The Murder Capital – ‘Gigi’s Recovery’ album review

Focusing on the forces of mood and melody, The Murder Capital’s second album ‘Gigi’s Recovery’ finds the Irish band navigating a number of personal issues and relationships revolving around the theme of existence and what it means…

The opener – with ‘Existence’ as its title – is 90 seconds of noisy and atmospheric guitar work while an Arab Strap-style spoken-word voiceover finds the band revealing that ‘This day forever became what if’… It segues perfectly into ‘Crying’, a more gothic piece with glitchiness in the background, thoughts on constant crying and the power of future dreams: ‘I’m waiting for you’. ‘Return My Head’ clocks in under three minutes and is more melodic and uptempo than what has come before – albeit still with the deliciously dark lyrics – as the band demand ‘Return my head, throw it to the crowd’ amidst new wave hooks.

Distorted guitar signals the start of ‘Ethel’, a song about the power of love and family as James McGovern sings passionately about an unbreakable bond (even though ‘I can’t quite make it out’) with those closest to him, complete with a first child called Ethel with whom ‘I would hold on to her tight’. There’s a more industrial feel running through ‘The Stars Will Leave Their Stage’, albeit with twisted carnival elements and macabre lyrics about how ‘We die to keep our souls’ and a comparison to being ‘Just like ships in the night, promising to collide’. ‘The Lie Becomes the Self’ is altogether slower burning although has an accusatory tone from the start: ‘I saw you watching all the things you’re not supposed to. I heard you seeling thoughts in which you don’t believe’. There’s an about-turn towards the end as James looks at his own actions: ‘A clown’s reflection and I’m revealed’. ‘We Had To Disappear’ continues in this vein before ‘Only Good Things’ throws in some wonky pop hooks to back up its optimistic and nostalgic message: ‘Show me the things, only good things’.

The title track is deeply menacing with the kind of sound that has served Interpol so well over the years, although with an added dollop of heartbreak – ‘Our love was made for dreaming, escaped without us seeing’ – before the album closes with the 90-second ‘Exist’ and its evergreen message that ‘Existence is changing’ being delivered over alt-folk-inspired guitar work. With ‘Gigi’s Recovery’, The Murder Capital prove once again they’re a killer force.

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