The world worshipped at The Fratellis' feet back when their
debut, Costello Music, first came out and when "Flathead"
was all over the TV in that iPod commercial. Initial response to the
band's follow up was lukewarm, however, although it's hard to understand
quite why. Here We Stand stands up quite well, even without
the media hype's help.
Although profane, it's hard not to laugh at a guy who has the nerve
to sing, "I'm a cynical cunt and I'm much too lazy to change."
Along with a lot of other pub talk lyrical jabs like that line, this
disc is filled with high-powered rock & roll that sounds like
a more refined The Faces. For instance, "Mistress Mabel"
has a wonderfully pounding piano part that brings back fond memories
of Little Richard and a time when piano was still a big part
of the best rock and roll.
These guys are smart, perhaps too smart for their own good. "Acid
Jazz Singer" is a fantastic song title. But the group doesn't
spoil the witty word grouping on a poor lyric. Rather, it is an insightful
character study. "She said I'm no genius and I've lost my self,"
it states, "the books are on the table and the secret's on the
shelf." It's easy to have feelings for a girl that is searching
so hard for meaning in life and just needs a little help.
None of these twelve songs come off particularly iPod ready, so the
hip crowd has probably passed The Fratellis by. But for those not
overly influenced by the in crowd, Here We Stand is an excellent
slice of sturdy, stand-up rock & roll.
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