Franz Ferdinand House of Blues, October 4
In the post-Britpop era, Franz Ferdinand was once neck and neck with Arctic Monkeys for the title of the British Isles' top alt-rock export. Debut single "Take Me Out" seemed to take out everything else on the airwaves upon its 2004 release, welding jangly guitars to a ramrod-stiff bass-and-drums backbone and establishing an instantly identifiable sound.
If sharp-suited Franz came off as posh next to the relatively blue-collar Monkeys, that wasn't expressed in their in their raw live shows. Now coming off a four-year layoff that reportedly had the Glasgow quartet thinking about folding, Franz's brand-new Right Thoughts Right Words Right Action (Domino) luckily picks up their nervy art-rock attack without even a thread out of place. With Houston's own Young Girls. CHRIS GRAY