It’s safe to say that Franz Ferdinand are not the band they were in 2002. In 2018, there is a monumental gulf between the sharp-suited, fresh-faced band that released Take Me Out in 2004 – and not just sartorially. Musically, their fifth album is as recklessly experimental as anything they’ve done before; in frontman Alex Kapranos’s own words, both “futuristic and naturalistic”, pushing things forward without resorting to computers, programming and studio trickery to fill in the gaps.
Given that they’re down one of their original members since 2013’s Right Thoughts, Right Words, Right Action, you’d assume that there is a gap to be plugged. Yet in many ways, the omission of founding member and guitarist Nick McCarthy, who departed in 2016 after 14 years, has refocused the Glaswegians and set them on a new course; the foot-stomping, serrated riffs and singalong anthems like Take Me Out and Do You Want To? are fewer and further between here.
Indeed, the addition of two new members, meanwhile (guitarist Dino Bardot, formerly of Glasgow indie band The 1990s, along with producer Julian Corrie on keyboards) seems to have breathed new life into Kapranos and co; the post-punk sound that they made their name with in the mid-noughties is now replaced by a glitzy, synth-driven electro-pop vibe.Dino plays Laney Lionheart L20T-112.