14 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

 If there’s anything resembling a post-punk/post-modern/post-whatever cultural subtext to be found on this endlessly infectious debut from Glasgow trio The Fratellis, it might just be this: Rock and roll still hasn’t saved the world and likely never will — but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying it. While undeniably fixated on the fab-mad days of early ‘90s Brit pop, the roots of the Frat’s musical heritage are a bit more tangled, drawing on the same boisterous UK music hall singalong traditions that have informed bands from the Kinks to Blur, yet seasoned with a whip-smart wit and shrewdly tempered by enough punk-ska-new wave-gleaned sensibilities — and on “Vince the Lovable Stoner,” even a little faux country twang — to keep it all interesting. The swaggering single “Chelsea Dagger” and its infectious doot-da-do-doot chorus could serve as a template for much of the album, with the band briskly tossing off highlights like the iPod TV spot soundtrack “Flathead,” the brash opener “Henrietta” and skiffle-rhythmed “Creepin’ Up the Backstairs” like some giddy hook machine.

EDITORS’ NOTES

 If there’s anything resembling a post-punk/post-modern/post-whatever cultural subtext to be found on this endlessly infectious debut from Glasgow trio The Fratellis, it might just be this: Rock and roll still hasn’t saved the world and likely never will — but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying it. While undeniably fixated on the fab-mad days of early ‘90s Brit pop, the roots of the Frat’s musical heritage are a bit more tangled, drawing on the same boisterous UK music hall singalong traditions that have informed bands from the Kinks to Blur, yet seasoned with a whip-smart wit and shrewdly tempered by enough punk-ska-new wave-gleaned sensibilities — and on “Vince the Lovable Stoner,” even a little faux country twang — to keep it all interesting. The swaggering single “Chelsea Dagger” and its infectious doot-da-do-doot chorus could serve as a template for much of the album, with the band briskly tossing off highlights like the iPod TV spot soundtrack “Flathead,” the brash opener “Henrietta” and skiffle-rhythmed “Creepin’ Up the Backstairs” like some giddy hook machine.

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About The Fratellis

A brashly melodic indie rock outfit from Glasgow, the Fratellis feature vocalist/guitarist Jon Fratelli, drummer Mince Fratelli, and bassist Barry Fratelli. The witty trio played its first show in early 2005, maintaining that the band's moniker was merely an homage to Barry's original surname (however, other rumors suggest that the Fratellis borrowed it from the nemesis family featured in Steven Spielberg's film The Goonies). Such trivia only added to the Fratellis' growing appeal upon their performance debut, and the band's limited-edition self-titled EP arrived in April 2006. Although few copies were pressed, the record received a helpful boost from Zane Lowe's Radio One program, which put the acoustic-driven track "Creepin Up the Backstairs" into regular rotation. Televised appearances on Later with Jools Holland and Top of the Pops followed during the early summer, while the group's second single, "Henrietta," earned the Fratellis their first U.K. Top 20 hit. "Chelsea Dagger" began climbing the U.K. Top 40 that August, and the debut album, Costello Music, finally arrived in September. Although the album failed to chart in most countries (even an American iPod commercial featuring the track "Flathead" failed to spark much interest across the pond), Costello Music enjoyed a great deal of success at home, earning the bandmates a BRIT Award and peaking at number two in their native U.K.

The Fratellis returned to the British charts in 2008 with "Mistress Mabel," a track from their polished sophomore effort, Here We Stand. The band then went on hiatus for a few years; during that time, Jon formed the torchy duo Codeine Velvet Club in 2008 with Lou Hickey and released a solo album, Psycho Jukebox, in 2011. Meanwhile, Barry joined the Twang as a touring member and Mince played with Jon's backing band as well as with Throne o' Diablo. During this time, "Chelsea Dagger" also became the unofficial theme song of the National Hockey League's Chicago Blackhawks. In 2012, the Fratellis regrouped for a U.K. tour and announced in 2013 that they had recorded their third studio album in their native Glasgow. We Need Medicine arrived in October 2013. By the end of the year, they were already writing songs, some of which appeared on the Soul Crush EP, available as a free download on the band's website. The Fratellis recorded their fourth album in Los Angeles with producer Tony Hoffer (who also produced their debut); preceded by the singles "Me and the Devil" and "Baby Don't You Lie," Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied was released in August 2015. ~ Andrew Leahey & MacKenzie Wilson

  • ORIGIN
    Glasgow, Scotland
  • GENRE
    Rock
  • FORMED
    2005

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