Dublin-based alt-rock trio Fangclub are truly making their way up in the scene right now; since their formation as teenagers they’ve released two EPs to critical praise, supported fellow UK chart-climbers Twin Atlantic on tour, and been snapped up by Vertigo Records. Now their eponymous debut album is hitting the shelves, ready to showcase the band’s no-holds-barred sound to a wider audience than ever before. But will the record have enough impressive songs to pull in new fans?
First track ‘Bullet Head’ is a short, sweet introduction to the band’s sound that starts to answer this question in a positive way. The guitar and vocal riffs are equally catchy, clashing and blending in all the right places to seize your interest straight away and when the volume really amps up for the stadium-style chorus, it’s impossible not to sing along.
This positive direction is continued with ‘Role Models‘, which brings a slightly darker sound blended with the incessantly catchy hooks that are reminiscent of acts like Biffy Clyro and Royal Blood. The track’s standout feature is, by far, its combination of distorted, grungy guitar and vocal melodies.
In our opinion, there are two truly “you NEED to check this out” songs on this consistently high-quality album. The first of these is ‘Bad Words‘, which has a Seattle grunge charm that’s incredibly refreshing; it’s a sort of sound you hardly ever hear, even on the rock-specific channels and radio stations. We also reckon we’ve fallen in love with those guitar wails that we’re graced with.
The second of these is ‘Loner‘, a track truly made for the nihilistic teenager within you. The grunge influences come back to the surface, combined with a more modern take due to the electronic edge given to overdriven guitars. Once again, this is a song made for the stadium; you can almost see the droves of disaffected concert-goers letting their hair down and headbanging away their sorrows to this one.
It’s safe to say we are more than impressed with this debut, and completely understand how Fangclub have risen through the ranks. Fangclub is a fantastic rock ‘n’ roll smash, and it’s well worth the listen.
Fangclub by Fangclub is released on 4th August via Vertigo Records.