Fontaines D.C. - 'Boys In The Better Land / 'Chequeless Reckless' Double A-Side Single R
1. Boys From The Better Land
2. Chequeless Reckless
I have just become aware of Fontaines D.C., and what a band they are. Fontaines D.C. comprise of Grian Chatten (Vocals), Conor Deegan III (Bass), Carlos O’Connell and Conor Curley (Guitars) and Tom Coll (Drums). They met as a quintet in Dublin, influenced and driven in equal measure by the rich history of their hometown’s counter-culture, their response has been to make concise and immediately authentic Indie-Punk that has done anything but fall on deaf ears.
The last six months have seen Fontaines D.C. release two singles and 4 accompanying videos: 'Liberty Belle'/ 'Rocket To Russia' and 'Hurricane Laughter'/ 'Winter In The Sun'. Both records were named Rough Trade Single of the Week. In addition they have come to the attention of BBC 6 Music and Steve Lamacq who said “I’ve played this about 15 times since yesterday. It’s a little bit like hearing Idles for the first time. I really think there’s something here”
On their new single 'Boys In The Better Land/'Chequeless Reckless', the band have decided to delve even deeper into their influences (which they personally cite as spanning from The La’s, to The Pogues to Buddy Holly) employing hypnotic, kraut-rock infused cyclical riffs, whilst channelling Dublin into their concise and often-unassumingly poetic lyrics with a distinctive gritty Irish drawl.
So I was intrigued to see how you combine Post New Wave Indie with good old fashioned Rock 'n' Roll. I was not disappointed.
'Boys In The Better Land' - Starts with an acoustic riff that would not be misplaced in an Everly Brothers number, the only thing that was different was the mirroring of an electric guitar echoing a strong hook. A tambourine joins in with the guitars, and then a great drum beat completes the backing music. By now you are hooked, with an ensemble that you could not fail to tap your feet to if you had a pulse. Waiting for the vocals to kick in, you just hope they will be good. Then Grian drawls 'You're not alive until you start kicking'. The vocal is not good, it is absolutely brilliant, both in the lyric and the delivery. Gian's delivers the rhythm to the whole piece. There are far too many great lines to list. If I did then I would list the entire song, however you can see the rhythmic style of lyric in 'If you're a Porn Star, Rock Star, Superstar, doesn't matter what you are, get yourself a good car, get outta here. So after hearing this track I knew that Chequeless Reckless could not be as good.
'Chequeless Reckless' - This time the intro is fuzzy electric guitar with a riff similar to Eddie Cochrane's 'Something Else'. A classic riff which has been used in Punk songs before. The most obvious one being the Sex Pistols cover of aforementioned track. Queue Gian who provides definitions on personal adjectives 'A sellout is someone who becomes a hypocrite in the name of money, An idiot is someone who lets their education do all of the thinking, A phony is someone who demands respect for the principles they affect' The drums kick in for next one 'A dilettante is someone who can’t tell the difference between fashion and style'. There are some nice guitar riffs, the drums are fast and rhythmic and Gians vocal again delivers the main rhythm of the track. I was right, I don't think 'Chequeless Reckless' is as good as 'Boys In The Better Land', but that is like saying, Rotten was not as good as Strummer!
It is true that you can hear Dublin in every word, and I like it. The Irish drawl adds to the rhythm and flow of the tracks. The same is true for their other double A singles. 'Liberty Belle'/ 'Rocket To Russia' and 'Hurricane Laughter'/ 'Winter In The Sun'. The Rock 'n' Roll influence can really be heard on 'Rocket To Russia'.
Fontaines D.C. are raw and original, removing the rawness would ruin the sound. The lyrics are brilliant the music is powerful. Listening to them reminded me of the first time I heard Bob Dylan, or The Clash. Comparisons are being drawn to The Fall, but I didn't get The Fall, I do get Fontaines D.C. I also think John Peel would have liked them. Not only would I highly recommend listening to this double A single but I would recommend you also check out their other releases too. The day the Fontaines D.C. release their debut album, will not be a day too soon.
Five Stars followed by another five stars and then another two sets of stars for good measure.
Website - fontainesband.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/fontainesband/
Review - Tony Creek