I miss Franz Ferdinand. Yes, unfortunately the Scottish quartet has continually suffered massive overexposure of all its singles. But that's because you absolutely cannot fail with top-notch, hooky, angular U.K. rock that works as well on a dance floor as on a concert stage. Luckily, to fill in that gap now we've all got Switches, another quartet hailing from the southern English environs of Essex.
Based on just an indie-label-released EP in 2006, the band got quickly snapped up by Atlantic Records, and recording its debut album, Heart Tunes to D.E.A.D., at L.A.'s Sunset Sound Studios with producer Rob Schnapf (Beck, Elliott Smith). Released in April of '07, the record charted in the UK's top 100.
Switches' first American album, Lay Down the Law, dropped this past March. And, partially thanks to a soundtrack slot on the FIFA 08 video game, its lead single, "Drama Queen," scored a number-nine on the Billboard charts stateside. An impressive feat for a foreign band that actually plays and writes its own music, and doesn’t rely on Vocoder effects or sappy mall-angst lyrics.
Run to Revolution tonight to catch them tonight as part of the Nylon magazine tour before they outgrow opening slots at venues that size. Here's the newest video (yes, there is an older one) for their lead single "Lay Down the Law," a hyper-catchy, pleasingly twitchy slice that should hit your indie-type dance nights any second now, if it hasn't already. -- Arielle Castillo
The Nylon Summer Music Tour: With Be Your Own Pet, Switches, and She Wants Revenge. Wednesday, May 21. Revolution, 200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $16; all ages. 954-727-0950, www.jointherevolution.net