Fangclub has long been teetering on the precipice of explosion. Their second LP Vulture Culture, which is set for release on 5 July, encompasses enough sonic power and creative mastery to push them over the edge into universal acclaim. The Dublin-based trio (comprised of Steven King, Kevin Keane, and Dara Coleman) have long illustrated a steadfast ability to create rock songs that are equally polished, inventive, and rich. Vulture Culture encompasses these pre-existing elements and combines them with a thematic element rooted within all that characterizes a “vulture culture.” Based upon the voice over at the conclusion of ‘Last Time’, the album’s opening track, a vulture culture may contain dystopian overtones – those reminiscent of elements within George Orwell’s 1984 and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. Therefore, before the second track has even begun, the listener is left evaluating the nuances of our modern dystopia, our own vulture culture and all it entails.
This, of course, results in an equalized engagement of the ear and the mind alike. The lyrical content of Vulture Culture (which touches upon cultural brutality, self-analysis and introspection, and pressure) is proof positive that Fangclub has their finger firmly placed on the pulse of society and its subsequent intersectionality with the modern human experience. For example, ‘Every Day’ and ‘Hesitations’ highlight the difficulty of grappling with one’s own mind and understanding what it is that makes us think or do something, or not. The lyrics within both tracks filled with an unbridled sense of rawness and grit; they do not allow the listener to shy away from the darker corners of the human condition. Rather, the lyrics encourage the listener to reflect upon them as thoroughly as Fangclub did throughout the entirety of the record. Vulture Culture’s lyrical strength is rooted in its embrace of honesty, which makes for a potent listening experience.
The level of sonic detail that was poured into each track is apparent to the ear. ‘Black Rainbow’ offers a cocktail of power and poeticism, its alteration between light and dark tonal elements adding both layer and strength. ‘Nightmare’ is rich and filled with exciting transitions – both melodic and rhythmic. The title track, of course, pairs a scorching romp of a score with pitch perfect societal commentary. Regardless of the track, though the level of musical nuance in Vulture Culture is finely crafted in a manner that allows each note, each rhythm, to stand strong.
As a whole, Vulture Culture is akin to a firework bursting across a dark sky – it has a commanding presence, a compelling luminosity, and intricacies aplenty. Fangclub has already proven themselves to be sophisticated musicians, and Vulture Culture – which is brimming with compositional skill and sharp, cognizant lyrics – only further elevates their existing levels of craftsmanship.