The Fratellis

Costello Music (Interscope)

Phases & Stages

The Fratellis

Costello Music (Interscope)

Glasgow's Fratellis were hoisted above the stockpile of SXSW 07 buzz bands by Pete Townshend with a rousing live collaborative on the Who's "The Seeker." The trio's brash and boisterous debut, Costello Music, staggers in comparison. Lacking the Libertines' erratic edge, the Fratellis forgo the Rakes' cycle of "Work, Work, Work (Pub, Club, Sleep)" in favor of adolescent arrogance with slapstick tales of "Creepin up the Backstairs" and "Vince the Loveable Stoner," not unlike the Arctic Monkeys. With an unfailing backbeat and chunky guitars, "Henrietta" and iPod plug "Flathead" work best, keeping things sleazy and easy, though the effect diminishes with each spin. "The Gutterati?" and "Chelsea Dagger" end up as drunken lullabies, while the hand-clap heavy "For the Girl" and slower "Doginabag" tire toward the end. Diminishing returns or no, the kids are still all right.

**.5

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