Over the past 12 months, Ireland has established itself as the go-to destination for scratchy, sketchy punk bands.
Fontaines D.C. – arguably the figureheads of this new musical movement – doffed their hat to fellow Dublin noiseniks Girl Band in a recent NME interview, citing their anything-goes approach on 2015 debut album ‘Holding Hands With Jamie’ as “inspirational and influential.” As singer Grian Chatten explained: “Their influence is perhaps more metaphysical than others’ – they’ve opened up people’s minds and eyes, and gave people the gift of self-belief.”
That self-belief is evident across Ireland’s new musical prospects. There’s an almost aggressive level of confidence in their every move, in the way of all the best young punk bands. From blown-out noise to straight-up, punch the air hits, below we’ve rounded up all the bands who’ve made Ireland the new home of punk.
The most prominent prospect of the modern Irish scene, Fontaines D.C. have just wrapped up a UK run alongside Shame, with US tour dates with Idles ringing in their 2019. Before that, though, there’s a whole bunch of headline shows to get through. Miss them at your peril.
What makes them so good?: Their live show has to be seen to be believed. Intense, sweaty and seemingly fit to fall apart at the seams, you’ll even spy guitarist Carlos O’Connell thrashing at the neck of his guitar with a beer bottle. Innovative.
Start with this: ‘Too Real’
The Murder Capital
According to Wikipedia, the world’s murder capital is actually Los Cabos, Mexico. Dublin doesn’t even enter the top 50. Still, The Murder Capital’s bolshy, violent sounding post-punk would make a fitting soundtrack to a city ten times more dangerous than the Irish capital.
What makes them so good?: They’re a secretive bunch. We’re still waiting on a debut track proper, with the only online evidence of their existence coming in the form of a live session sponsored by Irish beer merchants O’Haras. Nevertheless, it’s fucking excellent.
Start with this: ‘More Is Less’ (SOMA x O’Hara’s Sessions)
Dundalk five-piece Just Mustard take the ethereal blueprint of bands like Warpaint and torch the edges, creating the nightmarish flip-side to indie’s dreamier prospects.
What makes them so good?: Their debut album ‘Wednesday’ is a two-toned masterpiece, flipping from hypnotic, smoky vocals to screeching industrial noise on the fly.
Start with this: ‘Pigs’
A twisting, spindly take on arty punk-rock, Silverbacks take the noodling attitude of early-00s New York rock and drag it across the Atlantic, frontman Daniel O’Kelly’s sing-speak-shouted vocal riding atop ever-more tangled-up guitar lines.
What makes them so good?: Try to follow the thread of those guitars. It’s impossible. Twisting, turning and transforming like Optimus Prime in a sticky-floored club, it drives each track into cacophonous, explosive territory.
Start with this: ‘Just In The Band’