, very mod style that resembles much of the material on the band’s latest EP, Swimming .
The opening track, Buckingham’s “Trouble,” strips away a few of the original effects that date it back to 1981 when it was a Top Ten hit. Otherwise, the cut is a faithful recreation of the original, the vocals still subtle, the groove still smooth, led by a nice interplay between acoustic strums and electric fills. In fact, none of the tracks stray far from home base; so, while the album is a very pleasing listen and remains true to the band’s sound (something that often gets lost on covers records), there’s very little original value added.
Still, the EP is well worth experiencing; each track is well-played, well-produced and well-represented. Perhaps the highlight is the band’s gently retro take on “Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,” a song that’s been covered a thousand and one times but never manages to lose its sparkle.
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// Notes from the Road
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