“Anybody can play. The note is only 20 percent. The attitude of the motherfucker who plays it is 80 percent.” This Miles Davis quote greets visitors to French Kiss’ Bandcamp page, and it perfectly primes listeners for their new EP, Everyday Chemistry, which was self-released in December 2019.
The attitude of these motherfuckers really shines in the cheeky, ragged-yet-soulful vocals which evoke Johnny Thunders or Tom Verlaine. Sprinkled with a few bratty grunts, Gary Langworthy’s lyrics cynically and poetically tackle God and death, subcultures, and relationships—all while brashly borrowing titles and lyrics directly from his influences.
The album’s title is from a fake Beatles’ album some guy claims to have found from another dimension, and a couple phrases in “I Don’t Think I Can Make It Alone Anymore” are borrowed from Don McClean’s “American Pie.”
These classic, rock ‘n’ roll influences are apparent throughout the album. The opening track, “Tears in the Rain,” starts off with clean strumming and sweet vocal harmonies. But, after a minute and a half, a punky snarl and feedback presage a distorted, extended wailing guitar solo before the vocals get guttural and gritty.
From here on out on the EP, French Kiss are aggressively fast-paced with crunchy, distorted chords; relentless percussion; and powerful bass lines. They take their classic rock influences and pair them with early punk, glam, and garage to create a nostalgic New York sound.
Listen here: https://thefrenchkiss.bandcamp.com/