7" Review: France Has the Bomb/Tiger Bones

France has the Bomb are a band that don't want to be associated with genre. They chose a name that doesn't give away their sound, and their music is such a hodgepodge of styles that it can't be pinpointed with a single term, or even a single hyphen. That said, they play something in the realm of indie power pop garage rock with a noise influence. On their recent split with Chicago's Tiger Bones, they offer up "Open Wound," a song that somehow straddles all of the aforementioned genres over four and a half minutes.

The song starts out with fuzzed out guitars and spacey vocals. The vocals are anxious--on the verge of a screaming fit--but they never cross that angry threshold. Instead, it remains in control as the song slowly gathers momentum and grows through post-punk, noisy jams and circles back to where it started. There is no climactic action, rather a nervous stutter and angry smash two-thirds of the way through. The song walks a line of restrained tension without succumbing to base emotion. A fair starting point might be somewhere between Arcwelder and Guided By Voices.

Tiger Bones "Walk Right" is a lo-fi, blues-heavy song that reminds me of an in-tune Flipper. The rhythm holds steady, with guitar and vocal dynamic shifts that play well together as the song gradually gains momentum with each howled, fragmented lyric.

Overall, it's a split between two upper-Midwestern bands with similar lo-fi inclinations, but different approaches in terms of complexity and structure. They complement one another without simply sounding like carbons from the same school of influence.