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The Fratellis – Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied

Kimberley Manderson


After a couple of years away from the British rock scene, The Fratellis are back with brand new album Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied, and it’s a much welcomed return to the fore for these Scottish indie rock stalwarts.
Opening with the almost 6 minutes long ‘Me and the Devil’ we are led into the album at its title suggests, eyes wide. After a minute long intro to the track, the build-up leads to a more mature bunch than in the Chelsea Dagger days, but the sentiment is the same. A more chilled out approach to losing your mind is a piano driven number which includes brass and that familiar bluesy howl from Jon Fratelli.

After 2013s We Need Medicine failed to resonate in the charts despite some top hits nestled firmly on the record, the lead single from Eyes Wide Tongue Tied does its best to grab your attention right from the start. Baby Don’t You Lie To Me is a raucous ramshackle of a track and it’s by far the most lively and enthusiastic on the album. There may be quite a few melodies chopping and changing throughout this track, but somehow it all blends together perfectly into this fantastically upbeat bluesy anthem. There’s no way you can’t at least tap your feet along to this cracking single which is sure to be a hit.

There are some moments which refer back to the 2006 heyday, but are appreciated with nostalgia and the fact that The Fratellis have moved forward and honed their sound, with deep Americana influences with a Scottish lyrical tale.

Too Much Wine lifts the mood again near the end of the record, and is a track we can all relate to. Another upbeat number, it’s part honky tonky, part every drinkers anthem. It perfectly describes a time we’ve all had, at a point where you just want to drink more than you should and will do anything for that feel good night. Swiftly followed by album closer Moonshine, the two go together in a pairing and seem to fit nicely, with the former as the mischievous, exciting devil on your shoulder time, with the latter a slower, more reflective number – perhaps from the morning after!

The Fratellis have done it again with a fantastic album from start to finish. Each track tells its own tale and whether lyrically or melodically, you’re never left bored for a second. A stellar fourth effort from the boys.