"I think there's an authenticity to what we do, and people have been starved of authenticity for too long," is a quote from an early radio-interview with Fontaines D.C. singer Grian Chatten. It might sound pedantic, but it is in fact a truthful reflection on the shared code that unites the five young friends from the Irish band; a commitment to the authentic, in their music and with each other, and a shared love for poetry. Ever since meeting each other at college in Dublin only three years ago, the evolution of Fontaines D.C. has been swift, sure and seemingly effortless. Three self-released seven-inch singles, each a confident step forward from its predecessor, and a relentless schedule of live shows - more than 200 throughout the UK, Europe and US - put the Irish lads on the map of those who love post-punk in a brutal yet intelligent and most of all; captivating way.
‘Dogrel’ was hailed by The Guardian as ‘a perfect debut’. The album can be seen as a Modern Romantic ‘love letter’ to the disappearing Dublin, embodied best in the gentrification of the band’s immediate surroundings of the old working-class neighbourhood known as The Liberties. Evoking poets such as Kavanagh, MacGowan and even the great James Joyce, the group aims to express the universal and human experience through the prism of the local, the familiar, the real. Lou Reed did it with New York, The Smith with Manchester, Fontaines D.C. with Dublin. The group masterfully combined this intent with spitting, snarling post-punk in the short, sharp opener "Big". The album delightfully surprises at every turn, as the singles are fully at ease along much more complex, emotionally loaded pieces such as "Roy's Tune" and "The Lotts" that capture the true spirit of the record; melancholia.
Reluctant to be viewed as part of any wider movement, Fontaines D.C. have delivered their tremendous promise in a way that few bands have. They are not to be missed at Sonic City. Go get your shot of realness.