MUSTWORTHINESS The Glaswegian quartet (Bob Hardy, Paul Thomson, Nick McCarthy, and Alex Kapranos) embodies that classic U.K. rock cliche -- ex -- art-school students. Yet the group manages to live up to the relentless hype of the breathless British press. We'll add to the buzz: The band's self-titled debut is a reminder that rock music is designed for both of your pleasure centers -- the brain and the hips. Balancing disco-rific grooves and beery sing-along choruses, Franz's Talking Heads-meets-Bowie sound landed them a deal on tastemaker indie label Domino, before a bidding war scored Franz a distribution deal at Epic.
ON THEIR MUST LIST ''This Glasgow group Sons and Daughters,'' says Kapranos. ''They remind me of those old Lee Hazlewood -- Nancy Sinatra duets. I've also been listening to a lot of rembetika, which was the music of Greek outlaws in the '20s and '30s -- it's like the original gangsta music.''
DEAD FOLKS ON THEIR MUST LIST BESIDES ARCHDUKE FRANZ FERDINAND ''Vlad the Impaler. He was the guy Dracula was based on. I don't really like him -- I just think he sounds like such a shocking, astonishing character.'' So was that almost the name of the band? ''Oh no, then we'd have to play death metal or something.''
NEXT Touring, touring, and touring through the U.S. and Europe this summer. And, hopefully, a trip back into the studio before the end of the year.