Text: Shannon van Eis

The post-punk quintet from Ireland who call themselves ‘The Murder Capital’ come out with another new record after their debut album ‘When I Have Fears’. A record released under a label they made their own reality: Human Season Records. The Dublin-based band’s repertoire can be described as raw and dark, but above all musically superbly organised. They previously played as a support act for fellow Irishmen Fontaines D.C. They also once made an appearance at Amsterdam’s London Calling festival. Then the conclusion is that you can put this music in the same playlist as Shame and IDLES just fine.

When a band releases four completely different-sounding singles prior to the album release, it has to promise a lot. That way, you prevent people from getting an idea of what the album will sound like. Thus, ‘A Thousand Lives’ sounds like a true successor to the debut album and ‘Return My Head’ is its counterpart. The poetic ‘Ethel’ is carried by Joy Division-like guitars and culminates in a fierce drum and guitar part. ‘I always wanted it to be like this for us / Having our first kid / Name her Ethel’.

Opening track ‘Existence’ lasts just over a minute. In it, we hear only the vocals of lead singer James McGovern. Sometimes accompanied by silence, sometimes accompanied by chaotic background noise. ‘Existence fading / Existence / Exist .’ The transition to ‘Crying’ is so subtle that it fits exactly. The song features aggressive and especially impressive guitars that refer back to the Irish band’s debut. 

‘The Stars Will Leave Their Stage’ consists of new droning elements and guitar effects, which actually suit the band surprisingly well. Then follows the contrasting ‘Belonging’ which sounds as eerie as it is beautiful. Title track ‘Gigi’s Recovery’ shows that the grand sound of The Murder Capital is certainly not gone. In doing so, you could say the sound has even been reinvented. ‘Gigi, you never left me.’ A deliberate choice is the closing track ‘Exist’, which seems like it answers ‘Existence’. ‘Existence changing / Existence / Exist.’

People who have been familiar with The Murder Capital for some time certainly need not fear. ‘Gigi’s Recovery’ shows different sides combined with the old familiar. Throughout the album, it constantly asks a central question: what does it mean to exist? For the band, ‘Gigi’s Recovery’ became a symbol of the work they did not only for the sake of art, but mostly for themselves. 

Human Season Records