Plugging into the Music that Matters

Review: Fontaines D.C. – Dogrel

Fontaines D.C. are Dublin personified and on their debut album Dogrel, they show exactly why.

Fontaines D.C. were relentless during their show in Berlin. Photo by Töff Malstroem, Berlin.
Fontaines D.C. were relentless during their show in Berlin. Photo by Töff Malstroem, Berlin.

Fontaines D.C. have been generating a lot of buzz in the last couple of years, as they lead the charge of a resurging punk scene in Ireland. It’s all built towards the release of their debut album, Dogrel.

Opening with lead single ‘Big’, the record sets off with a pulsating start. The rapid track is vivid as Grian Chatten sings about heading for bigger things and escaping his hometown. Although wanting to escape for greater things, there’s still a soft spot for his Dublin.

As the record progresses, it captures the life of Dublin both from yesteryear and today. With tense build-ups while singing about the fear of mundanity on ‘Too Real’ to rolling basslines on ‘Television Screen’, then leading into the thunderous ‘Hurrican Laughter’, in those moments alone, the post-punk outfit take you through a rollercoaster of emotions.

While fans of the band will already be well familiar with almost half the songs on Dogrel, it’s the re-recording of ‘Hurricane Laughter’, where the bass demanding you turn it up loud and let it shake the ground you stand on. Another track that was re-recorded for the album is ‘Liberty Belle’, with a quicker tempo making it more urgent with crashing cymbals and a desperation to break out of a rut: “He’s just very very tired of having that same old boring conversation… Just like me, Just like you… Man is on the nod yeah what you gonna do about it?

The album is packed with a punch but its closing track ‘Dublin City Sky’, shows its not all about rip-roaring melodies and sharp-tongued lyrics. It’s a simple ode to Dublin City.

Dogrel is a record that pays homage to the working class of Ireland and gives a real glimpse to what life has been and still is like in the capital city.

Fontaines D.C. debut album, Dogrel.
The debut album from Fontaines D.C. Dogrel, is out on April 12th.

Verdict: 9/10

Songs worth putting on repeat: ‘Big’, ‘Too Real’, ‘Television Screen’ and ‘Liberty Belle

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