Fontaines D.C.: Skinty Fia (Partisan) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Fontaines D.C.

Skinty Fia

Partisan

Apr 22, 2022 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


It’s not often that an album accurately captures the collective mood of the planet’s global population, but Skinty Fia, the third album from Dublin five-piece Fontaines D.C., seems to do just that. Although time will be the ultimate judge, Skinty Fia—with its minor chord urgency and stunning statement of purpose—has all the ingredients to be the soundtrack of our times.

A decidedly slicker, more mature sound than the rough and angular music of earlier releases, the tunes that grace Skinty Fia sound as if an adult offspring between the brash but crafty punk rock of The Clash and the cathartic moodiness of Turn On the Bright Lights-era Interpol was tasked with creating an album that explores contrasting moods, with cool bass grooves and the complex character of icy atmospheric textures, but in a simple and catchy package.

Opener “In Ar gCroithe go deo” starts the album off in grand fashion as a stripped down, hollowed-out anthem with a single bass line and haunting vocal chant before rising to a slow boil with prattling drums and ultimately boils over with frothy guitar chords. “Big Shot” and “How Cold Love Is” follow and set the stage for the rest of the album with their edgy and bouncy rhythms and clanging guitar chords, often boosted with subtly shifting waves of creative melodies and occasionally bursting out with a tuneful guitar lead.

But Fontaines D.C. really hit their stride with singles—and instant earworm classics—“Jackie Down the Line” and “I Love You.” Carved out with slinky bass lines and an underlying layer of pop hooks hiding in the darkness, all the while making the best use of singer Grian Chatten’s moody, monotone-ish, and accented warble, along with the catchy, churning guitar riffs, these tracks will stay playing in your head long after the album is over.

The only thing stopping Skinty Fia from achieving a perfect score is sore thumb track “The Couple Across the Way”—a questionable tune that features only voice with a lame accordion accompaniment. But despite this minor flaw, Skinty Fia is an accomplished achievement that is both unique and fresh and is as chilling and alien as it is melodic and comforting. The album fits perfectly with the mood of the times and it’s apparent that these songs were built with an honest, emotional grit. (www.fontainesdc.com)

Author rating: 8.5/10

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Average reader rating: 6/10



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