The quintet from Dublin, whose assertive live presence has found them opening for the likes of Slaves, Idles and Shame, are capable of demonstrating music’s uniquely cathartic qualities. When I Have Fears was created after the suicide of a close friend, and reflects every emotion that consumes you in a time like that. The band state that “every single one of those lyrics relates back in some way to his death”. With their deeply affecting, poetic lyrics, The Murder Capital bring something more dark yet more real than the shallow depths that are often reached within punk music.
Lead single, “Green and Blue”, inspired by the photographer Francesca Woodman who took her own life at the age of 22, perfectly portrays a meld of aesthetic beauty through its visual lyrics and melody, driven by a forceful bassline. It accentuates an atmosphere of isolation that the band say they felt when looking at her work, and which is a theme that resonates throughout the album.
At times the record sounds classically simplistic and angsty, such as on “More Is Less”, but these moments make it accessible and persuasive in everything else it is trying to convey. It is the more delicate moments of When I Have Fears that stand out as their most important when considering the internal pain that drove the writing of these lyrics. The confrontation of this suffering (“Slowdance I”, “Don’t Cling To Life”) is what makes this album so powerful. The Murder Capital are a band that are not afraid to admit that they feel fear, that they feel pain, and what makes this album so personal is exactly what makes it so universal. It unashamedly expresses the darkest moments of being human and seeks to fully come to terms with that feeling.
The Murder Capital’s first record is a despairingly indulgent listen, but a powerful beginning from a band that promise to bring the passion of emotion to a genre.