Ireland’s Fontaines D.C. should have been touring the globe right now supporting last year’s Dogrel. The full length debut was one of our favorites rife with punk themes and energetic structure. What no one was expecting was another full length this year, yet with their new album A Hero’s Death the Dublin five piece reveals a more confident and patient sound. With moments of little movement to searing spaces of pure energy, the full length is a departure from its predecessor without leaving anyone behind in the process.
While the opening track is sobered and patient, the album really gets going with “Love Is The Main Thing.” The snappy drums and distanced vocals get met with a reverb soaked guitar tone that shows the band can get intense without chaotic energy. The instrumentation becomes more complex as the track completes, but it’s the immense sound of it that hits so hard. This is followed with the upbeat and energy driven sound of “Televised Mind.” The gurgled bass and the tremolo rings of the guitar make the melodic leads work so well. The band isn’t flexing here as the song is more post punk than punk. However the complexity in the songwriting delivers from beginning to end.
The upbeat pacing continues with “A Hero’s Death” where the band leans closer to their debut than anywhere else on this album. The melodic and up structures, the blatant vocals and verse alone make it a stand out song here. While “I Was Not Born” is another standout where the band employs a more bombastic energy, and “Sunny”displays their masterful use of an absence of sound with a more moderate stride, our favorite comes on “Living In America.” There’s a crushed atmosphere here where the band leans heavily towards a more noise derived sound. The mixture of those dissonant vocals and crashing tones that intersect with the clamoring drums and a dark tone that bellows is a great case for how the band has grown as songwriters. The uptick in production, the chops of notes and the delivery system of tension and heavy hearts proves that Fontaines D.C. is no longer just a band to watch, they’re a band to embrace and lead what’s next.
A Hero’s Death is available for purchase physically from Partisan Records. It’s also ready to stream on all streaming sites or it can be purchased in all digital stores. Fontaines D.C. is set to perform at Levitation France on October 09 and 10 in Angers, France until December 10 at The Triffid in Brisbane, Australia. Their complete tour dates can be accessed here. Due to COVID-19, these dates could be subject to change.
Image Credits: Photo by Pooneh Ghana.