The Murder Capital: Gigi’s Recovery review – superlative downbeat rock thrills

(Human Season)
The Irish post-punk band go bigger and deeper on a second album that exudes muscular drama

The Murder Capital’s lavishly poetic, intensely dour When I Have Fears was superb, an album so perfectly realised that any sequel could seem a pointless exercise. Thankfully, the Irish quintet disagreed. While Gigi’s Recovery isn’t always bursting with the joys of spring – a first draft was rejected for being “fucking depressing” – it extends their post-punk palette brilliantly beyond the monochrome grief and pain of their 2019 debut. Piercing the gothic gloom are new textures that broaden and deepen their sound, hinting at the big music of U2 and Simple Minds without losing the youthful, bug-eyed intensity that’s long abandoned those bands.

Ethel and Return My Head are the pick of the singles, fizzing, constantly promising something very exciting is about to happen, then delivering. James McGovern’s aching croon comes into its own on quieter moments such as love ballad Belonging, while the band tilt at new standards of excellence with grandly reflective The Lie Becomes the Self and the huge, indelible title track.

At their best, which is often on Gigi’s Recovery, the Murder Capital combine muscular drama and skeletal grace with a confidence that Radiohead would be proud of.

Watch the video for Ethel by the Murder Capital.

Contributor

Damien Morris

The GuardianTramp

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