Archive for the ‘The Fratellis’ Category

The Fratellis – Here We Stand

Remember the Fratellis? I remember when I first came across them. I worked at a clothing store that was pathetically desperate to fit the indie-cool mold whilst serving a clientele of bleach blonde yuppies who could really care less about music outside a nightclub. Anyway, Costello Music was in the CD drawer and I instantly fell in love with the upbeat, catchy tunes. The album kept me awake and put me in a good mood.

Two years later, Here We Stand came out. I’m still not sure how I feel about it. It’s … not bad but it’s no Costello Music. It’s definitely not as happy and there’s more variation between songs. I don’t know, Here We Stand sounds like seven different bands wrote these songs and paid the Fratellis to play and record them.

“Shameless” has a weird nostalgic feel to it. Like if the Fratellis were twenty-five years older than they actually are. It sounds like the combination of some generic 80s song with a dash of Costello Music. It makes me think of a sad moment in a movie where the girl discovers some terrible truth about the guy and the guy sulks away with this song playing in the background.

The next one sounds more like the Fratellis I know and love. But it’s slower and Jon/John sounds really uncomfortable singing the word “cunt”. Are guys allowed to call themselves cunts? This song is pretty cheesy, I’m imagining exaggerated facial expressions and some guy in a top hat. “Straggler’s Moon” is a pretty good song but it sounds nothing like the Fratellis. It’s a snake of a song, kind of sleazy and mysterious. Parts of it sounds like the Beatles with Bowie as their producer. I like “Mistress Mabel” too but it sounds like a country song with predictable rhymes (Mabel/ unstable/ cradle/ fable/ unable). It’s pretty interesting about three minutes in and I like the piano bits. It’s a song Nick would have written to woo Lindsay on Freaks and Geeks.

“Jesus Stole My Baby” is obnoxiously monotonous and I don’t even want to talk about it. “Babydoll” is acoustic and awfully sweet. This is the scene in the movie where the guy does something to win the girl back even though he has to sacrifice his tough guy reputation or whatever. I can’t help feeling that I’ve heard it before though. It’s a very comfortable song and doesn’t take any risks. I was hoping for something different at the end but nah, nothing. “Tell Me A Lie” sounds like the Hives. It should have been on the Black and White Album instead of Here We Stand.

“Acid Jazz Singer” brings us some more acoustics. It feels like a filler track. “Lupe Brown” is the song playing at the end of that movie I’ve been making up throughout this review. “Milk and Money” is a poor way to end the album.

So this album is basically a loose soundtrack to some teen movie which is not necessarily a bad thing but doesn’t make for a particularly original or amazing album. They’re lucky this is their second album and not their debut. Hopefully, this is a case of the sophomore slump and not the one-album wonder.


The Fratellis – Look Out Sunshine!

The Fratellis – Mistress Mabel

Virgin Music Festival Day 1 and Day 2 Review

Yes I know what you’re thinking, why is this review so late, but I’m hoping you can forgive me for that transgression and enjoy the review I’ve got for you.

Saturday was day one of the festival, and as all of you know the Foo Fighters were the headlining band. For those of you who love them, they were fantastic, and for those who don’t I won’t say anything more.

Saturday though, I spent a lot of time wandering around the festival, going from stage to stage checking out some of the bigger acts and a bunch of the lesser known ones. I have to say that the biggest surprise of the day for me, was a little band called The Airborne Toxic Event or TATE as they shall be henceforth referred to as. They hit the main stage as the second act of the day, following a short set by Mark Robertson. Mark Robertson was OK, but the music of TATE was both easy to listen to and easy to rock out to at the same time. They seemed really grateful to be preforming there and deserved the applause they got from the small crowd, which was to be expected for the second band of the day. Definitely give them a listen if you haven’t already.

Sometime Around Midnight by The Airborne Toxic Event

Also on the main stage was MGMT and Against me! Who were more popular than the earlier bands, but did nothing terribly new, exciting or entertaining. For me, they were just what was to be expected. The last non-Foo Fighting act on the main stage was Bloc Party, and I found their show to be entertaining and filled with good music.

Helicopter by Bloc Party

I also got a chance to walk by the Oh Henry Stage, but there was nothing special there on Saturday. The second stage however, had too huge artists from the U.K. take the stage. The Fratellis and the Kooks played one of the most active sets of the day, really engaging the audience and making it fun. Especially for the drunk fans moshing in the front. That was Day one.

Before I move on to day two, I’d like to say that the festival was very well organized and they did their best to keep it clean and fun for everyone. My only complaint in that regard is the ferries, but that is to be expected when attending a concert on an island.

Moving on to day two. Oasis hadn’t been to town in four years, so the place was JAM PACKED to see them play. Much more people than day 1. This was a good day to stay mostly at the main stage because almost all of the acts there were great. Danko Jones definitely wins the award for craziest performer, from having us giving the middle finger to the sun to his rant about how his band wasn’t family friendly. Very entertaining guy. The Weakerthans, a Winnipeg band definitely stole the afternoon part of the show. They had almost a cult following and the music was fantastic.

One Great City by The Weakerthans

Also great on the main stage were the Silversun Pickups. The Stereophonics had pretty standard music, and nothing really set them apart from anyone.

Then came my personal favourite part of the day, and that was getting to see Shad. Shad is a rapper from London, not far from Toronto and it showed. There were more people there to see him on the small stage than there were at the second stage at the time. Shad looked nothing like your typical rapper and his lyrics were completely refreshing. His overall performance was the highlight of my day and getting to hang out with him after his show was really great, down to earth guy.

Now A Daze by Shad

Paul Weller put on a good show as the last band before Oasis. Oasis was definitely interesting, when the fan jumped onto the stage it was the stupidest thing ever. He did however get his ass kicked by Liam Gallagher, and I did see a video of it. It was pretty fun. He deserved everything he got, idiot nearly ruined the concert for everyone there.

All in all a fantastic weekend. The usual overpriced crappy food, accompanied by some great music, and some less than great music.

To finish off, I leave you with a final thought,
Do Bananas Float? (Editor’s note: I think Zack is a strange one. Agreed?)

More photos after the jump!


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