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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Here they are
The Fratellis are one of those Britpop bands exploding with energy and lovable roguishness, and that is basically what their debut album "Costello Music" was full of.

Which brings us to their sophomore offeering: "Here We Stand," an album of explosive laddish energy, late wild nights out on the town, and solid catchy riffs, just like their first one. The...
Published on 28 Jun 2008 by E. A Solinas

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A poor second place!
I really loved the work that was done on Costello Music, it was light and funky and really a true piece of art, fun and invigorating, "Here we stand" moved on and took the light fun nature with it, a very dissapointing buy, I expected so much more.
SmileS
Published on 14 Sep 2009 by Mark A. Tiffen


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Here they are, 28 Jun 2008
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Here We Stand (Audio CD)
The Fratellis are one of those Britpop bands exploding with energy and lovable roguishness, and that is basically what their debut album "Costello Music" was full of.

Which brings us to their sophomore offeering: "Here We Stand," an album of explosive laddish energy, late wild nights out on the town, and solid catchy riffs, just like their first one. The Glaswegians don't quite stick to a solid sound in this album, but diddle around with a few new styles and tempos -- there's shreds of alt-rock, blues-rock and hard-rock stuck in their Britpop.

They don't really add anything new to their sound -- it's all still bouncy guitar-laden Britpop -- but they diddle around with some other styles from time to time.

"Have you got a shape?" "Yes." "What shape would you be?"

With that odd little conversation, the band busts out into the rattling drums and rapidly blazing riffs of "My Brother John." It's a wild little song of "Saturday night in the year of the good thief," dumb blondes, wild night scenes, and "My friend John was a serious one/Buttoned up the back and a job half done/Lazy old boy when the good girls turn/His teeth get itchy and his rubber soles burn/When will he ever learn?"

They don't lose their momentum in "A Heady Tale," where the countryish guitars are tempered by a fierce, jangly piano and funny lyrics ("you know cold-blooded women make me sneeze"). And as the album winds on, they acquire a bit of a sunny alt-rock sound -- countryish ballads, breezy swaying rockers, fast-moving Britpop, and burning guitarpop. And they finish it off with the smooth, plaintive "Lupe Brown," and a wash of gentle piano that switches midsong into a smashing cascade of guitars.

But they do start to falter a little in the stompy, clumpy "Shameless" and the uneven, uncertain "Tell Me A Lie." Both songs seem to be a foray into harder rock'n'roll, but it feels like they overcrammed the songs with bass and electric riffs. They're far more successful with the more complex melody of "Acid Jazz Singer."

The core of the Fratellis' music has not really changed -- their songs are short, snappy and brimming with lots of pep, and lyrics about drinking, girls and the life of a band. "Here We Stand" is pretty clearly intended to be a fun, not terribly deep listen, and the Fratellis succeed magnificently in that corner -- although it lacks a cohesive sound all the way through. A little experiment here, a little influence there.

Guitars still dominate their music -- they make up most of the instrumentation, and keep everything catchy and nimble. Steely, acoustic, cycling, sharp dancy melodies and blazing electric riffs are spattered liberally all over the album, sometimes woven in with some bass. Solid drums back virtually everything, and occasionally they twine in some jangly piano and weird distortion.

And Jon Fratelli always sounds like a nice boy who's just gotten over a broken heart and a hangover -- his voice is strong but a little rough. And he sings songs that are cleverer and tighter than any previous Fratellis songs ("They got yesterday's heroes and last night clothes/You're a game old boy judging by the way you walk"). And they're full of worn-out acid jazz singers, "Mistress Mabel," and thieving gypsy women.

"Here We Are" is the sound of a band figuring out what they want to be when they grow up, and providing a little entertaining music along the way. Worth hearing, but hopefully leading on to something even better.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Standing Tall, 9 Jun 2008
This review is from: Here We Stand (Audio CD)
It's been a good few weeks for British music with excellent releases from The Pigeon Detectives and The Zutons - can the Fratellis follow suit with their successor to Costello Music?

I heard their recent set on Jools Holland and pretty much loved every new track they performed. This is quite unusual for me because most albums really have to grow on me, but this was instant - so as you can imagine, I had pretty high hopes for this sophomore release.

The three opening tracks are absolutely stonking summer songs, and if A Heady Tale isn't released as a single then I'll eat my metaphorical hat. Look Out Sunshine sounds very 90s, very much like something the Supernaturals would create. Stragglers Moon is probably my least favourite track - luckily the fantastic Mistress Mabel is but a skip-button away. If you've not caught the single yet, do so!

The back straight isn't quite as fine as the first 6 tracks, but still very good nonetheless. Tell Me A Lie is a nice change in style, and sounds heavily influenced by The White Stripes, whilst Babydoll, Acid Jazz Singer & Lupe Brown are all annoyingly catchy tracks that you'll be singing along to in the car for weeks.

Overall, it's probably better than their debut album, the lyrics themselves certainly are. If the Fratellis continue to mature like this, things bode extremely well for album number three - hopefully it'll only be a year away.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Why change a winning formula?, 27 Jun 2008
By 
A. Sweeney "I don't care what you call me" (Brighton, East Sussex) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Here We Stand (Audio CD)
With 'Costello Music', The Fratellis gave us an album packed full of fast-paced, sing-a-long indie songs with a slightly hard edge and they've done exactly the same with 'Here We Stand', a high quality collection of instantly likable tunes. 'Costello Music' was always going to be a difficult album to top and, although 'Here We Stand' hasn't bettered their debut, it is certainly able to sit comfortably next to it, like a cheeky little brother.

This album is jam packed full of hard-edged riffs, witty lyrics and good-natured, big choruses. 'My Friend John', 'A Heady Tale' and 'Shameless' are three very catchy, brilliant songs and a great way to start the album; the first track featuring a guitar riff the Arctic Monkeys would be proud of, the second opening with a jaunty piano line - a real knees-up tune, while the last of the opening trio, 'Shameless', continues the theme of upbeat, immediately enjoyable songs.

'Look Out Sunshine!', the forthcoming single, is the 'Whistle For The Choir' of the album and if it isn't a huge summer hit (it is released in August), I would be extremely surprised. 'Straggler's Moon' is a little darker and slightly less immediate, but still a very good song with a quirky, snappy chorus, reminding me a little of Supergrass. The first single, 'Mistress Mabel', is a great tune and is up there with the quality of singles from their debut album.

Other highlights on the album include the charming, foot-tapping tunes 'Babydoll' and 'Acid Jazz Singer', the slow, heavy rock/breakneck-speed blues contrast of 'Tell Me A Lie' (possibly the heaviest thing they have done to date), 'Lupe Brown', which kicks-off with a celtic-like riff and the other two tracks on the album aren't half-bad either (the last track on the album 'Milk And Money' is especially interesting), giving the listener a good listening experience from the start to the very finish.

All-in-all, this is a very pleasing album and a worthy follow-up to their excellent debut. Perhaps it doesn't quite scale the heights of the very best moments of 'Costello Music', but it really isn't far behind. I would wager that people who enjoyed the first album would be much more likely to enjoy this release than not. A quality second album from the Glaswegians.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Co- 'Stella' Music, 26 Jun 2008
By 
This review is from: Here We Stand (Audio CD)
In this competitive and bland world of music dictates fashion/ fashion dictates music, its very easy to immediately dismiss the new Fratellis album and go for newer options that Ting Ting a little louder in your sub conciouse. The first listen of Here We Stand will possibly generate mumbles of 'One hit wonders'. However, this would be a mistake, for The Fratellis explosive follow up Here We Stand, does everything a follow up album should. It still provides the loud, brash and arrogant distortion of the first album, complete with quirky anicdotal lyrics, but it is on a much higher level. Songs like Shameless, Lupey Brown, and A heady Tale all deliver the goods and the OH OH OH OH OHs! of Tell Me A Lie will surely send festival crowds wild with its anthemic sing a long stance, much like Chelsea Dagger did on its release in 2006. The single Mistress Mable serves as an example of the bands ability to make an anthem out of a simple melody. Whereas before The Fratellis were a small band with a big voice, Here We Stand propels them into the stratosphere of arena rock. Think of giving a reliable workman bigger tools and you'll pretty much be there.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars fratellis album ROCKS!, 20 Jun 2008
This review is from: Here We Stand (Audio CD)
i bought this album with a degree of curiosity. having seen coldplay's rubbish being advertised for weeks on adverts, newspapers and interviews of chris martin being in love with take that and all sorts of stuff to flog their parp (i must admit the instrumental in coldplay is good, its just martin as a singer that i dislike), i had been shocked to see the fratellis new release. having LOVED costello music in which every single song was genius. i stuck on here i stand and wow! as a fan of slightly heavier rock in the style of guns and roses and the likes i was pleasantly suprised by the rapid guitaring that hit me. each song is a classic and the lyrics, rhythm, riffs are fantastic, they really are. having to revert to skimming through new unsigned american bands to get away from this annoying indie scene of today the fratellis album has gripped me. old fans will love the catchy and quirky songs and new fans will be enticed by their tunes.

overall, take a chance and buy this. it is well worth it. i'm dissapointed of it not being first in the charts but none of the greats ever are. favourite tracks: babydoll and acid jazz singer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A refreshing and successful change of direction., 22 Aug 2008
By 
Babelmonkey (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Here We Stand (Audio CD)
When I first listened to 'Here We Stand', I was a little taken aback. Gone were the Fratellis of Costello Music, with their thumping, fast paced sing-a-longs; in their place was a band with a collection of songs more varied, more structurally adventurous, and even a little more mellow. It was a definite change in direction; an unexpected one.

And, now that I've adjusted to it, a welcome and refreshing one.

Overall, I would say that 'Here We Stand' is simply a stronger album than 'Costello Music'. Although "Mistress Mabel" and "Shameless" both hark back to their jaunty origins, "Babydoll" and "Straggler's Moon" throw in new ideas and angles to the Fratellis' work, making them all the more interesting to listen to.

The Fratellis themselves said in an interview with the Guardian that they prefer 'Here We Stand' to 'Costello Music', as they were given more control over their songs, and this does show as you progress through their second album. This is the Fratellis as they've always wanted to be, and they're brilliant!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A poor second place!, 14 Sep 2009
By 
Mark A. Tiffen "MaDSurgeon" (Sunny Scunny) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Here We Stand (Audio CD)
I really loved the work that was done on Costello Music, it was light and funky and really a true piece of art, fun and invigorating, "Here we stand" moved on and took the light fun nature with it, a very dissapointing buy, I expected so much more.
SmileS
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fratellis grow up (a bit), 22 Sep 2008
By 
S Finnerty "Steve" (Hedge End, Hampshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Here We Stand (Audio CD)
This is my current favourate on the iPod. A superb follow up to Costello Music, which I always thought a bit overated. It has a rocky'er blues'ier feel and loses some of the slightly contrived feeling of the previous album replacing it with a stronger sound and sharper lyrics. There is a nice variation throughout the album with harder songs such as "Mistress Mabel" and "A Heady Tale" balanced by the humour and laid back feel of "Acid Jazz Singer" and "Jesus Stole My Baby". If you liked Costello Music you will like this album but it is worth a try also is you find The Kooks or Feeder more to your taste. You could be in for a pleasent surprise.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A grower but short of great, 24 Jun 2008
This review is from: Here We Stand (Audio CD)
Having been hooked by Costello Music, I couldn't wait to get stuck in to Here We Stand. The CD arrived, the cover picture looked great, I put the disc in and pressed play. One minute later (having skipped through a few tracks)I pressed eject to check that I hadn't been sent the wrong CD. It just didn't sound like the Fratellis. Well I had been, so I persevered, and after about half a dozen plays it did grow on me and I found myself singing along, but it still doesn't sound quite right. As other's have mentioned the production lets it down in a big way. It sounds flat and too clinical to me. There's none of the roughness of the first album, nor any of the fun. Quite frankly they don't sound like they're enjoying themselves and they've lost that swagger that initially endeared them to me.

The stand out tracks for me are Acid Jazz Singer and Babydoll but there's nothing really to compare to Chelsea Dagger, Baby Fratelli, Henrietta or Ole Black and Blue Eyes.

Fratellis fans will probably grow to like it but I am left with the feeling that whilst they briefly held a lead over their British peers they've now slipped back into the pack.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Songs, Poor Production, Check em out Live!, 17 Jun 2008
By 
A. Ochia (Aberdeen, Grampian United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Here We Stand (Audio CD)
This album was apparently written and recorded with relative ease. Some bands struggle with their 2nd albums especially when the debut is a huge seller but the Fratellis seem to have nailed this particular challenge. The songs are all very strong and extremely catchy. Some of the sing - a - longs remind me of Noel Gallagher at his glorious best. Jon's songwriting if anything seems to be getting stronger. Unfortunately, the production (self produced) lets the album down quite considerably. The bass and drums are so far down the mix that at times they are practically inaudible. This wouldn't be a problem for the many bands which have pedestrian rhythm sections but in Barry and especially Mince they have a tight dynamic unit which complemented and enhanced Jon's songs and excellent guitar work on the debut Costello Music. Remember the intro to the (in) famous Chelsea Dagger for example. I'm hoping Jon isn't developing a king size ego which could be detrimental to the bands progress. He writes everything, sings and plays lead guitar. What more does he want? I heard most of these new songs live earlier this year at the Royal Albert Hall and they sounded absolutely brilliant. Minces's drumming was immense, very Bonham - esqe and the overall sound made Rodger Daltrey's claim that they were the Scottish Who believable. I couldn't wait for the album to be released. It was an anti climax when I heard the overall sound of the album which is reflected in my rating. If you get a chance to see them live this summer close all bets and cash in the chips as you'll hear these songs the way they should be heard. Nae Danger!
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