Dublin’s boys are back with album #3, and if you’re expecting the raw snarl of Dogrel or the cleaner(ish) postpunk of Hero’s Death, you’ll be disapp-…No. There’s nothing disappointing here.
A skinty fa is an extinct Irish giant Elk (pictured on the album cover) that died because it was too big to run away from predators, and I’m guessing that how Fontaines DC felt when they found their success had far exceeded any reasonable expectation.
Skinty Fia finds the band slowing down a little, like a giant animal, without losing their size or muscle. There’s still anger here, but there’s a lot of love and loss as well. “Well I really don’t care what you think of me/But something gears me to the grovel every opportunity/I’ve got that jealous stripe/I probably am that type,” Grian Chatten chants on the title track, and that about sums it up: This is a band that wanted to be big, got big, is big, and is trying to maintain its rebellious core without failing to enjoy the rarified air they now breathe.