- 16 Apr 19
In the week of its release, Fontaines D.C.'s phenomenal debut album has climbed above the likes of George Ezra, Tom Walker and the Queen OST.
Fontaines D.C. have crashed in at at No.4 in the UK album charts with their debut album Dogrel.
Having released a string of singles over the past two years, and built a reputation for their blistering live shows, this first album - which was released on April 12 - was highly anticipated.
The band were already generating a huge buzz. This was particularly true in the UK, where the band had been plugged heavily by the likes of Steve Lamacq on BBC Radio 6. However, the scale of the album's initial success still represents a huge moment for a brilliant young Irish outfit.
That's all before mentioning the sheer brilliance of the album itself. Dogrel features 11 songs which tap into the social and psychological consciousness of Dublin city, giving a unique take on the triumphs, tribulations and opportunities that come with living in "a pregnant city with a Catholic mind." In addition to being well received in Ireland – see the Hot Press review in full below – it has received overwhelming critical praise in the UK, with both The Guardian and NME giving it 5/5 stars.
Although it's still relatively early days when it comes to the Charts, this is a phenomenal achievement for a band who have, throughout their career, done everything on their own terms - right down to the distinctively Dublin dialogue in the music of Fontaines D.C. Keep an eye on hotpress.com for updates in the coming days – and buy Dogrel here.
Read our review of Dogrel below:
Album Review: Fontaines D.C., Dogrel
“My childhood was small, but I’m gonna be big,” screams Grian Chattan over a tub-thumping, feral punk workout. As introductions go, they don’t get much stronger than ‘Big’, the opener to Dogrel, the debut album from Dublin quintet Fontaines DC. It may last just one minute and 48 seconds, but it seems like something has monumentally shifted by the time the last note fades, and if you squint, you can almost see the ghosts of Paranoid Visions, The Pogues and Whipping Boy smiling appreciatively amid the murk.
Fontaines D.C. are quite the buzz band at the minute, having wowed all and sundry with their quintessentially Dublin brand of punk at SXSW, and signed to the same label as the force of nature that is Idles, who they support on a US tour in May. But there is substance behind the clamour, as the boys channel anger and aggression into some of the most visceral guitar music this country has produced in a generation.
The blueprint devised by chief songwriter and guitarist Carlos O’Connell isn’t new: take a bruising 4/4 beat, and add scorching guitar, slabs of bass and shouty vocals. But there’s a raw honesty to Fontaines’ bluster that makes it feel somehow fresh. There’s a genuine left-wing punk aesthetic in the ferocious assault of ‘Too Real’ and the snarled manifesto that is ‘Chequeless Reckless’, where Chattan defines his enemies: “A sell-out is someone who becomes a hypocrite in the name of money/ An idiot is someone who lets their education do all of their thinking/ A phony is someone who demands respect for the principles they affect/ A dilettante is someone who can’t tell the difference between fashion and style.” Dictionary in hand, it’s hard not to be impressed.
Their 2017 debut, ‘Liberty Belle’ sounds as box-fresh as it did the first time we heard it, and it’s almost impossible to listen to without your limbs jerking along spasmodically, while ‘Boys In The Better Land’ could be a lyrical anthem for a new generation: think Lizzy’s ‘The Boys Are Back In Town’ on PMA.
‘Television Screen’ proves that these young pups know their history, sharing its name with the first Irish punk single, The Radiators From Space’s 1977 debut. Then there’s the bruising bass encounter of ‘Hurricane Laughter’, the Ramones-on-Buckfast pogo of ‘Sha Sha Sha’ and the restrained ‘Roy’s Tune’, Chattan actually singing rather than growling his words for a change.
‘The Lotts’ expands the musical blueprint away from the relentless shoutathon, while the closing ‘Dublin City Sky’ could be a lost Pogues anthem, dripping with a sense of melancholy and regret that MacGowan would be proud of.
Turns out that first song was a little self-deprecating: big? Fontaines D.C. are gonna be fuckin’ massive.