By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
It's been almost five years since dance-rock band Franz Ferdinand played its great first show in Dallas.
At that time, the band appeared a distillation of smart, arty new wave bands of an earlier era (think lyrics like Elvis Costello, energy like The Clash, glamour like Duran Duran). Its live show, too, was as crisp and as fun as the music.
But after quickly following up its eponymous debut with the release and tour for its follow-up, You Could Have It So Much Better, the band went relatively silent for three years. The band hadn't gone idle, though: Instead, it released a number of covers and remixes, and singer Alex Kapranos lent his distinctive voice to projects like Handsome Boy Modeling School. Then, in January, we finally saw the release of Franz Ferdinand's third album, Tonight: Franz Ferdinand. And the new songs are cut from the same cloth as past releases—a cloth that's hook-filled, high energy and imminently listenable.
Opening for Franz is Born Ruffians, a Canadian trio whose first full-length, 2008's Red, Yellow, and Blue, received high ratings. As a live act, the band mines a sound that at once conjures Panda Bear and Green Day, coming off much bigger sonically than a three-piece.