When I have Fears is the title of a John Keats’ poem in which the poet, seriously ill, expressed the fear of leaving this world without sharing every feeling and thought he had in mind. The Murder Capital, with their debut album, out via Human Season, faces the problem from a contemporary point of view, talking about the fact that in our society many people suffer from mental issues and solitude and they don’t find a welcoming place: “We just want to talk about it and make sure that the government knows that we’re not happy with the standard of where it’s at. People have real issues in their lives, and they need somewhere to go and talk about these things”.
To treat these topics the musical language couldn’t be different from post punk and the band from Dublin (James McGovern at vocals, guitarists Damien Tuit and Cathal Roper at guitars, bassist Gabriel Paschal Blake and Diarmuid Brennan on drums) are besides the other bands of the recent fantastic British post punk revival (Shame, Idles and of course Fontaines DC).
The result is powerful and intense, When I Have Fears being composed of sharp songs looking in the mirror of illness and fears of being alone. “For Everything” is a deadly attack, a fury of guitars and drums leading to a sore riff before exploding in the final shout. In “Green and Blue” the cross between bass line and guitars leads to Joy Division, while “Slowdance I” is a drunk ballad that reminds Nick Cave and his nightmares, and songs like “Feeling Fades” are ansiogenic post punk anthems based on angry guitar riffs.
When I Have Fears is probably the best post punk album in 2019 and it’s a joy to listen to this unsettling music nowadays. One of the most interesting debut works of the year.