The Murder CapitalEVOL @ Arts Club 25/7/19
Let’s get the negatives out of the way first: THE MURDER CAPITAL are all school friends. Very close school friends. This means that come album number three they’ll be your favourite band, then there’ll be an unholy row about something menial and then that will be that. No more. They’ll break your heart and disappear back off to Dublin.
Now the positives. Everything else. The way they sound. The way they perform. The way they look. The way they just… are. Regardless of what the sound of young Dublin tells you, there is a scene. It’s small, but it’s the first decent scene eschewing ego and indulgent guitars that we’ve had in a long while. Dublin is throwing up a number of bands that are starting to matter. Is it a coincidence that these boys have shared rehearsal space with Fontaines D.C? No. But the lumping in together has to end there.
There’s nearly two hundred Thursday punters in here tonight. Compare that with the 30 or so that spread out in EBGB’s in January; to see a rising star climbing and clawing up the ladder right in front of your very eyes. There’s a gangster strut about the walking on stage, a swagger that isn’t about arrogance, more about the confidence that flows with gigging. Check out their Songkick profile and The Murder Capital have been keeping themselves very busy indeed.
Busy spreading their word. It’s a visceral objective. They are wedded to their homeland and the problems they see are endemic everywhere. But most of us don’t get to articulate our feelings through powerful and binding snatches of guitar fury with caustically drilled bass lines and smatterings of early Factory. The Murder Capital are a layer cake of post-rock, punk and disjointed pop. The track that opened the door for this five-piece, More Is Less, is the second track tonight, played early on as if to state that there’s better to come. There are nods of approval from the kids here and murmurs of praise from the old punks who can finally see the next generation coming up over the hills, making a glorious din.
Frontman James McGovern is an alluring piece. He’s rugged and eye catching, content to let the band take centre stage as he glowers through the intensity and bravado. It would be remiss not to comment on the Curtis-isms, but rather than it being an affectation, it’s a natural movement that slips into the construct and once more, holds the gaze. The bleak and wonderfully drawn out Green And Blue is as much Red Lorry Yellow Lorry as it is their own composition. It’s eight minutes of post-punk joy that builds as starkly as Dublin’s new skyline – one of many things TMC are rallying against. When it harshly stops there’s a pregnant pause as the crowd try to take it in. “How do you follow that?” shouts a bewildered heckler. “Like this,” snorts James and the single Don’t Cling To Life is presented to an agog Thursday night.
It’s just wonderful, powerful and dutiful. Some bands rehearse to be great and some rehearse whilst on stage as though they want to be better while you watch. That is a sign of future greatness and that’s the sign of The Murder Capital. A brilliant band.
Ian R Abraham / @scrash