Words By Percy Walker-Smith
Only a year since the release of their debut album, honest and frank lyricism has succeeded once more, with Fontaines D.C.’s second effort. This time around, the collection of songs feel as though they are cut from a different cloth than the debut record. The opening track I Don’t Belong is a far cry from the first album; Dogrel’s opener Big. Both tracks are anthems in their own right. However, the opening song from the recent album is more mature in its context and lyrically seems like a realisation from the band’s frontman Grian Chatten. The realisation that they are now a successful sought-after band and that success is not what it originally seemed to them. The second track Love Is The Main Thing confirms the proposed realisation, that in life, love is the main thing, and that love can outdo being controlled by a record label or pop culture. The thoughts that the songs provoke when listening are heartfelt and honest.
Sonically, the record is very diverse with the clashing symbols and twisting reverb of Lucid Dream to the sleepy lullaby sounding guitar on Oh Such A Spring. The title track is certainly the most comparable to their debut record. It is also the most empowering on the record. It is a track of hope which becomes an instructional message on how to live, repeating the mantra that ‘life ain’t always empty’.
As a whole the record seems far more vulnerable than the first and does not feel as if the band are deliberately capitalising on their success last year; their Mercury Prize nomination, and album of the year from both BBC Radio 6 and Rough Trade. However, I still think that this band has brought life to the guitar-band music scene that is arguably fraying at its edges.
Whether you are a lover of the post-punk sound or not, this band will undoubtedly impress you if you happen to wander past their set at a festival next summer. Yes, we have our fingers crossed for that to happen, but I’ll save that dreaded topic for another article.