You know what we need more of in life? Scottish dudes playing ragged garage rock. And that's what The Fratellis give you every time they put out new tunes. And you know what's the only thing better than the Fratellis giving you their kick-ass garage rock tunes? Watching Jon Fratelli play two stripped-down tracks from the band's rather awesome new album, Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied. Honestly, we were not prepared for how intense and passionate Jon can sound in a live setting with just his voice and an acoustic guitar. This is pure, Glaswegian soul and we think you'll love it.
- New York's always good. The last time we played here was two years ago. This has never happened before or since, we walked on stage and there was thunderous reception, without having done anything. And it wouldn't stop. It kept going, and it was a good four to five minutes of standing there, and we couldn't play because they wouldn't stop, which is nice, you know. That hasn't happened anywhere else. You wear your mask I'll wear mine They don't come cheap, but they fit just fine You can be her, and I'll be him We'll go sink while the rest all swim Little by little by little by little by little by little by little Little by little by little by little, by little by all day long We can pretend that our fates were entwined The beautiful lies, the beautiful kind Everybody knows the sun still sets And everybody gives and everybody gets Little by little by little by little by little by little by little Little by little by little by little by little by all day long Little by little by little by little by little by little by little Little by little by little by little by little by all day long I can be the one that you just can't shake 'til you swear that your eyes go blind We can disappear 'til the sun burns a hole in the life that we left behind And I just won't stop 'til my heart gives way You and I are long lost myth There's nothing very much I wouldn't do to be the last of the men that you romance with the last of the men that you romance with Little by little by little by little by little by little by little - We're lucky enough to have a producer who always asks for one more hook. He's never satisfied with just the two hooks per song, he wants the third. And then, sometimes he wants the fourth. "Can we squeeze another chorus in there, Jon?" - the first one actually was... You know, I guess, and also we work, and kind of how he works, I guess, as well. We can pretend that our fates were entwined Our beautiful lies, the beautiful kind - We, record's called, Tongue Tied. No, it's not. What's it called? - Eyes Wide. - Yeah, our record's called that, Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied, which reins in every accent except Scottish, it turns out. We made this in October last year in Los Angeles, and the jangles probably more prevalent now, maybe, than it used to be, or more obvious. It was always there, only now, it's just, we're not ashamed of it anymore. You know, we're just not, we're not majorly a heavy band, I guess. Maybe that's the thing. We're, we, we have to get by on something else because we, we don't have the screaming guitars, you know. - I think it's been, you know, the shows speak for themselves. That's what we gauge things on, you know, audience reaction and stuff. - It's not to be underestimated. You know, we played the other night in Toronto, and there seemed to be a lot of smiling faces. Like, that, if that's it, then that's absolutely perfect. We can do that night after night, then we're quite happy. - Reviews and whatnot, I'm sure they're all very lovely, but we don't intend to look at them. - Even the good ones. - Yeah, because, you know, they're just get in, get in the way. The first people to please anyway is the band members. You know, if it doesn't get past that stage, then, you know, the stuff doesn't get done. So, it's just someone's opinion, and no more important or less important than our own opinion on these things. It's best just to put the record out and go out and play it. She said, I know that there will come a time when I'll get nothing from the blood and the wine And I'm gonna sell this soul of mine I'm gonna sell this soul of mine You'll find me a silver chain They'll deny me and whisper my name I'm gonna sell this soul of mine I'm gonna sell this soul of mine I'll carry myself halfway blind through each and every doorway I can find I'm gonna sell this soul of mine I'm gonna sell this soul of mine I'm gonna sell this soul of mine I'm gonna sell this soul of mine I'm gonna lose my lonely mind for you Well there's an answer, if only I knew It will carry my heart home to you I'm gonna sell this soul of mine. I'm gonna sell this soul of mine I'm digging the dirt for a sign. And pray to let my little light shine I'm gonna sell this soul of mine I'm gonna sell this soul of mine I'm gonna sell this soul of mine I'm gonna sell this soul of mine I'm going to lose my lonely mind for you I'm going to lose my lonely mind for you I'm going to lose my lonely mind for you Tell one last beautiful lie for me Make all your promises right for me Keep me in line, but do it honestly Make it real, make it slow, stay alive for me Call my name when the line goes dead I'll be fire, I'll be rain, I'll be joy, I'll be dread Come on, baby, don't be shy. All I want is you and I Out on the street, I'll be every face There'll be no man alive who can take my place Well, give it up, let it go The sooner you do, the sooner I'll go I'm digging the dirt for a sign And I'll pray to let my little light shine I'm gonna sell this soul of mine I'm gonna sell this soul of mine I'm gonna sell this soul of mine I'm gonna sell this soul of mine I'm going to lose my lonely mind for you I'm going to lose my lonely mind for you I'm going to lose my lonely mind for you And I'm going to lose my lonely mind I'm going to lose my lonely mind I'm going to lose my lonely mind for you - Does anything bother you about modern rock music? - Yeah, let's... How do you feel? - How do I feel? - The only band I hear on the radio that even sounds like a rock band is the Foo Fighters. - That's true. Yeah. - You know? Like... - Personally, I always think that too many people pigeonhole music. It's got to be this, it's got to be that, it's got to be this. But, it's all rock and roll music at the end of the day, and too many bands, themselves, try to pigeonhole it, we're this, or we're that. ...know that trend. You've got guitars and drums, you're a rock and roll band. You know?
They say that vertigo is not the fear of falling but the fear of wanting to jump. But Jon Fratelli knows no fear. With 'Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied' the new album by The Fratellis, he and the band have jumped from the precipitous heights that three albums (two top 5's), a Brit Award, four sold-out nights at Brixton Academy and countless sell-out shows around the world took them to. Exuding Zen-like calm Jon has embraced the free-fall, abandoned the baggage and has never got on better with his band mates or enjoyed playing live as much as he does now. And boy, does it show.
'Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied' is the sound of freedom. It is the sound of a band at the peak of their powers. An exhilarating trip; it's as much flying as it is falling with style. Listening to it; from the rush of album opener 'Me And The Devil' to the elegant landing of closing track 'Moonshine', it is obvious that The Fratellis are the embodiment of the maxim, leap and the net will appear. This is an album that oozes confidence and verve.
After the release of 2013's 'We Need Medicine', the Glaswegian trio, completed by Barry Fratelli (bass) and Mince Fratelli (drums) spent a year touring the world. At the tail end of 2014, they decamped to LA to work on album number four with Tony Hoffer (M83, Depeche Mode and Belle & Sebastian), who also produced their first album smash 'Costello Music'.
With Hoffer at the helm they were released. The pure enjoyment of 'playing for the fun of it' was back. The band had initially thought they'd produce the record themselves, but with Tony as 'director' all but two of the songs were thrown to the wind and in just four short weeks the album was written and recorded with The Fratellis relishing instrumentation and possibilities they wouldn't have even thought about, without the direction of Hoffer.
That unique, bright clarity of California sunshine seems to permeate the record and the band channelled it to create an album that represents what they do best. At the heart of 'Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied' there's a fun, energetic soul reminiscent of their 2006 debut. It's wonderfully vibrant, playful and the stories and characters it projects embody the spirit of LA (the first place Jon Fratelli ever went to outside Scotland). With recognisable nods to 70s Cali-rock, rockabilly and glorious hints of Americana and country layered high, it's a glorious homecoming with roots in both Scotland and LA.
Littered with standout tracks; The foot stamping 'Baby Don't You Lie To Me!', The spiralling riffs of 'Getting Surreal' and 'Thief' all big choruses and live crowd pleasers. 'Dogtown' parades along with its strident brass section and funk-driven bass line it's early seventies Stevie Wonder covering The Beatles' 'Come Together'. While the delicate, drifting layers of 'Moonshine' bring us to a reflective, poised ending.
Open your mind, take a leap with The Fratellis 'Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied' and the net will catch you.