Album review: Fiddlehead – Between The Richness

Post-hardcore collective Fiddlehead dig deep on glorious second album, Between The Richness.

Album review: Fiddlehead – Between The Richness
Mischa Pearlman

For their second full-length, Fiddlehead – the post-hardcore ‘supergroup’ featuring members of Have Heart, Basement, Youth Funeral and more – have added someone else to their ranks: E. E. Cummings. The American poet has been dead for almost 60 years, but the Boston-based quintet have resurrected him for this record’s first song, Grief Motif. Over the track’s hushed, mournful beginning, E. E. Cummings reads the start of his most famous poem: ‘I carry your heart with me / I carry it in my heart / I am never without it / Anywhere I go you go.’ And then the song kicks in – a pulsating, unrelenting barrage of feeling that sets the tone for the next 23-ish minutes.

It makes sense. The band was originally born out of grief, after the death of vocalist Patrick Flynn’s father in 2010. Fiddlehead didn’t form until four years later, and didn’t release their debut, Springtime And Blind, until 2018, but his presence was carried through, haunting the bones of that first album. He’s not gone on this one – the opening poem is testament to that – but this record is also a recognition that, despite death, life doesn’t stop. Because just as people always die, they’re also always born. The cycle continues.

That’s something Patrick specifically addresses on Heart To Heart, the album’s phenomenal final song, which is written as a letter to his infant son. A blistering rush of guitars and melodic vocals, it charges into a crescendo of rage and acceptance before fading, finally, to a solitary, scuzzy bassline. At which point E. E. Cummings joins the fray once more as he finishes his poem: ‘And this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart / I carry your heart (I carry it in my heart).'

They’re incredibly powerful bookends, but the band should also get credit for the equally powerful in-between. Whether that’s the hypnotic yet belligerent pulse of The Years or the breakneck, soaring punk melodics of Eternal Life, the downtrodden timidity of Loverman or the ragged yet somehow beautiful surge of Get My Mind Right, it all makes for a short yet comprehensive exploration of humanity, catharsis and existence. In other words, it’s one of those rare records that not only helps you understand life more by capturing all its highs and lows, but also makes it better. Stunning stuff.

Verdict: 4/5

For fans of: Title Fight, Quicksand, Movements

Between The Richness is out on now Run For Cover

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