French Miami Motor Skills

The fact that French Miami are signed to Death by Audio (the record label/recording studio/effects pedal company fronted by A Place to Bury Stranger's Oliver Ackermann) should give you some indication to how the San Francisco, CA-bred three-piece choose to conduct their business. Released a year after their post-punk-tinged (almost emo-esque) self-titled debut, French Miami's move to DbA should signify a noisier, dronier sound. Well, yes and no. Over six songs and 22 minutes, the band's Motor Skills EP reaches further sonically while keeping the songwriting focused and neatly packaged. Thanks to the production work of Trans Am guitarist Phil Manley, songs like "Foolish" and "Jon Odyssey" feature electro-dusted two-step instead of angular stomp and romp. The fact that the motorik rhythm of "Suge Night Driving" comes off so uninviting next to the carefree pop of "Older" shows French Miami displaying the attributes of a growing band; it seems like only yesterday that they were crying over girls. (Death By Audio)