Ever since their reunion two years ago, The Fratellis have set out to conquer the world in their own way. Yesterday, they quietly released the incredibly short The Soul Crush EP for free through their website. Only three songs long, it’s over as soonerthan you’d expect, but packs the energy expected with any release by the band.
As the teaser for a new album expected sometime next year, the EP cuts straight to the point with the swagger and impressively frantic guitar work that shot the band into popularity in the first place.
With so few songs, it’s actually amazing how much is actually packed into the EP. The opener “They Go Down” sounds like a sibling to fan favorite B-Side “Cigarello”. Jon Fratelli’s guitar work shows just how talented of a musician he is, as he rattles effortlessly between twangy country style guitar lines to crunching powerchords and a crisp rock solo.
Even so, Barry Fratelli’s bass work keeps the speed of the song and never allows itself to be drowned out beneath the guitars. Mince Fratelli’s drumming is impeccable as usual, keeping a strong beat while maintaining a playful simplicity that falls somewhere between party rock and the blues.
“Oh Scarlett” is a soft, simple ballad that bounces with a simple melody equal parts pop and blues. The self titled “Soul Crush” however, is one of the longest songs the band has written, and is an absolute jam. There is a classic rock feel that allows the band members the ability to play and have fun with the song without the ordeal of trying to fit it in with the rest of an album.
Jon’s vocals and lyrics are at the top of his game, matching the melody of the Here We Stand era and the punk/blues scratchiness of We Need Medicine. The lyrics don’t follow any particular theme other than being great pub friendly songs and easy to sing. In “They Go Down”, Jon sings, “Well I was born inside a fire on the curtails of desire, I was orphaned in the flood, I was taken for a lie. My dreams came crashing to the ground, I was defeated by the sound, they go down.”
The Soul Crush EP is a quick, simple and energetic treat. It’s obvious that these songs came after the sessions of their most recent release, We Need Medicine, but the addition of what sounds like the lightest brushing of bluegrass plays perfectly with the band, making The Fratellis’ sound akin to a much more accessible and poppier version of Jack White. The only real issue with the EP is the fact that it is too short to make a lasting impact, but for a free release, it’s a great taste of one of the U.K.’s most talented bands.
by Kyle Schultz
Kyle Schultz is the Senior Editor at It’s All Dead and has worked as a gaming journalist at Structure Gaming. He lives in Chicago and yells at the rain on occasion. He also wants to play you in FIFA.
I believe what he’s singing is, “I was born inside a fire on the coattails of desire. I was orphaned in the flood, I was taken for a ride…”
To me it sounds like:
“Well, I was born inside a fire on the coattails of desire. I was orphaned in the flood, I was taken for a lier.”
I meant “liar”, not “lier”.