“Don’t get stuck in the past” declares Grian Chatten during the title track of this, the Dublin based quintet’s second album. It’s a slug that’s part of good-sounding advice babble that, on closer listening, comes over like a sarcastically read list of memes. Is this parody or therapy? The answer is both.
Released last year, Dogrel, Fontraines DC’s energy-soaked debut was by any measure a huge success, earning the band endless critical praise, multiple award nominations, and sell out tours around the world. The problem with all the accomplishment though was that it rarely equals happiness, especially for a group of young men who grew together writing poetry and celebrating literature before they began to craft songs about their adopted city’s creeping urbanisation.
A Hero’s Death is a direct reaction to the byproducts of winning, to the unprecedented strife it caused between them as people. It’s a more downbeat record than it’s predecessor, but not a miserable one; opener I Don’t Belong sounds like a song for a darkened room, but it’s just Chatten and co. drawing their power from outside the light, whilst Televised Mind trips with a more familiar post-punk buzz.
Chatten is adamant that there’s no going back from here, stating ‘This is us…If people can’t accept it or don’t like it, then their band is gone.’ But on the far side of the new doors they’ve opened is beauty, You Said and Love Is The Main Thing a more open, rawer Fontaines DC. It’s in these moments that you get what he was talking about, what they were striving to say: the past is a second ago, the future is now.
You can read the full review here.