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Posted on October 28th, 2013 (7:00 am) by Jesse Clark

It’s been five years since we’ve last heard from the Fratellis when they came out with their sophomore record Here We Stand before deciding to take an indefinite hiatus in July of 2009. During that time Jon, Berry, and Mince all took the opportunity to work on side projects of the own. Last year they reunited and excited their fans by announcing that they’d be recording their third studio album. Now it’s close to the end of 2013 and We Need Medicine is the latest sound to come from the Fratellis. Unfortunately it’s not the same sound that we were all infatuated with when they first introduced themselves with Costello Music, and “Chelsea Dagger” was the only song you could hear on the radio.

We Need Medicine finds the Fratellis already beginning to lose their mojo on their third major release only a mere seven years into their career. Granted they did take four years off focusing on different projects to which we can attribute this loss of creative flow they had back in 2006 to 2008. Now it looks like we’ll be looking at that short period of time as their golden years. This is not to say that the new album is bad necessarily, but it’s definitely not what we were expecting from them.

The problem with this album is that they spend to much time trying to mimic the sound of other artists rather than come up with their own original riffs that were so infectious way back when. The first track off the album, "Halloween Blues," sounds like an obvious rip off of "Jailhouse Rock." It could be a nod to the King himself but the riff is so overused it has become a cliché. “This Old Ghost Town” is basically Van Morrison's "Brown Eyed Girl" with different lyrics, and “Seven Days, Seven Nights” is as close to a Springsteen song as you can get without actually being Springsteen.

We hear an overall decline in the creative quality of both their music and lyrics. At one point they were regarded as worthy of comparison to Arctic Monkeys and Supergrass but now they sound like they’re only in it for the money. The most energetic aspects of the album is Mince’s drumming and Will Foster’s work on the keyboard. Mince is consistently steady and actually gives us a reason to dance and Foster plays the keys furiously and has fun doing it even though he’s the least likely to be noticed.

Still, this album deserves at least one listen because past all of the bullshit on the album there are a few tracks reminiscent of the Fratellis’ good ole days. “She’s Not Gone Yet But She’s Leaving” is a dark and seductive tune with pretty cool background vocals and harmonies. “Shotgun Shoes” is a fairly straightforward song that builds upon one melody. It’s repetitive but by the end of the song you’ll be bopping your head along with the music. “Whisky Saga” is the kind of song that we we’re hoping to hear from a Fratellis album. It’s got a rockabilly sound and fast tempo with a great melody and great guitar licks. It shows that there still might be some hope for the Fratellis to get back to the place they were when they gave us songs like “Flathead” and “Mistress Mabel”.

Track List:
1. Halloween Blues
2. This Old Ghost Town
3. She’s Not Gone Yet But She’s Leaving
4. Seven Days, Seven Nights
5. Shotgun Shoes
6. Whisky Saga
7. This Is Not The End Of The World
8. Jeannie Nitro
9. We Need Medicine
10. Rock ‘n’ Roll Will Break Your Heart
11. Until She Saves My Soul

the Fratellis - We Need Medicine, indie, rock, blues, country
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

60 / 100
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