Hidden Gem: The Murder Capital – When I Have Fears

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The Murder Capital released their debut album When I Have Fears last year, and it certainly did not get the attention that it deserved. They are an Irish post-punk band, who all met at music college and have been routinely compared to the likes of Joy Division and Idles.

In a way, they are similar to Fontaines D.C., having both derived from Dublin and both exhibiting a fairly similar sound. One of the only differences between the two seems to be that Fontaines’ debut Dogrel (released the same year as When I Have Fears) did get the attention it deserved, whereas The Murder Capital seem yet to break through into mainstream attention.

When I Have Fears has got to be one of the greatest debuts ever. Made up of just 10 songs, the band encapsulate everything there is to love about post-punk as they sing about mental health, gentrification, love, heartbreak, and survival.  Single ‘Green & Blue’ made it to radio play, and is probably one of their most famous singles to date. Understandably so, too. Its energizing drum beats complement the addictive and memorable guitar riff, to form a single that is best heard on the loudest volume possible. The melody is widely monotone, yet somehow so powerful.

Other notable tunes on When I Have Fears include ‘Don’t Cling To Life’, which is the most energizing on the entire album. In typical Murder Capital fashion, the guitar riffs are extremely memorable, but the melody on this single stands out magnificently. The vocals are intensely powerful, and the chorus will make you want to shout along.

As an almost polar opposite to ‘Don’t Cling To Life’, the song that plays after is the slowest on the album, yet still maintains the power and emotion heard throughout the rest. ‘How the Streets Adore Me Now’ is heartbreaking to listen to, as piano replaces the usual guitar and the vocals rest carefully on a low register. Listening to this is an entirely different experience than the others aforementioned, however no less powerful. As the vocals speak out, “My love, my light, my darkness”, you will find yourself wanting to listen to it all over again. The contrast between particular songs on this album simply demonstrates the incredible musicianship displayed by the band, who display their talent in various ways throughout every single song.

I cannot pick out one flaw on The Murder Capital’s debut. Each song has its own memorable aspects, and each song presents an entirely different listening experience. Everyone should give When I Have Fears a try, as there is something to listen to for every emotion.

When I Have Fears is available to listen to now via Human Season Records.

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Live Editor 2019/20 & second year English student. Can usually be found procrastinating my degree at a gig, or trying (and failing) to complete my Goodreads challenge

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