France and the Habsburgs are a refreshingly good band emerging from Sunderland. The four lads make great stripped down songs, minimal bass, interesting arrangements and Ian Curtis style vocals. Some tracks remind me of early The Fall, and of recent Electricity in Our Homes and PLUG. Love the track 'Manual For Life', great little riff in there, with Mark E Smith restricted lyrics and melody. 'Photographic Heart' has echos of Wild Beasts musically, but it's drudging bass-line keeps you hooked in the whole way through. France and the Habsburgs are doing a few gigs around the north (listed below), but sadly there are no plans as yet to release anything. Someone should sign these boys, they're a real talent. Sort it out.
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