Following a year in to which Fangclub released two well received EP’s the band are now back this year with their debut full-length record. The Dublin based trio, have continued to make a name for themselves and are here to impress again with this Self-Titled full-length, which released on the 4th of August. Fangclub are yet again promising to provide more of what made their earlier EP’s so great and gave them such critical acclaim. Without further ado let’s break down this Fangclub self-titled debut
Bullett Head opens up this Fangclub album, similarly to how it had done on the band’s debut EP. This track showcases Fangclub’s innate ability to create what is a fun and entertaining track, which is littered with musical highlights. The powerful instrumentation that exists on this track set a great precedent for what else may lay on this album. Alongside this the strength of this song hasn’t dropped since its original arrival on the band’s first EP and continues to show the band in a positive way, opening up this album well and with alot of hope for what else is to come.
Following on from this powerful and strong opening track, a duo of songs take center stage. Starting off with Role Models the band are proving us with more of this heavy instrumentation. Whilst, showcasing the band taking a backseat musically to allow for these well toned and orchestrated vocals to flow over the top of ths track, helping this song push along. The vocal performance throughout Role Models is suberp with subtle harmonies dotted throughout which not only amplify the vocals but also the lyrical meaning of the song. The second half of this duo is Lightining, an upbeat cut off of this record. An infectious track that wouldn’t feel out of place at all if it was sat in a classic teen movie like American Pie. This track shows the band popping out an overall fun track which yet again impresses both vocally and instrumentally.
Dreamcatcher, another track from the bad’s first two EP’s follows, This track, similarly to how it had, the riff heavy instrumentation the band have now displayed through the entirety of their first EP’s. From the tight instrumentation and strong vocals the band continues to show their musical prowess and display their ability in creating cohesive tracks, however having already had one track from their earlier EP’s on this record it would have been nice to see them change it up and not feature another track from their earlier releases all beit a nice addition.
A trio of tracks is what is next in store for this self-titled record. The first of which is Bad Words its a great track which uses the great vocal harmonies to fill out the verses and slightly more minimal chorus. The band yet again on this song show how well they are constructing their songs lyrically. Bad Words is rounded off well with an instantly catchy hook which is only amplified by the catchy riffs that run throughout the track.
The second track in this trio is Best Fake Friends which, unfortunately, is the weakest cut off of this record. Which is a shame, because, despite it being a strong track it feels quite lack luster in comparison to everything else that lays on this album. Instrumentally Best Fake Friends is bland and the vocals don’t match up to the song which comes before it. The final part of this trio Common Ground doesn’t pick up the ball really from the previous track as it again doesn’t impress as much as what has laid before it. However, the track, is still powerful instrumentally and has this air of early Green Day to it whilst mixing in the distinct Fangclub sound, which is a nice addition to the track.
Loner is possibly the strongest city off of this S/T record with this really simple yet effective vocal line which is accompanied by this almost mirroring guitar lick. The track opts for a slower tempo which helps drive the track home. Alongside this, the song similarly to a few others on this album thus far feel almost ripped out of a teen or coming of age movie which with that mental image truly adds depth to this song. Fangclub on this track showcase their ability to work with different music dynamics which shows their potential for the future.
Better To Forget starts to bring this album to a close with its overly strong instrumentation. Alongside this Better To Forget has possibly the strongest vocal performance on the entire record, even though tracks before it have been presenting strong and well orchestrated vocal melodies. However, on this track, in particular, there is almost this anthemic quality to it, like all of the memorable songs from the 2000’s had. Fangclub yet again on this album are impressing on all fronts
Closing off this debut album is Animal Skin a song which yet again swaps out the heavier instrumentation for this softer approach, at least for the beginning of the track. Similarly to both of their EP’s the band are able to go out on a high note with this well-choreographed instrumentation. Although this song isn’t as impressive as other ending tracks the band has produced, the nice use of different dynamics and clever instrumentation makes this just as strong as a closer as the rest.
Overall, this debut album from Fangclub is a great listen. Being jam packed full of great vocal and instrumental performances there are little to no bad points on this record. Having said that, the band do still have room to grow and this debut album is a great starting point for them to do that. This album is a great listen with many highlights, so if you need an album to check out this summer or before School and Universities open their doors again make it this one. [8.5/10]