CD Review of Costello Music by The Fratellis

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Costello Music
starstarstarstarno star Label: Interscope
Released: 2007
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Taking a page from the Ramones, U.K.-based three-piece band the Fratellis is a group of rockers that uses a fake last name to make them all seem like brothers. Barry Fratelli, Mince Fratelli and Jon Fratelli may or may not be real brothers, but there’s no denying they are siblings in rock. The band’s debut album, Costello Music, has finally made it over to the U.S., thanks in part to a song, “Flathead,” being launched on an iTunes commercial. And for that, we should all be thankful, because the Fratellis are here to fill what has become a huge void on our Vans-warped, post-Creed, crap-infested airwaves.

Taking rock back to simple roots, where songs make you want to move and drink a lot, the Fratellis not only have a knack for penning hooks, they seem to be having lots of fun doing it. “Henrietta” and “Flathead” were on the band’s teaser Flathead EP that was released a few months ago, and those songs set the tone for what’s to come on Costello Music. “Whistle for the Choir” has the feel of a drinking song, and to that we all say, “Why not?”

“Chelsea Dagger” has the jagged pop edge of a bottle opener, and “The Glitterati” has the feel of a modern-day Plimsouls. “Creepin up the Backstairs” was the song that launched these guys in their native Britain, and it’s another fun but ballsy electric track. And then titles like “Vince the Loveable Stoner” and “Got Ma Nuts from a Hippy” need no explanation whatsoever. This is clearly a band that doesn’t take itself too seriously, yet that is exactly why the Fratellis are compelling.

It would seem America has taken to these loveable goofballs, thanks to Steve Jobs and company. iTunes continues to break bands like the Fratellis, JET and several others in a way that terrestrial radio has completely forgotten about. Moreover, the Fratellis don’t need critics’ hype or their labels’ deep pockets to show us why they belong – they simply know how to rock like a rock band should.

~Mike Farley