‘Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied’
The Fratellis (Cooking Vinyl)
4 stars out of 5
Scottish trio The Fratellis exploded onto the scene in 2007 with their near-perfect debut album “Costello Music.” It wound up being one of my favorite albums of that year with its infectious indie rock/garage sound. The lads delivered more of the same (to slightly lesser effect) a year later with “Here We Stand,” but then The Fratellis went radio silent as the members dabbled in projects like Codeine Velvet Club, The Twang and Throne o’ Diablo.
The Fratellis made a welcome return in 2013 with “We Need Medicine” and have delivered an album in “Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied” that rivals anything these talented Scots have ever done. And that includes “Costello Music.” The guys are older and wiser here and that maturity serves them well on the 11-track, 44-minute platter.
“When we listened to the mixes recently I remember smiling uncontrollably,” says frontman Jon Fratelli. “I was getting glimpses of that feeling you got when you first started playing — and when I put this record on when we first got it back, I had that same feeling: Wow, look what we did! It’s really basic and inarguable when you get that feeling.”
Sprawling opener “Me and the Devil” sets the tone for “Eyes Wide, Tongue Tied,” and The Fratellis shine bright on keepers “Baby Don’t You Lie to Me!”, “Desperate Guy,” “Rosanna,” “Slow” and “Too Much Wine.” It’s nice to have these guys back. They were missed. (Jeffrey Sisk)