By Rob Duguay
One of the most unenvious tasks for any band is to live up to expectations after putting out a supreme masterpiece of a debut record. Back in 2006, The Fratellis from Glasgow, Scotland took the world by storm with their first album Costello Music. It was an album that was a perfect blend of British Invasion era rock & roll and vintage punk, it became quite the rage on both sides of the Atlantic and in my opinion will forever go down as one of the top ten best records of the past decade. After an solid follow up with Here We Stand in 2008 and a subsequent break up a year later, The Fratellis are back with their third album We Need Medicine. The jury might still be out on if it's as good as their excellent debut, but this album shows that this energetic trio hasn't let up a bit when it comes to making you jump out of your seat and causing a ruckus.
Think as if The Kinks decided to put out a groovy blues record while still staying honest to their skiffling roots, and that's pretty much what you'll be listening to right when you press play on We Need Medicine. Usually after a 5 year layoff and reuniting, there have been bands that seem to lose the luster that made them so good in the first place. The Fratellis' new album is the antithesis of the scenario, there is a striking progression to their sound but at the same time the fire and enthusiasm hasn't left them. It's always refreshing when a band doesn't try to go out of their element just to sell a few records while instead staying true to their roots and in turn keeping their core audience's undivided attention. With this album The Fratellis proceed to do what they do best, kick major musical ass and ensuring that you'll be cutting a rug in no time.
Cars getting broken into, people getting hit by cars, broken hearts and false starts, it's been a weird week so far in Providence. Could the city be haunted? Or is it another day in the life? Maybe because Halloween is approaching I'm thinking about it in a spooky kind of way, but in this wild year of 2013 it really could be anything. For some order in this 24 hour whirlwind that we live in, I will present to you my top tracks off of the Album Of The Week. It won't restart the United States government and I guarantee it won't be the match to the flame towards world peace, but it will enlighten your musical taste. Enough off all that rubbish, here goes something:
Looking for a song to get you in the mood for pumpkin beer and candy bars? Then give "Halloween Blues" a listen. There's a distinct influence of Elvis Presley's "Jailhouse Rock" along with the horn section and the keyboards in sync with the guitars and drums providing a complete rock & roll experience you can't ignore. Whiskey and love hardly ever go hand in hand, "The Whiskey Saga" is all about that but it'll also make you want to shuffle your feet and turn your shoulders from side to side. Evidence of the blues influence on the album is best exemplified by "This Is Not The End Of The World", the driving riffs and rhythmic notes make the number a perfect head-bobber. The title track "We Need Medicine" has a gospel feel to it, especially with the hook and chorus capturing your mind and keeping it tucked away for the entire duration. As always, I only named a few but don't let that mislead you. This new album by The Fratellis is bound to please you with every track.
The Scottish trio will be doing a short tour of the United States next month starting at Webster Hall in New York City on November 1st and concluding at The Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles on November 12th. For us live music fanatics in New England, The Fratellis will be performing at The Paradise Rock Club in Boston on November 3rd for what should be one hell of a time. Until they roll through your neighborhood music venue and blow the roof off the joint, give The Fratellis' We Need Medicine a listen. It'll make you want to strut, slide and let it ride.