This is a record that I should have written about the day it was released, but I wanted the record to really sink in before I even got started on this. It’s a heavy record- in both sound and lyrically. It isn’t a record to casually listen to. It is a record to invest yourself in, and to completely focus on. The past few weeks or so, Dogrel has been a record I have constantly listened to. Over and over. I think I’m now ready to put my thoughts about it out there.
I’ve not read any opinions on this record, but I’m assuming it is loved by so many. How couldn’t it be? It is one of the most important records of our time, and is an astounding debut. For a band to have this much power so early on is something to really treasure, and to keep a close eye on. Fontaines D.C. aren’t a band that are going to just fade away with what they have done on Dogrel they are likely to keep on doing. They have made songs that will last a lifetime and more, they are a band to hold dear and lean on. How did we get this far without them?
Big opens the record; a song that sets the tone for the record and how Fontaines D.C. are surely going to take over. They give hope for those for may have been held down, told they can’t do something and made to feel like they can’t get out of their situation. It’s a song for lost souls who know there is something more out there for them. Grian pours his heart out on this and it something that is occurs throughout the whole record. Too Real and Television Screens are the songs that you know are chanted right back at the band at their shows. Every single song on this record has the feel of an anthem. You can imagine crowds singing this on the terraces, in the pub, on a walk home from a night out or just being at home and shouting them out like your life depends on it. These songs are made to be heard, but also screamed along with. Grian doesn’t scream, but his voice has the same power as if he is. You cannot help but soak up everything he sings. The band are lovers of poetry, and that is something that is apparent throughout this record. They aren’t just songs. They are poetic symphonies that have so much heart and passion. There’s a Beat Poet style about them, and I am completely in love with it. It’s a style of poetry that is just stunning, and they have their own take on it that’s beautifully portrayed in their songs.
There have been so many astounding records this year. Records from bands that we have been in dire need of, bands who are just getting started but make you feel like you’ve had their music in your collection for all your life. Bands that have this urgency in their sound that makes you feel like nothing can touch you. Dogrel is the kind of record you would use as a shield to protect yourself from the world. There is so much nostalgia in this record, but Dogrel also has hope for the future. This record is the future, Fontaines D.C. are the future. I can safely say that I have not become completely obsessed with just one song on this record. It has been every song that I have been in awe of. As soon as it ends, I start the record all over again. However, to mention Television Screens again- I just have to say that the vocals on this are my absolute favourite as well as the drums. I love the gentleness on this song, but how the lyrics are so hard-hitting and get you right in the gut.
Fontaines D.C. are a band that we are in dire need of. They aren’t afraid to be painfully honest to be so open in the topics they touch on. They talk about their city (Dublin) in a way that makes you connect it to your own hometown. You connect with the frustrations, the passions, the struggle of daily life. They give it to you in a way that makes you feel like it is your own story.
Dogrel is clearly one of, if not THE most fascinating records of the year. It is rowdy, poetic and brutal. It is a bold statement that oozes charm and bravery; something that we are so desperately in need of.