Fontaines D.C.

A Hero's Death

Written by: PP on 13/05/2021 01:12:02

Alongside the third album "Ultra Mono" by IDLES, the sophomore effort by Fontaines D.C., "A Hero's Death", was near the top of multiple end-of-year lists last year, so I figured we ought to give it a shot especially since they were booked to perform at the now-canceled Roskilde Festival this year. Much like its rawer aforementioned peer, it's very much a case of we just don't get it when it comes to the all-around praise and hype around this record. Why do people like this? Is it a matter of not being exposed to better music?

Stylistically, Fontaines D.C. is located within the pretentious indie rock scene that for a long time has masqueraded as post-punk without actually belonging there. Much like iceage and Savages before them, the idea is to write monotonous and boring music with off-tune melodies oozing with arrogance and hipster vibes of the worst kind, and pass that off as a saviours of punk that was previously known as dead type of a deal. While the actual punk scene of course knows that's full of shit with brilliant records available in the plenty year after year by bands both old and new, the mainstream indie press seem completely oblivious to the fact, thus funneling crap like Fontaines D.C. to their readers that just don't know better. Let's face it, when bands like Fucked Up, White Lung, and Japandroids available, why would you ever put on a record like this one, which effectively sounds like The Streets with a little more instrumentation?

Sure, a song like "Televised Mind" sounds rebellious to an extent. Much like the title track "A Hero's Death", it relies on extensive lyrical repetition, crashing instrumentation, and an oddly hypnotic rhythmic pulsation to keep things assertive and, yes, non-mainstream in terms of how it sounds. It's ugly, it's off-tune, it gives off garage and noisy DIY vibes...yet it sounds so pretentious I'm about to throw up. There's only so much baritone spoken word over minimalistic instrumentation you can put in before the sheer sense of arrogance and pretentiousness is just overwhelming. The sense of danger on the record? Manufactured. The melodies and hooks? Nonexistent. The end result? A record that sounds incredibly samey and forgettable through and through that for inexplicable reason has captured critical acclaim everywhere you look. Well, not so here. To us, "A Hero's Death" is an anonymous, uninspired record that tries its darndest to sound cool, resulting in a forced mystique that this review hopefully has helped unveil.


Download: I Don't Belong, Televised Mind, A Hero's Death
For the fans of: Shame, Girl Band, iceage, Idles, Savages, Joy Division
Listen: Facebook

Release date 31.07.2020

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