Yesterday, my old friend Rob Harvilla published a great piece about Vampire Weekend and about how the whole idea of the hyped-up, conversation-starting young rock band basically no longer exists. (Stereogum’s own Columbus representative Chris DeVille also published his great Vampire Weekend piece yesterday.) And Harvilla’s point is true; it’s simply not possible for a cool young rock band to generate the kind of excitement and interest that it could a decade ago. That system doesn’t exist anymore. But there is still some echo of it out there, and we’re seeing it happen with Fontaines D.C.
Fontaines D.C., the wordy and fired-up young Dublin postpunkers, were a Band To Watch in January, and they released the pretty-great debut album Dogrel a few weeks ago. Last night, they made their American TV debut on Jimmy Fallon’s late-night show, which used to be a crucial rite of passage in the life-cycle of any hyped-up young band. The Fallon bump itself means less than it did a few years ago, even though Fallon himself has a bigger stage after taking over The Tonight Show. But it’s still cool to see a new band get that kind of chance to invade America’s living rooms, and to see then seize that chance.
Fontaines D.C. played two songs on Fallon: “Boys In The Better Land” on the broadcast and “Liberty Belle” as an online bonus. And they ripped both of them, riffing hard and looking intense and generally seeming like they were too cool to breathe the same air as Jimmy Fallon. They’re the kind of band who might sound better live than on record, so that helped, too. (They’re also foxy, which doesn’t hurt.) Check it out below, and imagine how fucking huge they’d already be if they’d showed up 12 or 13 years earlier.
Dogrel is out now on Partisan.