Thursday, November 03, 2011


Faced with a five track EP and a listening public increasingly gripped by attention deficit disorder, many bands would be tempted to shove their best track out first and allow a tail-off in catchiness or immediacy to follow. Anglo-Swedish four-piece Francobollo adopt a different tactic – a more evenly spread albeit eclectic running order with, in my opinion, the best and most ambitious track slap bang in the middle.

That’s not to say other tracks are without merit or catchiness. Opener ‘Future Lover’ mixes languid slide guitar boogie riffs and 90s alt-rock swagger to create a slacker anthem to being alone and losing. ‘Good Times’ continues the 90s vibe in a more optimistic vein: crisply produced, crunchy grunge-pop that is more Seattle than Stockholm in its melodic appreciation of eyes and revelry (not as deep as it sounds – it really is about “good times”).

Then the aforementioned ‘centre-piece'. ‘I Found A Bike Today’ is the sound of Pavement and Wild Beasts fighting over the rights to drag the Syd Barrett nursery rhyme psychedelia of Pink Floyd’s ‘Bike’ into 2011 (or possibly 1994). From muscular rhythms, chiming guitars and surreal falsetto trills, the song steadily escalates into a hefty math-rock work-out that keeps layering on the intensity without ever collapsing in on itself. Dizzyingly epic in a way a song about romancing an inanimate object should not be able to achieve.

If the band have been zigging, they now zag with ‘I Hope Not’ a pulsing, shimmering slice of dance-rock à la LCD Soundsystem. Final song ‘Pretty Colours’ returns to the angular crunch of the opening songs but with a more downbeat repeated plea (“oh how I wish you were here”). This ends up as strained screeching and the song begins to grate in a way that elsewhere Francobollo nimbly avoid. An intriguing and intense set of surreal party tunes that couldn’t sound any less like they were recorded in a cabin in the woods of Northern Sweden (which they were). An EP worth overcoming ADD to spend some time with.

Future Lover by Francobollo

I Found A Bike Today by Francobollo

Francobollo Harpholma EP [BUY]

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