Could it be that an early 90’s alt rock revival is on the cards? I hope so. Fangclub’s eponymous debut certainly evokes that early Subpop sound, augmented here and there with the kind of melodic touches thrown into the mix by other grunge revivalists and aficionados such as The Vines, the often maligned (but to my ears always perfectly solid, just unfortunately a bit unfashionable) Bush, and even maybe (Northern) Irish sort-of-compatriots Ash.
Hailing themselves from Dublin, the band have been active for a couple of years and created quite a buzz in 2016 with their EP Bullet Head. Their debut album was released on 4th August this year, and includes the track ‘Bullet Head’ as the opener. It’s one of the highlights, along with the pretty lively ‘Lightning’ and the early Foo Fighteresque ‘Common Ground’ (think somewhere between ‘This is a Call’ and ‘Monkey Wrench’). And then there’s ‘Better to Forget’ which is to my mind the best track here, definitely my favourite on the record. It has everything you’d want – from a really aggressive drum sound to a catchy chorus, and echoes of Nirvana in the verse structure and the minor to major chord progressions of the guitar riff. It’s a brilliant song. I love it. I wanted to include this one as the sample below, but I couldn’t find it in shareable format, so I’ve selected ‘Bullet Head’ instead.
It doesn’t matter – you’re going to go and listen to the the whole record anyway right?
Overall, this is a really solid debut and one which promises great things from Fangclub in the future. Musically, everything seems to be in place already. It’s perhaps fair to say that here and there the songwriting sounds like it is maybe still evolving a little bit, but only in the same way Cobain’s songwriting was still evolving on Bleach. Take ‘Role Models’ for example which instrumentally is superb, strong vocally too, but lyrically not quite as polished as some of the other tracks. That aside though, it’s a record I suspect I’ll be listening to a fair bit over the next few weeks and months.
Fangclub are also on tour throughout September and October across the UK and Ireland:
|23 Aug 2017||Boucher Road Playing Fields||Belfast, UK|
|02 Sep 2017||Bingley Music Live||Bingley, UK|
|05 Sep 2017||Stereo||Glasgow, UK|
|06 Sep 2017||Edinburgh Mash House||Edinburgh, UK|
|07 Sep 2017||Think Tank?||Newcastle Upon Tyne, UK|
|08 Sep 2017||Brudenell Community Room||Leeds, UK|
|09 Sep 2017||Fallow||Manchester, UK|
|11 Sep 2017||The Bodega||Nottingham, UK|
|12 Sep 2017||The Sunflower Lounge||Birmingham, UK|
|13 Sep 2017||The Cellar||Oxford, UK|
|14 Sep 2017||Purple Turtle||Reading, UK|
|15 Sep 2017||Thousand Island||London, UK|
|16 Sep 2017||The Joker||Brighton, UK|
|19 Oct 2017||Roisin Dubh (Upstairs)||Galway, IE|
|20 Oct 2017||Mike The Pies||Listowel, IE|
|21 Oct 2017||Cyprus Avenue||Cork, IE|
|27 Oct 2017||Mc Hughs Basement Bar||Belfast, IE|
|28 Oct 2017||Kasbah Social Club||Limerick, IE|
|29 Oct 2017||Whelans||Dublin, IE|
|29 Oct 2017||Whelans (Matinee +14S)||Dublin, IE|