Who The !@#* Are Franz Ferdinand?

Every week or so, the excitable British music press announces a new Greatest Band in the World. They're almost always wrong (sorry, Gay Dad). But current U.K. faves Franz Ferdinand -- a danceable, ferociously melodic, nattily dressed Scottish rock quartet who had a female fan shouting ''I love you'' at a recent New York gig before they had even played a note -- could be an exception.

''We hate elitism in music,'' says guitar-windmilling frontman Alex Kapranos, who attempts to dodge a post-punk-revivalist tag by citing influences from Howlin' Wolf to the early Beatles. ''We love pop music,'' he adds. ''And to us, the best pop -- whether it's Nirvana or Roxy Music -- came from the outside, but it was music for everybody.'' The same, apparently, can be said for the band's own high-hat-happy, Talking Heads-ish single, ''Take Me Out,'' which hit No. 3 on Britain's pop charts in January.

If Franz Ferdinand (who drop their self-titled debut this week) have anything in common with past hype victims, it's a willingness to talk big. Just ask why they chose to name themselves after a major historical figure. Says Kapranos: ''Surely every band wants to be a pivotal point in history.''

Originally posted Mar 12, 2004 Published in issue #755 Mar 12, 2004 Order article reprints

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