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The Fratellis
Here We Stand
Interscope Records
www.thefratellis.com


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.

-Dan MacIntosh

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