Album review: Fontaines D.C.

Fontaines D.C. - Dogrel (Partisann Records)

Fontaines D.C.

Fontaines D.C.

IMAGINE A song which sounds as though it were written by Shane McGowan, but performed by The Velvet Underground. That song is 'Dublin City Sky', the closing track on Fontaines D.C.'s debut album.

Far from being the answer to a question no one asked, it instead begs the question: 'Why has no one thought of such a combination before?' Its melody recalls The Pogues' 'Sally MacLennane', albeit slowed down, combined with VU-esque chords and drums.

Lyrical and poignant, its words recall and match that mix of gritty observation and emotional honesty of McGowan at his best: "I was down the bottom half of some old bar in Chinatown...I treated her so badly I made my baby cry" ).

For this track alone, Dublin's Fontaines D.C. justify the excitement around them at the moment. Though this song shows deep folk roots, they are not a folk band. This is an album dominated by energetic art-punk ('Hurricane Laughter' ), new wave ('The Lotts' ), indie ('Roy's Tune' ), and raucous garage rock (the exciting, anthemic 'The Boys In The Better Land' ), with lyrics that speak of ambition - both thwarted and determined to be realised ("My childhood was small, but I'm gonna be big" - 'Big' ) - or provocative and thought-provoking: "An idiot is someone who lets their education do all of their thinking for them" ('Chequeless Reckless' ).

Dogrel is not perfect, it does sag in the middle, but overall, the hype is justified, and excitingly, the best is probably still yet to come from the quintet.

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