French Kicks, Ambulance LTD, Calla

Trial of the Century, the sophomore album by New York's French Kicks, didn't get the attention it deserved from Spoon fans enamored of that group's taut white-soul indie rock. Live, the band cranks up to a steady simmer only suggested by the record, while front man Nick Stumpf works his lovely falsetto till it fills the room. Fellow New York-based openers Ambulance LTD and Calla play so-so variants on the kind of spaced-out guitar rock currently making a comeback in college-rock circles. Ambulance is a little more melodic, Calla a little more atmospheric.
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Mikael Wood

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