The Fratellis, from Glasgow Scotland, are currently exploding in the UK. Their debut album Costello Music, a collection of instantly-hummable anthems that set cheap thrills and barely-believable stories to music, is Double-Platinum and counting on the strength of amazing live shows, 3 Top Ten radio singles, and glowing press. And now, The Fratellis U.S. Invasion has already begun, thanks to major brands like Apple/iTunes, EA Games, and others leading the charge. Their single Flathead has been getting major airplay throughout the country on such stations as Indie 103.1 in Los Angeles.
There's nothing terribly complicated about the Fratellis' debut album, Costello Music
, but that's by no means a criticism. Rather than inject their songs with complex chords, or steep their lyrics with their political and social agendas, this Glasgow trio have instead focussed on writing 13 songs that are pure, unabashed entertainment. And it's a pace--and an attitude--that doesn't let up, from the jumpy opening bars of "Henrietta" to the groupie-reminiscing of "Ole Black'n'Blue Eyes". In many ways, Costello Music
sounds like a return to the hedonistic rush of early 1990s Britpop, with its exhilarating guitar riffs and arrogant swagger--"Chelsea Dagger" somehow applies the attitude of early Oasis to the pop catchiness of Great Escape
-era Blur. But the Fratellis also know their history: the ska-punk of "Cuntry Boys & City Girls" and "For the Girl" has the Fratellis sounding like the cheeky offspring of the Clash, or a less-irritating Madness. But all this analysis kind of misses the point of Costello Music
: this is music for dancing, not for contemplation. It's loud, fast and in-your-face, exactly what you'd expect from three young men with guitars. --Ted Kord