Fontaines D.C.’s Dogrel further fuels the freight train of modern post-punk releases with a taste for bleak commentating and abject disdain for staticity. It’s no surprise to see a band which recently toured with Shame and IDLES (separately) go on to release truly explosive and riotous music; however, their aptness for poetic lyricism seems to be the feature that most distinctly sets the Dublin five-piece apart from their contemporaries.
From the album opener ‘Big’, the ferociously spat “Dublin in the rain is mine / a pregnant city with a Catholic mind” evokes so many themes (from homely belonging, to religious tension, and more) with just a few words. These words, paired with driving and relentless drumming with rigid guitar and bass to match, provide a statement of intent: the album follows suit.
Grian Chatten’s Irish accent is all but hidden by the incessant crooning of “is it too real for ya?” as he mocks the listener whilst dominating over a momentarily sparse instrumental before open high-hat stabs lure in cacophonous, reverb-drenched, glissando guitar parts in ‘Too Real’.
At the twilight end of the album, two pop gems emerge unannounced, in the form of ‘Liberty Belle’ and ‘Boys In A Better Land.’ Propellant and fierce instrumentals harbour no grudge towards the sugar-coated melodies bouncing off each other, giving resemblance (melodically, not sonically) to mid-90s pop-punk.
In a fascinating turn, the album closer ‘Dublin City Sky’ is a somewhat romantic ballad; its attitude, lyrics and instrumental confirm it as a pastiche of an Irish pub folk song. Lyrics such as “As drunk as love is lethal, I spun a lady ‘round / And I kissed her ‘neath the waking of a Dublin City sky” dance through to the end of the song, quite fittingly so, as such images conjure thoughts of the literature of Joyce, the poetry of whom is said to have brought the band together in the first place.
Image: Paul van Dijk via Flickr