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French Kicks

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I place the French Kicks in the category of New York bands that never get their due because they're unreasonably expected to blow the pants right off your ass. I think this bias goes back to the dawn of the decade, when rock crits drew a line in the sand between rad postpunk acts (Interpol, Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and bands that merely write good alt-rock songs (the Natural History, Walkmen, French Kicks). But I like the Kicks' new album, Two Thousand (Vagrant/Startime International), simply because it's OK enough. They still sound a little like the Walkmen (whose 2004 album, Bows and Arrows, did blow my pants off), but not as much as they did on their fine 2000 EP, Young Lawyer, which depantsed me with its greasy vocals and distended rhythms. Sometimes all you need is a few nice melodies and a grotesquely huge drum sound. The Little Ones open. Fri 9/15, 9 PM, Double Door, 1572 N. Milwaukee, 773-489-3160 or 312-559-1212, $12 in advance, $14 at the door.

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