French Kicks – Trial of the Century (2004)

fk_totc.jpg With their stylish blend of power pop and new wave revivalism, the French Kicks stand out among the army of ’80s revivalists to emerge from Brooklyn in the early ’00s. Though they were childhood friends in Washington, D.C, guitarist Matt Stinchcomb, bassist Jamie Krents and singing drummer Nick Stumpf only started the group in 1998, after moving to New York. Adding guitarist Josh Wise, the quartet released a self-titled debut EP on My Pal God in 1999. Their second EP, Young Lawyer, was issued by Brooklyn’s Startime International label in 2001, which also released 2002’s full-length debut, One Time Bells. Two years and a number of tours later, the band made sonic departures with Trial of the Century, a set of highly polished songs that featured Stumpf on lead vocals and new drummer Aaron Thurston. Matt Stinchcomb left the group in 2005 and was replaced by guitarist Kush El Amin, who played on their third LP, Two Thousand, which was released by Vagrant/Startime International in 2006.

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