Partisan Records have been stupendously busy recently putting out some pretty interesting records. This time I am talking about Fontaines D.C.’s Dogrel, which is available now to order, but has seen them touring with Idles recently. Having released four critically acclaimed AA side singles over the last year and receiving some end of year, and upcoming press praise, Fontaines D.C. have been feeling the burn in their ears no doubt and no doubt yet again with the release of this new 12″.
Collating whilst still at college in Dublin only three years ago, Fontaines D.C. are relatively new. The five-piece consisting of Grian Chatten, Conor Deegan III, Carlos O’Connell, Conor Curley and Tom Colll have a kinship for authentic self-expression, and have been on an upwards trajectory ever since. They self-released three seven-inch singles, the first two years ago, in May 2017, they have been super busy with live performance. With a self-belief and genuine aspect to their sound, they are adamant this is what has brought them to the signing at Partisan.
With clear Smiths influences as well as certainly sounds of The Strokes and the occasional James Murphy head nod, there is plenty residing within this eleven track LP. The initial opener Big has more to get your heart palpitating than a strength five coffee and it sets you off, from start to finish. The Dublin lads are a drum-heavy outfit, evident from Sha Sha Sha. This track brings home their realness, and grit as it consecutively moves along the timeline. And if that realness is not stressed enough with the second track there is Too Real to contend with, a classic rock track, with occasional discord and vocals that don’t kick in until one minute thirty seconds into the track.
Pacey and often anxiety inducing, it’s often difficult to pinpoint the finer poetry that exists throughout the tracks. Hurricane Laughter is a prime example, with lyrics such as “now the night is blue and red and they’re pulling down the plaster” a struggle to hear amidst the scuzzy guitars and throbbing drums. Chequeless Reckless leans more towards punk-rock, rebellious and questioning our capitalist society. Boys in the Better Land celebrates icons such as Patti Smith, as we hear remnants of Gloria riffs amidst the up-tempo track.
Despite stressing the real perhaps too much throughout Dogrel, there are clear influences, none of which I have any issue with. A well-compiled album, which at times has Ireland at the core, it’s certainly going to aid Fontaines D.C. with their upward success. Their hard-working ethos, confidence and unwillingness to settle for much else, will no doubt see them somewhere good. And to be putting out records like this via Partisan Records is no bad place to be.
Dogrel is available now, via Partisan Records.