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November 2020
Album review

Fontaines D.C. - A Hero's Death

Some singalong moments wouldn’t go amiss.
Label: Partisan Records
Released: 31st July 2020
Rating: ★★★
Fontaines D.C. - A Hero's Death
Published: 10:19 pm, July 30, 2020Words: Steven Loftin.

The rough low grumble of Fontaines D.C. finds itself on the same ground but with a determined vigour of a band ready to be more than ‘big’.

Following on from last years ‘Dogrel’, a debut packed full of poetic landscapes of a grim reality soundtracked by tunes that dig their heels into the dirt, affirming the idea that if you’re gonna do something, make ‘em remember you, and they aren’t wasting a moment.

‘A Hero’s Death’ continues their trajectory of being penners of lamenting and riling songs, moving away from any rapture rousing, pints in the air choruses, as found sparsely on ‘Dogrel’, and instead really honing in on the brooding, but with an added twist of optimism. “Life ain’t always empty” frontman Grian Chatten demands on the pigeon-toed titular track - Fontaines don’t just want to be a band of sullen majesty, they want to be multifaceted, though they don’t quite follow through on this idea wholly.

There’s an added element of proving themselves, be it through a flurry of drums behind Grian lamenting on ‘Love Is The Main Thing’, making you think maybe, just maybe it isn’t, to the aforementioned decided move away from rabble-rousing bangers, the shadows are where Fontaine’s lives and be damned if they’ll change now.

Even the band's power has shifted from a gritted teeth shark to a straight-up ferocious gargle of fury and might as shown on ‘A Lucid Dream’ filled with talks of torrential rain, Grian howling, and the driving stab of guitar.

Fontaine’s aren’t a one-trick band by any means, they simply know who they want to be and what they want to say. Production elements add a value that confirms these boys from the better land don’t need to pander to crowd swelling bangers akin to previous outings, instead, they’re ready to be the band that put noise to feeling. Though some singalong moments wouldn’t go amiss.

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