Review Summary: "Hey love, are you hanging on?"
After the first three songs, “Big”, “Sha Sha Sha”, and “Too Real”, one would be forgiven for thinking they’ve figured these guys out: Catchy post-punk without too much emphasis on atmosphere but, instead, leaning on crisp guitars, speed, and Oirish charm.
These guys, within their own limited sound, got songs for pretty much anything and, after the first three songs, continually takes the listener on a sine curve-ish ride up and down in intensity and emotion. From the fun and careless “Liberty Belle” to the critical “Chequeless Reckless”. From the post-punk atmosphere of “The Lotts” to the anthemic “Boys in the Better Land”, and finally, the distinct it’s-4am-the-pub-is-closing-vibe of “Dublin City Sky”.
It’s not like these changes during the rest of the album, compared the initial three songs, are earth-shattering or revelationary, but their differences in tone combined with the fact that you’re still absolutely sure you’re listening to Fontaines D.C.
Here’s the thing: I really want to hear Fontaines D.C. perform live. These songs make me want to hear them together with other people, to share the experience with them. It makes me want to be with other human-beings and laugh and cry and have fun and live and die and love. Together. That, in this day and age and at this stage in my life, is in itself remarkable.
Similar to IDLES, Fontaines D.C. makes me want to be connected and unified. Makes me want to feel. Maybe it’s because, after taking this cosine curve-ish post-punk ride maybe 50 or 100 times, I think they understand the feelings. I think they’ve been there. Fontaines D.C. feel like kin and peers.
I’m having a hard time deciphering with exactly how much sarcasm the chorus of ”Big” is sung. But Fontaines D.C.’s Dogrel can for a short while, if not make me feel bigger, then at least make me stand just a little bit taller.