We Need Medicine marked the Fratellis' return from a four-year hiatus, during which time Jon played with Codeine Velvet Club and pursued a solo career, Barry toured with the Twang, and Mince played with Throne o' Diablo and Jon's backing band. Wisely, the trio doesn't try to pick up where they left off, which was 2008's relatively mannered Here We Stand. Nor do they try to recapture Costello Music's giddy heights; instead, they opt for a slightly more grown-up, slowed-down version of their sound that has a bit more grit and swagger.
Who’d want to be a musician these days? Online you’ll earn half a shilling for 20 million downloads of your album after having poured your heart and soul into it. The record company, if you’re lucky enough to have one, will probably send you out on ridiculously embarrassing promotional jobs and you will begin to question your own credibility. Critics will be harsh and the public will expect you to be on duty 24 hours a day.
It was 2006 when The Fratellis released their first album, Costello Music, and although it was an immediate success, the band’s place on the roadmap of mid-2000s indie was the subject of debate. They arrived a few years after guitar music had enjoyed a rejuvenation at the riffing and fretting hands of the likes of Franz Ferdinand and The Libertines, and although the pejorative term ‘landfill indie’ might not yet have been coined and groups like Scouting For Girls and The Wombats hadn’t yet found their way into the charts, the ennui associated with those names had almost started to set in. The Fratellis might have had their detractors, but for the most part they avoided being lumped in with the landfill.
Cast your mind back, if you will, to 2006. It was then that The Fratellis released their self-titled EP, riding the wave of post-Arctic Monkeys optimism that saw indie-rock/guitar bands/'real music' hitting the charts full-force. For a brief, shining moment, they seemed like a genuinely exciting new band, thanks to the brash, Libertines-esque attitude and breakneck pace of 'Creepin' Up the Backstairs'.