FONTAINES D.C. ‘A Hero’s Death’


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The young Dublin quintet took the world by storm just over a year ago with their bracing mixture of raw guitar-beating energy and a distinctly Irish sense of poetry. Fronted by Grian Chatten, who speak-sings in a heavy brogue, the band came across like a barroom philosopher deep in his cups at the local dive: erudite, eloquent, and prone to slipping into haranguing tangents and conversational alleyways. Their debut album Dogrel cracked the top five of the Irish Albums Chart and the top 10 of the UK Albums Chart. It was nominated for a Mercury Prize.

Despite the much-publicized Beach Boys influence, no one will think A Hero’s Death is  sunshine pop. It is subtler and softer and prettier than Dogrel, with Chatten even breaking out some honest-to-god melodic singing on tracks like “You Said” and the waltz-like “Oh Such A Spring.” But it’s darker, too, more atmospheric and downcast.