2001 in Glasgow, Scotland.


Sounds like: The Strokes' artsier, scrappier Scotch cousins; the real-world incarnation of an unlikely Velvet Goldmine love child. 

For fans of: Bowie, golden-age CBGB, the Strokes: artfully smutty lyricism set to fuzz-drenched pop.

Latest release: 2011's Covers EP, a collection of fuzzed-out takes on Franz Ferdinand songs performed by acts like Debbie Harry, ESG and, perplexingly, Peaches. 

Why you care: When an iPod commercial introduced Franz Ferdinand's "Take Me Out" to the U.S. in 2004, many predicted the preening Scottish quartet would be a one-hit wonder doomed to a brief stint of hubris-fueled stadium shows following its self-titled debut. Instead, the band thrusted crotch-first into the public consciousness for good. This is a band so keenly aware of Bowie-esque pan-sexual appeal that rail-thin frontman Alex Kapranos won't hesitate to douse himself in water while cooing anthems about infidelity, movie-theater sex and trysts with saucy girls and dudes named Michael. With the follow-up, 2005's You Could Have It So Much Better, the group honed its gritty pop sound, but showed a softer side on tracks like "Eleanor Put Your Boots On," a side that cracked in two on 2009's slinky, dark, synth-heavy Tonight: Franz Ferdinand. With a new album looming (and new songs being tested live), the quartet is now playing smaller venues but hasn't adjusted the volume to accommodate. 

SEE IT: Franz Ferdinand plays Wonder Ballroom, 128 NE Russell St., on Friday, Aug. 10. 9 pm. $29 advance, $32 day of show. All ages.