Skinty Fia (Partisan)
It’s not yet three and a half years since Fontaines DC were the Next Big Things doing their damnedest to dispel this reviewer’s cynicism at a sold-out show at the Moon, and already the Irish quintet are onto album number three, Skinty Fia. Having come such a long way in a short space of time, it’s perhaps no surprise that it should find them suffering from a spot of hiraeth.
Skinty Fia effectively picks up where 2020’s A Hero’s Death left off, drifting further away from the youthful piss and vinegar of debut Dogrel into more reflective and, dare I say, mature territory. Bloomsday stalks the rain-slicked Dublin streets at night with collar up, bruised and glowering, the perfect marriage of Joy Division and The Jesus & Mary Chain; opener In ár gCroíthe go deo embraces harmonising vocals to great effect; and The Couple Across The Way – consisting of just vocals and accordion – has the voyeuristic yet poignant profundity of an Arab Strap song, Grian Chatten skewering a disintegrating relationship in bittersweet terms: “Nice to know that you’re still caring / Well enough to raise your voice.”
words BEN WOOLHEAD
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