wed 12/08/2020

Album: Fontaines DC – A Hero's Death | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Fontaines DC – A Hero's Death

Album: Fontaines DC – A Hero's Death

The Dubliners return, bowed but not beaten by success

Be careful what you wish for. Turns out the dream that most bands yearn for isn't all it's cracked up to be. Fontaines DC's debut album, Dogrel went large (and won a Mercury Prize nomination and BBC 6 Music's Album of the Year). They toured like crazy and nearly imploded. But, just a year later, they're back. And this time it's personal. The title song perhaps explains the progression "that was the year of the sneer now the real thing's here".

So you won't find the "post-punk bangers" of yore. Or tales of Dublin back streets. It's a completely different affair – bleak, bold and uncompromising. Though they were determined not to do more of the same, it’s still unmistakably them – all bodacious repetition, lilting brogue. The title hails from a Brendan Behan play and sets the melancholic tone (“You Said”, “Oh Such a Spring” and “I Don’t Belong to Anyone” give more than a nod to the Smiths). The songs from the “Dogrel” era (“A Hero's Death”, “I Was Not Born” and “Televised Mind”) have shed loads of their pre-success passion. 

Derivative as it is (all of indie rock is here), it's still a very beguiling proposition. And when they get a little more melodious, a little less visceral – in the haunting "Sunny", for instance – you can imagine a whole different journey ahead. Introspection suits the band well. Very possibly a classic of the future. 

@kathrynsreilly

It’s still unmistakably them – all bodacious repetition, lilting brogue

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Average: 4 (1 vote)

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