The Fratellis – Here We Stand
With the slew of Brit-pop bands that emerged from the Isles in recent years, sometimes it’s hard to keep up with them all, let alone separating the shit-hot from the shit-house. Somewhere in between Razorlight, The Cribs, The Last Shadow Puppets, The Wombats, Does It Offend You Yeah? and Lightspeed Champion I kind of lost The Fratellis.
That’s not to say I didn’t like them. On the contrary, Chelsea Dagger was by far the most fun I’ve had listening to a rock track since Jack White pulled Seven Nation Army out of his ass. That was the kind of song you imagine yourself screaming at a football match, a sentiment echoed by the English, who apparently did it in droves. Nothing like having the Barmy Army shouting your refrain for some free publicity.
Anyway, the point of the matter is that the Fratelli brothers (yes, there’s actually a reason for the name!) are back in 2008 with a brand new album but pretty much the same mission: to create rollicking, fist-in-the-air tunes that you wouldn’t feel embarrassed slurring along to when you’re smashed. The Jerry Lee Lewis-esque piano-driven blast A Heady Tale pretty much encapsulates this spirit – the perfect soundtrack to a bar brawl or pretty much any scene in Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels. But the one thing that separates these boys from the rest of the pack (and Christ knows, it’s a pretty big one by now) is that while they write big dumb pop songs, they’re actually quite intelligent about it. They know the power of a sing-along chorus never wanes and they know how to build excitement, dropping the bottom end out right when it’s at boiling point.
This pretty much comes down to their command of their instruments and their knowledge of musical history. The Fratelli kids have lived through the rock revolution once. They feel no need to recycle it, which makes for a glorious listen. Recommended.