Life Ain’t Always Empty
‘Everybody is looking for a hero’s death’ reads the line from Irish playwright Brendan Behan’s ‘The Hostage’, where some Irish republicans kidnap an English soldier and realise their own inhumanity in the cruel act of killing him. A fitting line to inspire the frontman of a band whose first album catapulted them to critical acclaim, only to leave them overworked, exhausted and almost wholly uninspired. More so, as the inevitable sophomore slump assumptions surface for it’s quickfire follow up, Fontaine’s DC have already fired their own pre-emptive shot across the bows for anyone expecting a Dogrel part 2.
Sounding like a more sinister version of The Stroke’s Last Night – if you can imagine it sung in the style of Ian Curtis and backed with Beach Boy-esque harmonies, A Hero’s Death is a heady and hypnotic ‘list of rules for the self’ which, despite its more frantic manner, maintains the rabble-rousing relatability that we have come to expect from these post-punk poets.
In the accompanying video, fellow Irishman and Game of Thrones actor Aiden Gillen plays a tormented talk show host, whose backstage world dissipates into an endless loop of strange puppets and shifty characters. Just as in the aforementioned play, where song and dance is used to offset the tragedy of the situation, anxiety inducing guitar riffs and Grian Chatten’s heavily accented semantic satiation of ‘life ain’t always easy’ conjures an overwhelming sense of dread, rendering the life behind this charming on stage façade and the lyrics themselves, almost meaningless.
The whole song feels like a countdown to something huge and as the it comes to a close, Chatten quietly confirms: “That was the year of the sneer, now the real thing’s here”.
Arms at the ready. Fontaine’s DC are back and killing it.
A Hero’s Death is out July 31st via Partisan
A Hero’s Death tracklist:
1. I Don’t Belong
2. Love Is The Main Thing
3. Televised Mind
4. A Lucid Dream
5. You Said
6. Oh Such A Spring
7. A Hero’s Death
8. Living In America
9. I Was Not Born