Album Review: The Murder Capital – When I Have Fears

The Murder Capital will be releasing their epic debut album ‘When I Have Fears’ on 16 August and it confirms Dublin’s place as a hotbed of blistering new talent.

This album is a deeply emotional expression of hurt and pain: sometimes delivered through an anarchic punk blast such as opening track ‘For Everything’, and sometimes through a layered slowly burning fuse of a track such as ‘On Twisted Ground’. The Murder Capital are as fresh and as creative as any of their peers, up there with fellow compatriots, the stupendous Fontaines DC. Perhaps both bands would get annoyed at constantly being mentioned in the same breath, but the beauty for the audience is that two such talented bands can co-exist at the same time from the same city and ignite the global music scene.

Within the opening song – ‘For Everything’, The Murder Capital move effortlessly from a Birthday Party-style forbidding percussive rumble to a more indie pop-tinged denouement – for everything, for nothing. ‘More is Less’ is a classic thundering pop/punk delight with a thread of humor that has the grandeur and stature of Killing Joke dipped in metal.

The Murder Capital are not, however, that easy to categorise. Single, “Green and Blue’ is an indie classic with its slicing, crystalline shards of glass guitars and aching vocals, displaying a far more complex and subtle side of the band:

The song is about a young photographer, Francesca Woodman, the band came across, who died at the age of 22, the band saying: The biggest impression her work left on us was relating to the loneliness of her photos. That sense of being completely on your own, but also taking solace in the beauty of the work as well. I think we’d be lying if we ever truly admitted to ourselves that we weren’t afraid of dying young. I think we push the boundaries at times. There’s something about Francesca Woodman’s work that just takes control of that.

Debut single ‘Feeling Fades’ exposes the raw angry emotional side of The Murder Capital, vocals filled with hurt and a sense of frustration and urgency through repetition and poetry:

And when the band dials it down, such as on ‘On Twisted Ground’, it shows quite clearly it can dial it down. This is a gorgeous reflective song resting on a chorded bass and the hint of synths and back-tracked guitars and achingly beautiful vocals.

This album is ferocious and beautiful: it has the passion and the energy of classic post punk rock, yet is leavened by a poetic and delicate beauty. Guitars with the architectural build of a city skyscape, a spine of pure thunder and the emotional strength of the vocals that spits out veracity and passion. There is detectable an authenticity that very few bands can muster. The band recounts that the lyrics and even the band’s very name reference the suicide of a close friend: every single one of those lyrics relates back in some way to his death.

Mixed by the legendary Flood (PJ Harvey, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, Foals), you can preorder the album here for its release on Friday, August 16th 2019.

The band is undertaking an extensive tour through Europe – full details and tickets here. They have a formidable reputation for their live shows, so don’t miss out.

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