Louis XIV, Illegal Tender EP

Expect big things from San Diego’s Louis XIV. They may be the other band named after a European historical figure at the present but listening to Illegal Tender, their most recent EP (and the third in less than a year), it’s easy to hear the band meet Franz’s disco basslines and raise them a shuffle beat and bluesy guitar.

Anyone who doubts the prowess of Louis XIV should simply take a look at the EP’s centerpiece, “Finding Out True Love is Blind.” Restrained guitar, low piano and shuffle drums lead into pounding power chords as the leader expresses his affection for the ladies, one ethnicity (or personality) at a time. The guitar builds gradually under the piano (no audible bass, of course), but the real treat is in the second chorus, which features, yes, one of the girls begging for it. These guys do the sort of wonders for misogynism in rock music that Bowie did for homosexuality.

That’s not all, though: the trio churns out another 15 minutes of bizarre, bluesy glam (with British accents!) featuring an excellent slow-burner (“Marc”, a tribute to T. Rex’s Bolan) complete with a George Harrison solo, and an honest-to-goodness New Orleans reprise that makes the Doobies look like slouches. In this preview of things to come, Louis XIV shows their intentions for a big 2005.

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