French Miami | French Miami
Most Likely To: get deleted from iPods everywhere after a listen or two.
Neither Français nor Floridian, French Miami is a California-based keyboards-drum-guitar trio whose self-titled debut will likely be relegated to cut out bins across America (if they even still exist). French Miami commit the Cardinal musical sin of being forgettable. After multiple listens I cannot summon a single one of their melodies from my memory, nor do I wish to. Perhaps French Miami are more entertaining live, since they are known instrument swappers, but that talent doesn’t carry them through this recording.
At moments, like on the beginning of “God Damn Best,” or the guitar-based melody on “Multi Caliber Rifles” French Miami seem poised to spring into action, promising to entertain like Menomena or Karate, but instead they lurk and fail to capture listeners’ attention. Employing propulsive drumming, raw-edged guitars, and speak-shouting vocals with abandon, French Miami is steeped in pirated Fugazi. Unfortunately they lack the ferocity that fueled Fugazi’s well-earned rise to prominence. It’s not enough just to be loud; the music must go somewhere.
And then there are the lyrics. Jason Heiselmann’s deadpan delivery of lines like, “And we won’t even have to try / We won’t even have to try” on “Science Fiction” feels obvious instead of anthemic. Clever, witty, or memorable lyrics could have saved this record, but French Miami settles for repetitious, as when they chant, “We get along” for 48 seconds at the end of “Lil Rabbits.” What else can I say about a record whose best song, “All on Fire,” is a Pavement rip-off that comes 13 years too late?
Listen to “Goddamn Best” from French Miami: