The Murder Capital
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Alternative & Indie - Released August 16, 2019 | Human Season Records
Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Qobuzissime
Could Dublin be at the center of another post-punk earthquake? Following in the footsteps of Fontaines D.C and Girl Band, with whom they shared a rehearsal space, here come The Murder Capital’s 5 Irishmen and their urban claustrophobia. They’re post-apocalyptic, tender, furious and emotional. Taking from the likes of Joy Division, The Cure and Fugazi, their first album is titled “When I Have Fears” after the famous John Keats poem. As always, frontman James McGovern has a calculated approach when it comes to his band: “It would be too easy for us to write an album of ten punk songs at 170 bpm; we could deliver that. It’s a reflection of what’s inside our heads and there is no way we can be angry for that amount of time”. At the heart of that nuanced manifesto, equal amounts brooding romanticism and angry outbursts are the channels for McGovern’s socio-political concerns. He traces When I Have Fear’s inception to a traumatic event: “I had a very close friend of mine take his own life in February and we wanted to reflect the neglect held towards mental healthcare in Ireland. Unnecessary deaths happen due to neglect from the State, or from general emotional intelligence from our society. My friend simply couldn’t afford the help he needed.” The baritone drew from the Emerald Isle’s vast literary tradition in order to paint a scathing portrayal of youth communities plagued by binge culture. His message is underlined by razor-sharp arrangements that verge on the minimal. Their simplicity contributes to the sinister sense of urgency in many of the songs. Nonetheless, Diarmuid Brennan’s hyperactive drumming – listen to those hi-hats! – on Don’t Cling To Life, as well as the piano and the somber growls on How The Streets Adore Me Now demonstrate that the band is more than capable of going beyond the formal frameworks set in place during the early-2000s post-punk revival. When I Have Fears is 100% a Dublin record, transcending the cold and the misery without ever giving up on sincerity and power – A thunderous and sensitive Qobuzissime. © Alexis Renaudat/Qobuz
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