Friday, September 26, 2008


Costello Music-
The Fratellis
Status-Out as of 2006
Rating-4 Feathers

When a new band launches their way onto the scene, and they’re from Scotland, you may think that their sound may be equipped with bagpipes, maybe a tin whistle or two. Well, not quite. The Fratellis, three Glaswegians who got their start in a pub, however, do use horns and basic guitar to create an old-fashioned pubby sound that is ‘Costello Music’. It launches with ‘Henrietta’ which is a very twangy brit-poppy sort of song. The horns and the guitar create such an unmistakably captivating sound and energy that truly makes it a great beginning. ‘Flathead’ is definitely not boring; it even sounds like they’re having a blast playing it. The pub type of feel and backing vocals really help it fall into cohesion with the rest of the album. ‘Whistle for the Choir’ is not original, at all. It’s calm, quiet, and a bit dumb. The structure and chord progressions sound like they’ve been done several times before. ‘Chelsea Dagger’: Even if you’ve never heard of The Fratellis, I can guarantee you’ve heard this one. It sounds like it could easily be sung at a soccer game or chanted in a pub. The scat chorus is what makes the piece so enticing. ‘The Gutterati?’ is a bit messy. The vocals are extremely in-your-face, which is a major turn-off. It sounds too all over the place so it makes it almost un-listen-able. It’s the shortest song on the album, but it definitely feels like the longest. The only nice part is how at the end they break out into cheers and start clapping, which adds to the pub feel. ‘For the Girl’ is alright, but the electronica la-la’s and guitar really kill it. It honestly ‘makes you sick in a bad way’. That part detracts so much from the rest of the song, that that’s all you can think about. ‘Doginabag’ which, after you’re done throwing up from the last song, calms your stomach with a nice mellow feel. They could’ve improved it by making his vocals a little more low-key. ‘Creepin Up the Backstairs’ is a tad little bit darker sounding, but it’s so much better than the last couple of songs. When they get into the ‘creepin up the backstairs’ bit, the song reaches a sound much needed in the previous songs. ‘Vince the Loveable Stoner’ sounds like surf music with a Scottish twist at first, but the happiness stops there. The chorus is very, very drab and dull which completely annihilates your attention span for the rest of the song. ‘Everybody Knows You Cried Last Night’ is very reminiscent of ‘Rudie Can’t Fail’ by The Clash. The bridge is very similar to that of ‘Flathead’ too. The song is alright, not great, and too long. ‘Baby Fratelli’: They managed to create a wall of sound when the chorus come through, but what’s nice is that wall doesn’t sound like one weird drone. The basic guitar riff is quite catchy, but when every one starts yelling ‘and it’s alright!’ is very goose bump inducing. ‘Got Ma Nuts From a Hippy’ develops a different sort of sound than what was heard before. It becomes this sort of dark-retro type thing that sounds very similar to the album Magic and Medicine by The Coral. ‘Ole Black’n’Blue Eyes’ is alright. It’s not very satisfying in the sense that you hoped this album would go out with a cliff-hanger, something that makes you want more, not something that makes you think this is the last. The only real good thing about this song is that he actually figures how to control his voice so that it actually fits the tone of the song. In general, the first half of the album is more powerful and more of what we’ve come to expect of The Fratellis, but overall, they’ve still managed to create their own, very unique sound. Though there are few ear bleeders in their, by and large there are enough hits in there to land them on the map. They have a promising future in their mist, if they can duplicate this ‘Superior Sound Recording’.

"It's the only thing I've ever wanted to do since I was, like, 15."-Jon Fratelli

Video for Henrietta

The Fratellis Official Website
Note: I'm very sorry for my lack of posting reviews being that this blog is meant for CD reviews. I plan on getting out more reviews soon and quicker than I have been. Also, I noticed the one's I've wrote recently were a bit dull compared to my first few so I hope you like the writing in this one. Thank you!


Arnold Layne said...

I thought this post would be too long to read when I first looked at it, but I was immediately pulled in and didn't want to stop reading. Great review - Flatheads is a good song, but the poppy chorus gets annoying after a while. I like how in the music video the singer's wearing a top hat!

Double Hawk said...

Arnie: I noticed with this album (and most albums) that the first half was a lot better than the second half. I'm glad you liked the review, I'm trying to make my writing more interesting. Jon Fratelli seems to like his top hat, you know?