After a five year hiatus between releases, The Fratellis have finally put out their third album, We Need Medicine. Best known for having their single “Flathead” played during one of Apple’s original commercials for the iPod, the Glastonbury trio have a healthy following revolving around surprisingly punchy British pop. We Need Medicine is an expertly crafted rock album that retains the energy the band is known for while perfecting the sound that their hit or miss sophomore album tried to achieve.
Recently back on the scene, it’s obvious that The Fratellis are still attempting to move away from the sound of their first album, Costello Music. Their sophomoric release made an attempt to find a new sound, but it felt rather disjointed and uneven. However, taking a few years to work on solo and side projects appears to have been what the group needed to get their third attempt right.
We Need Medicine jumps back into the game as a healthy mix of the witty and unique lyrics that helped make Costello Music so memorable and the grungy Brit pop they’ve been trying to achieve. The result is something that feels organic and the natural progression that the band should’ve seen five years ago.
“Halloween Blues” opens the album off with a bluesy rock song complete with saxophone solo and jangly ragtime piano that sounds like a fuller version of one of the White Stripes’ poppier songs. “Whiskey Saga” harkens back to the original sound of the band played out perfectly with whipping guitars and southern-style bounce. “Rock N Roll Will Break Your Heart” is a soft jam near the end that helps things come to a close with a tight pop ballad with an incredibly simple, but catchy chorus.
The Fratellis found their mark on this album with a series of solid rock songs filled with piano and background instruments, but retains the fanatic writing structure that put them on the map in the first place. While it isn’t perfect, We Need Medicine is among the best part of their discography with songs that practically beg to be played live.
by Kyle Schultz