WHO ARE THEY? The Irish post-punk quintet of Grian Chatten (vocals), Carlos O’Connell (guitar), Conor Curley (guitar), Conor Deegan III (bass), and Tom Coll (drums) — who arrived on the scene with their darkly explosive and deservedly acclaimed 2019 debut Dogrel.
WHAT IS THIS? Their third studio album, which follows up their downcast, slightly disappointing sophomore set A Hero’s Death from 2020. For those who don’t speak Irish, the title is taken from a slur that translates to “the damnation of the deer” — whatever the hell that’s supposed to mean.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? Death warmed over. But not enough. Those (like me) who hoped the band would regroup and return to the more aggressive form of their debut might feel a tad let down by this collection of murky midtempo meditations and hypnotically gloomy ruminations. Admittedly, it’s still intense as a slow-moving nervous breakdown. And I suspect it might fare better at high volume in a live setting. But by yourself at home, it doesn’t exactly get the blood pumping, you know?
WHAT ARE THE MOST REVEALING LYRICS? “I don’t think we rhyme / I will wear you down in time / I will hurt you, I’ll desert you.”
WHAT SHOULD IT BE TITLED? Lost in Translation. Or Third Time Isn’t Always A Charm.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? Sparingly. And bookended by happier, more energetic and upbeat affair.
WHAT 10 WORDS SUM IT UP? Dour, bassy, grim, weary, bleak, glum, dark, enervating, pessimistic, heavy.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? Jackie Down The Line — the source of the lyrical quote above — is actually one of the catchier and more melodic numbers. And that’s saying something.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS SAY? “Can you put on something else?”
WHEN WILL I LISTEN TO IT? Whenever you want to be seriously bummed out.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE A COLOUR, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Pitch black.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? Both buying and stealing it seem like some weird form of self-abuse.
THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE: “2020’s A Hero’s Death saw Fontaines D.C. land a #2 album in the UK, receive nominations at the Grammys, Brit Awards and Ivor Novello Awards, and sell out London’s iconic Alexandra Palace.
Now the band return with their third record in as many years: Skinty Fia. Used colloquially as an expletive, the title roughly translates from the Irish language into English as “the damnation of the deer;” the spelling crassly anglicized, and its meaning diluted through generations. Part bittersweet romance, part darkly political triumph, the songs ultimately form a long-distance love letter, one that laments an increasingly privatized culture in danger of going the way of the extinct Irish giant deer.”