The Courteeners are an 4-piece indie rock band hailed from Manchester, England in 2006 by Liam Fray (Guitar/Vocals), Michael Campbell (Drums/Backing Vocals), Daniel Conan Moores (Guitar), and Mark Cuppello (Bass). All four were raised from the Middleton area of Greater Manchester and have know each other since they were 10 years old. They even attended Cardinal Langley RC High School together in Middleton. Morrissey (from The Smiths) mentioned his love for The Courteeners on numerous plays and occasions, “Every song was very strong and full of hooks and full of dynamics and i thought, ‘this is great” and that “So many groups in England, they’re hyped and they’re huge and they’re all over the press and they don’t really actually have any songs, they don’t really have anything to offer… but it’s different with The Courteeners, they actually do have very good, strong songs.” Pretty impressive, aren’t they? 🙂
St. Jude is such a modern rock and roll album. At times, their indie rock genre can become really radio friendly, and yet they still managed to keep the “indie feel”. 🙂 Thanks to Liam’s husky voice!
St. Judes kicks off with “Aftershow”. A dark-like atmosphere track that at the beginning, it resembles “Hunting for Witches” by Bloc Party. Take notice at the bass in this song. I somehow find it very groovy in a dark way. Very suitable for the villain role in a movie. During the break.. Liam goes, “Ah…..”. It blends and goes very well the music. It may not be a cheerful or appetizing opener. But it’s still good. 😉
“Cavorting” honestly, is a very radio-friendly track. The guitar riff and playing brings on a cheerful note. As soon as the rhythm guitar and the bass hit in, it sounded very pop-rock. But nonetheless, it’s still a very infectious track, i like the way The Courteeners pluck and riff their guitar after each verse break and chorus. It sounds very light by the way they play it and they seems to be enjoying that particular part. 🙂 “And now your too tired to eat and your too hungry to sleep…” Smart lyrics eh! 😉
The light-guitar and piano playing of “Bide Your Time” is one of the main ingredients in the success of this song. It begins with soft-guitar playing and followed by piano which enters excactly just at the right time to boost up this song. And until the end, you still can hear the soft-guitar playing which is so addictive and just feels so good to your ears. 🙂 Try the acoustic version, you might be blown away. 😉 From what i heard, it sounds as if the girl which Liam is singing about is no longer around.. “The Temptation is all to great.. Now its gone and its all to late.. I tried and i tried but i never applied..” But he doesn’t sound sad at all.. Kind of coufused. 😮
“What Took You So Long?” starts off with a mid-tempo constant plucking of the guitar. It sounds sort of sad at first listen. However after a few listens, this song by The Courteeeners is not bad at all. Liam sings as if he’s tired of waiting for the girl and came up with excuses such as,”What took you so long, was there a queue at the post office? What took you so long, was there a dirty double-decker stagecoach you just happened to miss?” At the end of the day, they just end up with an argument.. Compared to what Liam sings, “Sometimes I’m bad, sometimes I’m rotten…”, this song is not rotten at all. 🙂 Oh, the acoustic version is not bad either, could be even better than the album version.
Please don’t stop here but keep reading on… 🙂 This next track is called “Please Don’t”. It’s an indie rock ballad which will appeal to someone who would like the album to slow down a bit. All is not that slow, the constant and non-stop plucking of the guitar can be heard throughout the whole song. When it comes to the chorus, the music and singing of The Courteeeners becomes a start/stop motion. 🙂 Liam recalled the past in pain in this song, “But those days have passed and these types of relationship never last… So please dont pretend that we’ll stay friends…” Talking about pain, i kind of enjoy this song. 🙂
“If It Wasn’t For Me” is a loud and guitar-packed song that is about a girl who Liam is trying to protect from any harm. If it wasn’t for the lyrics, i wouldn’t even know that this song is about protecting a girl. Liam also sings in a sarcastic way, “If it wasn’t for me then you wouldn’t know them, if it wasn’t for me then you wouldn’t know them…” By the end of the day, it’s ‘them’ whom Liam is trying to protect the girl from. What a twist. 🙂
“No You Didn’t, No You Don’t” has a very heavy bass line to it. The guitar and bass are the major unique factors that this track is famous for. 🙂 “No you didn’t, and no you don’t…” Liam keeps voicing and singing the phrase, recalling the fun he and his friend had while they were still in school. Spending time in garage, doing keys, and being snobbish. Great track with very clever writing of lyrics. 🙂
“How Come” is about a guy who is an all-rounder at all things and aspects, from wooing girls and impressing guys. Liam would be the student and learn from him the next time he’s out showing off his stuffs. 🙂 Smart and witty! A lovely ballad for all to enjoy!
“Kings Of The New Road” explodes! It’s such an explosive track! 🙂 From the lyrics, The Kings of The New Road and they are always on the road and never go home. “I loved you, i still do, i probably always will do..”, as Liam sings on. It would be a great rock and roll track on the road, or even off the road. 🙂 Cheers!
Catchy title track! “Not Nineteen Forever” tells the story about a girl who doesn’t wants to get into a relationship and ahem… Some… Liam shoots back with “You’re not nineteen forever pull yourselves together..” Sarcastic yet funny. However the way Liam sings and the music itself prove that this is one of their hit songs. It somehow sounds very cheerful, perhaps is by the way they play their guitars. For a slower version, try the acoustic version.
“Fallowfield Hillbilly” is packed with the riffing of guitar, from start to finish. There are some parts where The Courteeners played the guitars in such a cute way. Nevertheless, it’s quite a loud track.. But loud in a friendly-to-ear way. And at some point, it is as if Liam is screaming rather than singing, giving the final touch to this song. The boy who likes underground band, can’t even tell the difference between an underground band and a normal band.
“Yesterday, Today & Probably Tomorrow” is the final track on the album. It’s another slow and soft ballad. Just a cool and soothing way to close the album. In this song, Liam basically sings about reality and practicality. We won’t know what will happen in the future. As The Courteeners perform, operator announcements can heard on the background and probably, just probably, The Courteeners are leaving to some place.
“Acrylic” can be found in the Special Edition CD. Just like “Not Nineteen Forever”, it’s very radio-friendly and such a happy tune. “Dadadada dadadaaaa oh, all the words they seem to know, all the words in your sons go…” The playing of the guitar can be obviously heard, one second is the voice of Liam, another is the guitar. A fast track with no time to lose.
“Kimberley” sounds like “Kings Of The New Road”. It’s those track that you make you nod your head and tap your feet. And seriously, this rocks and most importantly, it explodes! Liam sings as if he’s singing directly from the microphone, which also makes “Kimberly” sounds so good. Poor Kim, this song is about her drug-filled story.. Instead of being sad for her, this track really rocks!
“An Ex Is An Ex For A Reason” is performed acoustically. The real deal is the last 32 seconds where it truly stands out throughout the whole song. A song that is most suitable for your ex. The real meaning behind this song is in the ex herself.
Rating: The Courteeners play music that is so radio-friendly and yet so indie. It’s hard for me to describe how does it feel, but i can only say that The Courteeners’ music is not something that is fresh or new. And throughout the whole album, their musical scope is monotonous. But at a different point of view, they have played their game well! They are very good in their musical scope, that is really somthing! With this debut album, “St. Jude”, my rating would be 6.8 out of 10. 😀
Stand-Out Tracks (My Picks): Bide Your Time, No You Didn’t, No You Don’t, Aftershow, Fallowfield Hillbilly, Kimberley, Kings Of The New Roads.