Label: Partisan Records
Release Date: 30th June 2020
“When I had the joy of seeing the band live earlier in the year, it was this song that my friends and I scoured YouTube for afterwards.”
It was difficult to see how Fontaines D.C. could top 2019's Mercury prize winning album Dogrel. Their angsty, angular, and at times introspective debut catapulted them to the forefront of the burgeoning post-punk scene in Ireland and the UK, and 14 months later they're back with ‘Televised Mind’, the third of three excellent new singles.
Right from the off I'm reminded of Slaves’ and Chase and Status’ track ‘Control’, with a threatening bassline soon backed up with one of the best sounding drum kits Fontaines have ever put on record. The song continues in this vein, launching into hypnotic guitar lines, all held together by the malice of that rhythm section. The song is relentless, constantly building and building into a whirlwind-like swarm of overdriven guitar and splashy cymbals. This repetitive and one-dimensional structure is what makes the song sound so fresh, like a dance track. It sounds like the Chemical Brothers decided to pack it all in and become a punk band.
This evolution in sound is very encouraging, but of course, what makes it so unmistakably Fontaines are Grian Chatten’s near-spoken word vocals throughout. The song, to me, reeks of human disaffection at a time when so much of our lives is conducted through screens. Despite the repetitive and droning nature of Chatten’s vocals, he still manages to convey a muted aggression which completes the atmosphere of the song perfectly. And again, the malice of the track and the pumping rhythm section make for an electrifying experience. It's disaffection with a hard edge that makes me want to kick doors down and dance.
When I had the joy of seeing the band live earlier in the year, it was this song that my friends and I scoured YouTube for afterwards. Live, it was all-encompassing. Everyone was so taken in that when the song came to an end it felt like surfacing from an ocean. Yet the band were so understated and humble, and could be found drinking in the corner of the pub across the road after the gig.
With this single, Fontaines D.C. have shown that they still have so much more to prove. My excitement for the full album cannot be overstated.
Words by Robbie Beale.
5th July 2020.