A blend of post-punk aggression and mod melodies and harmonies, the French Kicks features guitarists/vocalists Matt Stinchcomb and Josh Wise, bassist Jamie Krents, and drummer/vocalist Nick Stumpf. Washington, D.C., natives Krents, Stumpf, and Stinchcomb began playing together in their early teens, inspired by their hometown's renowned hardcore scene; upon moving to Brooklyn after college, the trio met Wise and became a quartet. Officially christened the French Kicks in 1998, the group released their self-titled debut EP on My Pal God the following year. After more touring and recording, the French Kicks signed to Star Time in the U.S. and Creation impresario Alan McGee's label Poptones in the U.K. The Young Lawyer EP arrived in early 2001, and a year later the group toured with the Vue and labelmates the Walkmen before releasing their full-length debut One Time Bells. Trial of the Century followed in spring 2004.