The Murder Capital
When I Have Fears
The Murder Capital’s word-of-mouth traction means this is a debut record greeted with some intrigue, namely whether our latest talk-of-the-town contenders can deliver when stripped of the live show theatrical intensity that put them on the map. They will surely benefit from the slipstream created by Fontaines D.C., but this brooding Dublin-based five-piece flaunt a heart-on-sleeve purpose that is all their own. Joy Division is the clear post-punk elephant in the room, though while that’s a handy way in, When I Have Fears colours outside the lines, broadening in to something else.
Murky layers of suffocating moodiness recur (‘Slowdance I’, for instance), but any prickly edges are softened by some delicate touches and a few gothic Nick Cave-isms (‘On Twisted Ground’). It’s the stark sound of a band reaching beyond the playbook in a bid to express sorrow, anger and grief, a sort of sombre catharsis. Sure, it’s a bit po-faced and occasionally straddles the line of pretentiousness, but frontman James McGovern’s demeanour suggests crossover or mass appeal are not a pressing concern.
In being resolute in their craft, The Murder Capital have sculpted a taut debut that’s inward-looking and self-assured. Little more than a year in to their career, they find themselves at the vanguard of a domestic alt-rock revival.
Words: Killian Barry
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Joy Division – Closer
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