Fangclub – ‘True Love’

By Renette van der Merwe

When Fangclub took the alternative world by storm with their self-titled album last year, there was little doubt of their brimming potential. With the album peaking at fifth place in the Irish charts, a nomination for Choice Prize Album Of The Year in the bag and tonnes of support from Kerrang! Radio and BBC Radio 1, the Dublin trio went from strength to strength supporting big names like Twin Atlantic, Frank Carter, Muse, Biffy Clyro and Pixies while their single, ‘Bad Words’, circulated the airwaves.

Don’t mistake them for just another support band though. Their first major headline tour came in September last year, only a month after they dropped their debut, where they made the rounds across the UK and Ireland with material from their two DIY EP’s and critically acclaimed album.

So what exactly does a band with big basslines to fill, do next? Their latest EP, ‘True Love’, is what. The blossoming result comes from a combination of front man Steven King’s infatuation with all forms of true love and “an intense year that almost ended the band”.

Despite, or perhaps because of the ominous inspiration, Fangclub are shining as the five-track EP kicks off with the fuzzy guitar intro of ‘The Knife’. The edgiest track by far gives way to a dirty bassline courtesy of Kevin Keane. Keane’s sludgy slappin’ is showcased throughout the album, creating an electric undercurrent and buzz that propels them toward the grungier spectrum of the scale.

‘Sweater Weather’ is another standout track, delivering a distinct contrast between the heaviness of the instruments and the lightness of King’s vocals. There’s a quietly bold aesthetic shared by the likes of grunge greats like Pixies and Smashing Pumpkins.

The EP finishes out with the Royal Blood-esque ‘High’, and in many ways, that’s exactly how you feel listening to it. It’s the perfect culmination of a short but oh so sweet body of work, and a track where drummer Dara Coleman really shines with full-bodied percussion and a tempoed cowbell (who doesn’t love those?).

It’s easy to see why Kerrang! prophesised that “stardom awaits” for this trio. They have a quality that appeals to the masses – whether you’re a grunge kid, rock enthusiast or prefer your bands on the poppy side. And then there’s also the fact that it’s so easy on the ears, that you’ll be humming along (or singing if you’re a quick study) to a pretty relatable album by the third or fourth listen.

With a busy festival schedule in place for the summer and a support slot secured for Volbeat’s upcoming tour, Fangclub is a band to sink your teeth into right now.

RENETTE VAN DER MERWE

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