Chequeless Reckless (Darklands Version) – Fontaines D.C (2019, Partisan Records)
Chequeless Reckless (Album Version) – Fontaines D.C (2019, Partisan Records)
In late 2019, and critics, music industry types, and the record buying public are all queuing up to heap praise on a bunch of guitar slinging upstarts from Dublin called Fontaines D.C. They have just made not only the indie record of the year (a record which if some people are to be believed, singlehandedly saved indie rock) but the actual Album of the Year.
That album was called ‘Dogrel’, and on the day that Rough Trade announced that it was their Album of the Year, the band took to Twitter to say thank you. The band it turned out were not as happy with ‘Dogrel’ as the rest of the planet and in the space between the released of ‘Dogrel’ (which was recorded live in just two weeks apparently) and their seemingly endless touring in support of it, had returned to the studio and rerecorded some new versions of the tracks that were released as singles. They then stuck them all on a special EP and reissued ‘Dogrel’ on a limited edition coloured vinyl.
These recordings became known as the Darklands Versions. In total there were six songs re-recorded, the three singles ‘Chequeless Reckless’, ‘Hurricane Laughter’ and ‘Liberty Belle’ and three B-Sides and for many people these versions are better than the original releases. The Darkland Versions are definitely different that’s for sure.
Let’s look at ‘Hurricane Laughter’ – the album version is a punky blast of brilliance, all thrashy guitars, half spoken half sung vocals and crashing drums, with a marvellous riff gelling it all together. It sounds excellent. The Darklands Version however is not so punky, it still has that throbbing bassline churning its way through but the guitars and the drums are dialled back significantly, they don’t thrash anywhere near as much and the riff takes a much more centre stage alongside Griann’s vocals which are given more room to expand and for what its worth it is even better because of it, although its kind of pointless because the album version is so good anyway.
Here are both versions so you can judge for yourselves
Hurricane Laughter (Darklands Version) – Fontaines D.C (2019, Partisan Records)
Hurricane Laughter (Album Version) – Fontaines D.C (2019, Partisan Records)
Here is the Darklands Version of ‘Liberty Belle’ as well, which as it happens is not as good as the album version. Griann’s vocals sound like they have been recorded from inside a cupboard and often get pushed aside by the guitars.
Liberty Belle (Darklands Version) – Fontaines D.C (2019, Partisan Records)
Liberty Belle (Album Version) – Fontaines D.C (2019, Partisan Records)
Now, I know what you are thinking, why do they refer to these songs as the ‘Darklands Versions’? Well if the truth be told I’m not entirely sure, but around six months later in middle of the first lockdown, a video appeared of the band, covering the Jesus and Mary Chain song of the same name. Each member of the band was playing their part separately and the video has been spliced together to make a song. It was very cleverly and as it happens rather excellent. You can view that here (via You Tube).
Tomorrow – Dusty Springfield