In 1978 Crass sang Punk Is Dead but its 2020 and punk is very much alive, kicking and screaming with bands like Dublin’s Fontaines D.C. who less than two years on from their debut album Dogrel which was filled with disillusion the band return with the excellent and introspective ‘A Hero’s Death’.
Hot on the heels of their much-hyped debut classic Fontaines D.C. are back with A Hero’s Death that deals with picking up the pieces from their fast rise and never-ending touring cycle that followed in such a short time span from their first album.
A Hero’s Death opens with the sullen and downbeat ‘I don’t belong’ which is repeated over and over and over by lead singer Grian Chatten. There is a sense of defeatism rather than defiance possibly by the burn out of the rise of their debut and the constant touring cycle which followed. The album’s namesake ‘a hero’s death’ has a fast-paced Iggy Pop style guitar riff with a more optimistic outlook that ‘Life ain’t always empty’ There are signs of a little more optimism and softer moments on the album with the Joy Division-esqe ‘I was not born’ with its thumping drum beat its more hopeful along with the ‘No’ reminding the listener to ‘Give all you have got’.
The band have slower moments like ‘Sunny’ which is almost ballad-like with Beach Boys style backing vocals. The album sees the band looking inwards examining the past with lyrics like ‘Where I was I can’t tell’ and songs like ‘Yes’ which explores the bands own vulnerability. Much of the album finds sombre and hopeful themes but constantly pushes forward. Fontaines D.C. could have quite easily produced more of the same but the band chose to evolve with this solid follow up which sees the band looking inwardly. Fontaines D.C. embark on a tour next May in support of the album.
A Hero’s Death tracklisting:
1. “I Don’t Belong” 4:31
2. “Love is the Main Thing” 3:54
3. “Televised Mind” 4:10
4. “A Lucid Dream” 3:54
5. “You Said” 4:36
6. “Oh Such a Spring” 2:33
7. “A Hero’s Death” 4:18
8. “Living in America” 4:56
9. “I Was Not Born” 3:50
10. “Sunny” 4:53
11. “No” 5:10
You can listen to the full album on Spotify here as well as most other major streaming platforms.