FONTAINES D.C. – ” A Hero’s Death “

Posted: July 28, 2020 in CLASSIC ALBUMS, MUSIC
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While we’re still processing the full impact of their immense 2019 debut ‘Dogrel’, this Dubliners weren’t resting on their laurels – they were off crafting their next masterpiece – & a masterpiece it is for sure. Their follow up album ‘A Hero’s Death’ is the kind of second offering that makes you desperately hope & pray that this is just the beginning of a generation definining catalogue. although it’s an intensely confident record, it is also much more subtle, patient & complex. it arrives battered, bruised & beautiful – a heady & philosophical take on the modern world, equally elating and heartbreaking – made all the more visecral & lucid once again by super producer Dan Carey.

Everyone has made no secret of our adoration of these young Dubliners. ‘A Hero’s Death’ sees them follow up the spellbinding ‘Dogrel’ without missing a beat – they’ve taken their cues from the cure again, and have added the mood setting of joy division and a touch of the rougher edges of early 4ad. they manage to tread that line that makes old heads reminisce and rejoice in new music and young fans fall in love with loud guitars and pummelling drums at that same time.

Live, they’re on another level. we’ve been watching them tear up stages since they first made their UK debut. They may have slowed things down on record with more complicated structures but at heart, these are 5 young punks and their live show will make sure you remember that. fast, loud and adrenaline filled – you’re guaranteed to be leaving chalk sweaty and grinning.

The band’s explosive rise to the top has been potent, instantaneous and eventful, and a journey so fuelled by action always seemed destined to influence what followed.

Reacting to the challenge of sustaining the self as much as the individual expression, ‘A Hero’s Death’ represents the band’s reaction to the intensity of life on the road and managing the expectations of others. The debut album ‘Dogrel’ echoes the energy of their early gigs coupled with descriptions of Dublin. Transporting the listener to specific places and sights, the inclusion of local reference points formed a poetic reportage of their hometown, while the usage of critical commentary tackled topics like capitalism and consumerism through lyrics.

The seductive opener ‘I Don’t Belong’ tackles isolation and lets persistent rhythms merge. A perfect initiation, it outlines the overall theme. ‘Love Is the Main Thing’ runs through similar veins, its pulsating, hypnotic intensity and distinct drumming meld with spoken word.

Euphonic bass lines and subtle guitar tones blend on ‘Televised Mind’ while surreal sonics take over ‘A Lucid Dream’, a track of volcanic force. The sentiment of ‘You Said’ offers an alluring instant before the nostalgic, idealised imagery and Johnny Marr-resembling guitar lines of ‘Oh Such A Spring’ begin.

With an energy reminiscent of ‘Hurricane Laughter’ and ‘Boys In the Better Land’, ‘A Hero’s Death’ bestows a vibrant moment, dishing out dos and don’ts mingled with hints of sarcasm. But “You need not be/Born wealthy/If you care/You’re the heir” is a lyric from ‘Living In America’ where the vibe changes as industrial Suicide-like bleakness lingers and creates powerful sonics.

Elsewhere, the melodic Beach Boys-like moment of ‘I Was Not Born’ furnishes a contrast of sorts. “I was not born/into this world/to do another man’s bidding”, insists frontman Grian Chatten before the hazy, subdued mood of ‘Sunny’ becomes pleasantly disorientating.

Subversive, non-conformist and melodious, this record has the credentials of a classic rock and roll album. The decision to take a radical approach only works for the few, the possession of ammunition that’s needed to master such a challenge is not for anyone. Fontaines D.C. have it, and it seems as though they are only just scratching the surface of what’s to come…

Filmed by Collective Dublin & captured within 2fm radio’s studio in Montrose, Dublin – a sweeping space usually the reserve of orchestra performances – “A Night at Montrose, Dublin” will air on Monday 3rd august at 8pm. this is a global event and open to all ages.

“amazing!! how do we get to see this performance?”, let’s get the beers in & all virtually hang out together on the evening of 3rd august to celebrate the new album. it’s one hell of a record – trust us!.

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