As fashion is cyclical, it seems there is a trend developing among young alt-rock bands wherein someone is always putting out the best album of 1980 in 2019.
Dubliners The Murder Capital, with their debut album When I Have Fears, wins my vote for best new talent in 1980; thought they still come third behind The Cure with Seventeen Seconds and The Sound’s debut album, Jeopardy.
When I Have Fears is the sort of modern take on early 80’s post-punk which sends me back into the archives trying to put my finger on who it is The Murder Capital reminds me of the most.
It is a fun exercise listening to albums from that 1980-‘81 timeframe which I hadn’t played in a while, such as The Birthday Party classic Prayers On Fire and the amazing Juju by Siouxsie And The Banshees.
After a week of driving around town all day listening to post-punk masterpieces, I went back to The Murder Capital just now with the conclusion that they most remind me of The Sound.
Whether you are an elder who never got into The Sound and the work of ill-fated lead singer and songwriter Adrian Borland, or if you are a youngster just starting out on your musical journey this is a band you shouldn’t skip over, they were outstanding.
Producing a debut album which is as good as those early 1980’s giants is no mean feat but The Murder Capital can hold their heads high, theirs is a fine effort and well worth the time of any music lover; it captures all the mystery and mayhem of the post-punk oeuvre and adds new dimensions to the genre.
The band has a slightly depressing back-story, according to the members the name The Murder Capital and much of the material for the album was inspired by the suicide of a close friend.
At times When I Have Fears is sad and poignant, with tracks such as On Twisted Ground and Love, Love, Love hitting the Ian Curtis level of melancholia, in other areas they display a tenderness and maturity which belies their young age.
You could almost dance to other songs on the album, More Is Less and Don’t Cling To Life, with their chattering and discordant guitars are good moshing material.
The video for the single Green And Blue is also worth mentioning, it captures the tone of When I Have Fears perfectly, beautifully shot it has that sense of inertia we feel when someone has died or some other tragedy has occurred, it is quite moving.
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery and there is nothing wrong with reviving the spirit of 1980, post-punk was marvellous then and it is marvellous now.