There used to be a long-running club night in Glasgow that was known as Octopussy. Part of the night’s USP was that it included a number of ridiculous, random things to do inside. For instance, the organisers brought in bouncy castles, they set up drunken games of Twister and, for a brief time, had a hot-tub for people to enjoy. One of the many extra-curricular activities was that you could get married at a pop-up chapel.
“The Next Time we Wed”, a song from In Your Own Sweet Time, the 5th album from Glaswegian band The Fratellis, feels like it was written both about those drunken one-night weddings and to soundtrack them. Which is to say: it’s a ridiculously raucous, hell of a good time. The song is a waltzer ride through an responsibility free (and irresponsible) night on the town.
The Fratellis have always been at their most enjoyable when they pursue these low-stakes, high-thrills pop music. They don’t need to say much of substance because, well, that’s not always how you have a fun time. In Your Own Sweet Time thankfully has the band playing to this particular strength. “Stand Up Tragedy” and “I Guess I Suppose” have a wonderful cocksure stomp, “Sugartown” sways so much that it almost accidentally becomes a drunken waltz and “Laughing Gas” is so propulsive that it pushes any hestiaters forward for them.
The album has a few missteps though. “I am That” closes the album on such a self-serious note that it almost completely derails the entertainment of the earlier events while “Told you So” and “Indestructible” feel like poor Britpop attempts that belong at the retro-themed clubs.
From “Chelsea Dagger” on, the band have constructed a fun but forgettable formula that they’ve seen happy to stick to. I don’t mean their songs aren’t catchy when I say forgettable, I mean that the songs don’t lend themselves to being thought about and analysed. Yet when In Your Own Time is on, it elicits an in-the-moment thrill that might just convince you that a pissed proposal might be worth accepting.
After all, it only lasts til the songs ends.