Boston alternative rock outfit, Fiddlehead are back with their sophomore record, Between the Richness and it sees them return to the 80s emo and punk sound with anthemic, indie-style choruses which established them as a respected band within the alternative rock scene.
Picking up where their debut, Springtime and Blind , left off, Between The Richness touches on the same subject matter and the feelings associated with losing a parent. However, this time vocalist Pat Flynn sings from a more personal perspective, opening up about himself and his life experiences, for example, getting married and having a child, but also death and a variety of feelings in-between.
Discussing the album, Flynn mentions, “My son’s name is Richard and my father’s name is Richard, so it’s literally between the two of them, but it’s the richness of life and the richness of death. It was important for me to capture that perfectly paradoxical feeling; That was the problem I was trying to solve on this record. And I don’t think I solved it, but I definitely feel less stressed out and befuddled by that weird clashing of happiness and sadness.”
The album opens gradually with ‘Grief Motif’, building steadily in frenetic energy, before making a frictionless transition to ‘The Years’. This track has a repeating line “Nothing can change the pain/And I don’t want it to”, sang beautifully, and displays the raw emotions Flynn experiences after losing his father. For a band that have roots in hardcore, they are far from violent and actually bring an empathetic quality to their music, creating a space without judgement where people can collectively express themselves.
The next song, and a personal favourite off the album, ‘Million Times’, blends hardcore energy with catchy, anthemic indie vibes. This song definitely has the potential for huge sing-alongs, we can already picture packed-out venues singing along to the chorus.
‘Eternal You’ has a lively energy that brings an uplifting feeling in all its loudness, while songs such as ‘Joyboy’ and ‘Loverman’ are slower paced and more indie focused. The lyrical content clearly relates to Flynn finding love and getting married during the time since the previous record. It’s nice to see a more relaxed song close to the midpoint of the album, the change of pace keeps things fresh and interesting.
Then ‘Down University’ and ‘Get My Mind Right’ come back in with pounding drums and sharp guitar tones, bringing back the punk sound. There are a few other interesting, new touches, such as backup singers during ‘Down University’ and a spoken word track played at the beginning of ‘Life Notice’ – very reminiscent of Drug Church. ‘Heart to Heart’, which features beautiful, soaring vocals, rounds the album off with the same explosive energy that it started off with.
Overall, Between The Richness offers an impressive display of raw emotions and masterful instrumentation. We can only hope to see these songs performed live to fully do them justice – fingers crossed we’ll see Fiddlehead fulfil that need in the near future.