Fontaine’s opener merely walks out of the traps. It hasn’t got its proverbial chest puffed up it just strides confidently with ‘I don’t belong’ coming across like a band weened on the reissues of Joy Division but hooked on melodies from Mozza but with that delightful Dublin lilt. The track never breaks sweat but neither does it want you to look away either.
In a world where bands don’t have to conform or look like they’re in a gang and often look as far removed from being in a band of uncompromising post-punk noisemakers that you could possibly imagine. Fontaines D.C are like that and I doubt they give a single flying fuck what you or I think as to what a band should look like in 2020. In a world where Idles and Sleaford Mods can seemingly walk on water and breakthrough into the mainstream then there’s always room for another and Fontaines might well be that band. this sophomore release rides the coattails of the debut in double quick time in case the streaming generation might forget who you are with the click of a mouse.
It’s not until ‘Televised Mind’ do they get out of that strut walk I mentioned and you can finally take a breath and maybe move if you want. It builds very much along the lines of a joy division with the guts being wrung out of the guitars effects.
Swirling Hawkwind effects signal ‘A Lucid Dream’ is taking hold. With some frantic drumming holding this number together this could be best described as space rock for the Covid generation as it ebbs and flows. Last year, Fontaines D.C. released their debut album Dogrel to widespread acclaim, garnering a legion of fans worldwide along the way. They toured behind it relentlessly. In another time, this would be nothing but a success story: A young band delivering on the hype rather than being swallowed by it. They should have been riding high; it should have been nothing but a triumphant year. But to hear the band speak of it, the whirlwind experience almost destroyed them.
‘A Hero’s Death’. It’s an album that has its moments of frantic, claustrophobic songs that gasp for air often challenging the listener in challenging times. At times there are songs full of charm like ‘You Said’ which is simple song as is the lite and beautifully simple ‘Oh Such A Spring’
‘A Hero’s Death,’ ‘I Was Not Born,’ and ‘Televised Mind’ all predate ‘Dogrel’ so if you liked that then there’s a fair chance this is going to ring your bell as well. They’ve not gone and done a Radiohead and cut their commercial throat deliberately here because they haven’t. Fontaines D.C. know what the do and what they’re good at and hammer it home and using those principles they’ll never go out of fashion nor turn in a bad record like Idles they aren’t always an easy listen and that’s good because different tunes will leap on you when you least expect them to and those records have longevity and I like that dip in and dip out but you know they’re there. ‘Difficult angular sharp sounds for difficult times possibly the perfect chaotic record for the chaotic times we live in. At times challenging and others soothing and just nice.
Author: Dom Daley