The Last Mixed Tape reviews When I Have Fears, the debut studio album from the Murder Capital.
There is a cultural explosion happening, one that Ireland is at the forefront of. A coup d’état is taking over the mainstream as more vital music is taking hold and demolishing the sonic wallpaper that has lined our ears for so long. The Murder Capital is a part of this musical coup d’état. When I Have Fears is their manifesto.
The Murder Captial, and When I Have Fears’, excels when it pushes things forward. Creating a manic almost feral sonic milieu, the band rattle the foundations of the record with the furious blasts of noise that populate album opener ‘For Everything’ as James McGovern begins his lyrical intricate sermon with an authority that dominates the landscape of When I Have Fears.
Indeed, the album feels pointed. Like every sound, word and beat have a meaning. Whether it be the sprawling clatter and rumble of ‘Green & Blue’ or the contorting angular guitar of ‘Don’t Cling To Life’, the music has a reason that is given an added pathos by a vocal that engulfs the foreground and becomes apart of the urgency.
When I Have Fears does falter. The bifurcated ‘Slowdance’ loses its way in the instrumental second half which comes off as meandering filler, while ‘On Twisted Ground’ (which follows ‘Slowdance II’) grinds the record to halt and outstays its welcome at over six minutes, an issue exasperated when set against the more focused ‘Feeling Fades’. However, these are small missteps that can be expected from a debut album and can be easily worked out in the future records. And as I have said many times before on TLMT, I would rather listen to a band try and fall then standstill on safer ground.
The frantic immediacy of ‘More Is Less’ is the zenith of When I Have Fears and is a strong contender for song of the year. A short, sharp shock that says more in under three minutes than most do in entire albums, the frustration, subversive lyrics and confrontational sound of the track embodies everything exciting about the Murder Capital as the band howls and growls its way through the song at an unstoppable pace.
And so it goes, When I Have Fears is a thematically strong debut that sets the tone for the Murder Capital going forward. And while the record does suffer the pitfalls of many debut albums. There’s an underlined narrative to the record that makes it feel full of unmistakable purpose that needed to be voiced. A voice that resonates throughout and creates an album the band had no fucking choice but to make.
When I Have Fears by the Murder Capital is out now.