If like mine, your reference point with the band The Fratellis was their commercially successful debut release Costello Music, then I’d recommend you leave your previous knowledge at the door when listening to more of their up to date material.
Eyes Wide Tongue Tied is the latest offering from the rambunctious Glaswegian trio.
The album opens with a foreboding sound that wouldn’t be out of place in a vintage film. This then crescendos into a more familiar and comforting sound of a piano.
The song, ‘Me And The Devil’ is theatrical, and lays out the theme for the majority of the rest of the album. The experience you get while listening to the album makes it almost feel as though you’ve been whipped into the tornado in The Wizard of Oz, and along with the upheaval comes with a heavy gale of Americana throughout.
There is a good balance of sombre, dark tones and more energetic surges – neither of which become overpowering but, instead, the album offers a comfortable mix of the two.
The highlight comes half way through with the songs ‘Thief’ – which has a great hook and is very catchy – and the successive track ‘Dogtown’.
Although the tune of the verses sounds very similar to the Beatles’ ‘Come Together’, this track has one of the sharpest southern influences overall.
This descends into something bigger and starts to sound as if they have been plonked onto a haunted circus.
I would definitely recommend sticking this on at your alternative Halloween party playlist. The band has been around for almost ten years and whilst it’s clear that they’ve established a certain style for themselves, it hasn’t confined them.
The album ends with ‘Moonshine,’ a slower, more solemn lament.
The Fratellis bring a strong influence of music of years past to this album, but they’ve figured out how to encompass these sounds, distill them and bring the contemporary, too.