Review: Fontaines D.C. – ‘A Hero’s Death’

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It's catchy, it's powerful, and it's all that makes Fontaines D.C. so great.

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Following the release of their debut album Dogrel last year, Fontaines D.C. earned a lot of deserved recognition, as it presented a fresh, new sound to the land of alternative music. It seems they are continuing the trend of presenting new, exciting sounds with their newest single, ‘A Hero’s Death’. The single was released as the band announced their upcoming album A Hero’s Death, out July 31st.

‘A Hero’s Death’ is one of the catchiest of theirs yet. It’s more similiar to ‘Boys in the Better Land’ and ‘Sha Sha Sha’ from Dogrel than any others from their debut, because of the repetitively addictive line, “Life ain’t always empty”.

Its title is actually a tongue-in-cheek way of acknowledging the potential fail of the band’s sophomore album, as lead singer Grian Chatten has suggested he half-expects listeners to dislike the upcoming record. However, from what can be heard in the title track, this is definitely not going to happen. ‘A Hero’s Death’ amalgamates all there is to love about Fontaines’ music: addictive, dance-worthy guitar riffs, headbang-worthy rhythms, and, of course, their blatant Irishness.

One of the most effective aspects of the single is their combination of quiet, high-pitched “ba, ba, ba”‘s, layered over some heavy but melodic guitar riffs and drums. This contrast draws particular attention to the talented musicianship underneath the vocals, which is another reason Fontaines are always so successful. Their songs tend to draw equal attention to the incredibly witty lyrics and vocals alongside the powerful musical accompaniment. ‘A Hero’s Death’ is the perfect example of this, with its 4-minute display of solid musicianship and meaningful lyrics.

Moving past the incredible musicianship present that makes the song so catchy, the lyrics perfectly follow on from the meaning of the title. Chatten seems to list a range of advice, likely towards himself and the band overall, as he worries about the fate of the upcoming album. Although, the lyrics could just as easily be taken as advice for general listeners to indulge in, such as the one particularly potent line, “look forward to a brighter future”.

‘A Hero’s Death’ is available to listen to now via Partisan Records. 

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Live Editor 2019/20 & second year English student. Can usually be found procrastinating my degree at a gig, or trying (and failing) to complete my Goodreads challenge

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