The Fratellis are done and dusted, according to NME.com. This saddens me a little, but, you know, these things happen. I was an avid Fratellis fan, but they peaked with their first album, and after the youthful energetic brilliance of Costello Music, their sophomore effort, Here We Stand was something of a disappointment. But although the Fratellis may no longer be singing about Chelsea, Tina, Rosie and Lucy, there are still many excellent Scottish bands floating around. Here are four of my current favourites:
Listen to: “Bubbles”, Only Revolutions 2009
The Biff are coming to Australia in just a few short weeks to tour their fifth [and best] studio album, Only Revolutions. Q magazine called them a Scottish version of the Foo Fighters, which is a fairly accurate description, but only if you like the Foo Fighters. If you don’t, then it’s best that you ignore that comment, and have a listen for yourself. Then look up their Radio 1 Live Lounge cover of Justin Timberlake’s “Love Sex Magic”. It’s pretty spectacular.
Codeine Velvet Club
Listen to: “Little Sister”, Codeine Velvet Club 2009
People like to compare this duo to Alex Turner’s side project, The Last Shadow Puppets. This isn’t quite fair, firstly because Codeine Velvet Club have a different kind of sound, a little jazzier, with both male and female vocals. And secondly, because it’s not fair to compare people to Alex Turner. Because Alex Turner is brilliant. Anyway, this is what’s keeping Jon Lawler busy, now that he’s not performing with the Fratellis. Think smoky jazz clubs with burlesque performers, and a scallywag with curly hair.
Listen to: “One Off Pretender”, Which Bitch? 2009
When I saw The View at the start of the year, I think the entire Scottish population of Melbourne were there with me, chanting, “The View, The View, The View are on fire!” Now working on their third album, these boys from Dundee are churning out some of the most honest music around. And on this track, Kieren raps. It’s pretty awesome.
Listen to: “Keep Yourself Warm”, The Midnight Organ Fight 2008
“It takes more than fucking someone you don’t know to keep warm,” sings Scott Huchison [whose name I always thought to be David, due to some confusing lyrics in their song “The Twist” – glad I did my research!]. These songs are heartbreakingly honest, bleak yet beautiful, and incredibly striking. Frightened Rabbit will be back in Australia for Splendour in the Grass, to promote their new album, The Winter of Mixed Drinks.