Can you guess where they’re from?
I’m hoping you can, but just in case, I’ll tell you.
This set of lyrics is from ‘Whistle for the Choir’ by the Fratellis, and that particular song is from their debut album ‘Costello Music’. This is one of the more modern albums that I have in my list of favourites, and it’s one of the best debut albums I’ve ever heard. In fact, the band won a BRIT award for “Best British Breakthrough Act” in 2007. Even I acknowledge that it’s an odd one for me to have on my list, considering all the classic rock I’ve been talking about. But there’s just this relentless energy to it, and every song is as catchy as they can be. It’s a really fun album to listen to. Saying this, the album has its sweet spots; it’s not all super-charged Brit-rock. ’Whistle for the Choir’ is one of thse sweet spots, and its one of the best written songs I’ve heard in the past decade. Also, they’re the only band I can think of that are more than willing to use the word c*nt in both their lyrics and their song titles. Which is impressive to me for some reason.
The Fratellis are a Scottish band, and critics have claimed that their influences include the Arctic Monkeys, The Libertines and pretty much every other Brit-Rock band to ever exist. And I can see that. However, most Brit-Rock sounds an awful lot like another when I listen to it, which isn’t the case for The Fratellis. When I listen to The Fratellis I can tell that it’s them. They have an amazingly distinct sound, despite the fact that most of their fellow Brit-Rock bands could write each other’s songs and you wouldn’t notice a difference. It does help that I love Blues rock, and that they have a very bluesy sound.
I said that they sounded unique amongst other bands, but what really amazes me is that they still manage to produce crowd-pleasing anthems that everyone can get on board with, without losing any of their originality. The song that comes to mind is ‘Chelsea Dagger’, a tune that is constantly played in clubs, pubs, karaoke nights and even school proms. It’s simply one of the best songs to get everyone riled up and energised. Everyone knows the words, everyone loves the tune, it’s a perfect song.
With the exception of a couple of slower, more reflective songs, the rest of the album is fully charged. The meaty, unique sound of Jon Fratelli’s lead guitar really does lead the songs, and provides the album with the musical substance needed to stand out, ‘Flathead’ is a perfect example of this. The drums of Mince Fratelli are also a highlight of a great album, they’re not overpowering but they maintain a constant presence. Some of the fills are superb (See ‘Cuntry Boys and City Girls’, and yes that is how they spell it).
However, despite all the furious guitar and carefree howls, my favourite song from the album is the last listed. ‘Ole Black ‘n’ Blue Eyes’ is folksy, blues rock song, at a slower pace than the others and written in a slightly more serious tone, while still retaining the Fratelli sound. It’s a bittersweet song about an unwanted romance, although the guy is taking pity on her “ole black ‘n’ blue eyes”. Even though it’s not the happiest song in the world, it’s got a sweet quality to it… Maybe it’s the style of the music.
Anyway, you’ve probably heard the singles, now hear the album! As I’ve said before, you won’t be disappointed. Because while The Fratellis probably aren’t going to be listened to for generations and generations to come, and while they might not be among the most respected rock ‘n’ roll artists around, they’re definitely one of the most stand out Brit-Rock artists of the past decade.
I think I’ll end it here guys. That was my second-to-last album, and tomorrow I’m gonna be writing about my all-time favourite! I know I said that this wasn’t in any particular order, but I had to leave my favourite ‘til last, didn’t I?
I’ll see you next time…