Raw, direct, powerful, alt-rock, written with no frills and played with pure passion - the kind of energy that can only come from three old friends with sheer determination and "no plan B”.
Meet Fangclub - a Dublin-based trio who formed in the neighbouring, remote coastal town of Rush when they were teenagers. Between dropping out of college for those early jam sessions and now, they’ve signed with major Universal imprint Vertigo Records, released two acclaimed EPs, toured with the likes of Twin Atlantic and won over a dedicated legion of fans.
Formed of singer and guitarist Steven King, drummer Dara Coleman and bassist Kevin Keane, Fangclub have been lauded by Kerrang for their "explosively catchy tunes", while Punktastic have deemed them "destined for mainstream success". With their self-titled debut album due in August and a packed summer of touring, this is one club that's only going to grow and grow in strength and number.
"I had watched this documentary about tribes, and there was this one that would tattoo themselves with fang symbols," says King says of the origin of their name. "That idea just really lent itself to what we were trying to do. I was in a cafe and drew it out with the fang logo on a napkin, now it's plastered all over Dublin. There are guys who have it tattooed on them. It feels like we have our own very tribe now.” "Back in school, we were the only punk-rockers in town - so we kind of gravitated towards each other,” says Steven. Originally united by extreme hairstyles and their love of The Offspring and NOFX, now their self-titled debut album sees them step out of their own 'little bubble' and onto the world stage. No gimmicks, just rock.
Openers 'Bullet Head' and 'Role Models' kickstart the thread of noise driven by melody, with the breakneck desert-rock ferocity of Queens Of The Stone met by the inescapable hooks of Weezer. ‘Lightning' and 'Dreamcatcher' take the paranoid math-rock that Biffy Clyro chase and pack it with a Seattle-sized chorus - culminating in tracks like the feral rush of 'Common Ground' and the pure grunge nihilism of ‘Best Fake Friends' that destine this band for arenas.
The Fangclub sound may be huge, but their attitude and manifesto remain ultimately human. The brimstone of 'Bad Words' and 'Loner' simmer all the more with King's lyrics riddled with self- doubt and boredom, speaking for a generation that could do anything, if only they had something to do. He bares his soul throughout the record, never more so than on the yearning vulnerability of 'Animal Skin' - that timeless tale of a relationship "bleeding me out, letting you in.”
"Bands shouldn't be too far removed." Says Coleman. "Like, how can you connect with those old-school hair metal bands on the stage swinging their hips and shit? Keep it real.”
From skipping college to the major leagues, 2018 will be the year where these three friends take on the world. Join the Fangclub - that tribe of the geeks and the outsiders, the only punks in town.