FIDDLEHEAD • Between The Richness (Orange, Cream And Red Swirl Vinyl) • LP
iddlehead wasn’t supposed to make a second record. But, if we’re being totally honest, they weren’t supposed to make their first record either. Formed in what singer Pat Flynn describes as “a deeply, deeply, laughably depressing part of my life,” Fiddlehead was born with modest intentions. Flynn and his then-roommate, guitarist Alex Dow, decided to work on some songs, and with Basement having just broken up, guitarist Alex Henery entered the fold. Drummer Shawn Costa and bassist Adam Gonsalves - who has since been replaced by Casey Nealon - linked up with them and, all together, they wrote what would become the Out Of The Bloom EP. Those five songs established what Fiddlehead would be, a band that merged elements of post-hardcore, post-punk, and classic ‘80s emo into something that felt distinctly theirs.
Between The Richness effectively picks up where Springtime and Blind left off, as Flynn dives headfirst into that same subject. But astute listeners will notice a major difference this time: Flynn is singing about himself. “These massive things happened in my life between the first record and this record. It just so happened that I ended up getting married, I had a child, and it was around the 10-year anniversary of my father’s passing. So what if I want to write another record about how I feel about the loss of my father? Will people be like, ‘Pick another topic, dude.’ So, the opening track is called ‘Grief Motif’ because it’s the idea that this is an eternal struggle that will never go away. Take it or leave it, but it will be part of this dude as long as he’s got a pen in the hand.”
Between The Richness explodes with an energy that usurps that of Springtime and Blind. The guitar riffs of Dow and Henery are their most anthemic and combustive yet, making songs like “The Years,” “Get My Mind Right,” and “Down University” not just serve as the backbone for Flynn’s personal ruminations, but empathetic, emotional musical stabs that hit the listener just as hard. Meanwhile, Costa and Nealon give the songs a propulsive heft, allowing a track like “Million Times” to dart into