FFS: FFS

Franz Ferdinand and Sparks find the year's most unlikely thrills

Credit: David Edwards

Well, here's a supergroup nobody would have predicted. In this corner, Sparks, the 1970s art-rock duo who drove Britannia mad back in the day with endearingly flaky albums like Kimono My House. And in that corner, Franz Ferdinand, the Scottish lads who've written a sizable chunk of the past decade's best guitar songs. Both bands share a wildly eccentric sense of melodrama, which is why the combo clicks. The vocal frills make Freddie Mercury sound like Joey Ramone — especially the droll seven-minute suite "Collaborations Don't Work." Highlight: "So Desu Ne," a manic synth-pop ode to a Japanese playgirl with a "Hello Kitty Uzi."