Stark, abrasive and ballsy guitar poetry with an Irish soul
Intense Dublin rockers Fontaines D.C describe themselves as “a combination of pub talk and poetry.” They’re not wrong. Drawing on the finest of Irish storytelling traditions to deliver thoughtful, punchy diatribes the likes of Sleaford Mods would be proud of, the five-piece back up their rhapsodic bite with pulsating, urgent riffs and a snappy, melodic use of musical pace change.
The recordings are very much about building on a blazing stage energy that’s seen the band rise to rapid local acclaim. Debut single “Liberty Belle” is unmistakably Dublin, referencing the working class inner-city Liberties area, a gritty place that’s forged local stars ranging from Imelda May to The Script. The track nods, in its cover, to an old local eccentric who used to wonder the streets of the area pretending to ‘shoot’ passer-bys with a rusting old church key.
Follow up “Hurricane Laughter” references another local legend who walked the rugged roads handing out newspaper cartoon clippings to children. Its lyrics are disparate, lobbed in with the kind of scatterbrained poetic brilliance that drove James Joyce to international fame, their vague meaning shielded in the staccato rhythm of the quickfire phrases and urgent blasts of guitar.
The five-piece view the city as something they love for its imperfection, a kind of muddled yet inspiring muse that barrels through their videos and adds nuance to the way they deliver those charged vocals. The buzz is back in “Chequeless Reckless”, a shadowy, punky rant.
The end result is an intense, throbbing ode to old-world rock, an unapologetic throwback riddled with character, hooks and highs. It’s inner-city Dublin away from the tourists: hardy, frantic and inspiring.