, ,

Gigi’s Recovery – The Murder Capital review: The line between solitude and hope

Since the beginning of this decade, every third new music week of January, the music agenda lights up with new post-punk releases that shine so bright and stay in effect throughout the year. In 2021, Shame brought us their second, Drunk Tank Pink, while Yard Act debuted with The Overload in 2022. And this year, many thanks to Irish post-punk connoisseurs The Murder Capital and their sophomore album Gigi’s Recovery, this fortuitous tradition has not been broken once again.

After releasing their debut When I Have Fears in 2019, Dublin formed-and-based quintet The Murder Capital became prominent with their dark, harsh approach to post-punk and started to get associated with long-since exponents of the genre such as IDLES, Shame, and their compatriots, Fontaines D.C. By putting the instrumentals, those heavy guitar riffs or drum solos on the foreground and assign importance to them as much as the vocals of James McGovern, the band has already shown their capabilities. They cemented their presence as one of the most promising formations of their scene and one of the most exciting cases of the revival of the punk genre.

Released on 20th January through Human Season Records, the label the band set up on their own, Gigi’s Recovery examines the isolating effects of solitude, which empties the human experience by fading the existence and affecting one’s sense by causing the loss of the grip. In this twelve-tracked collection and its forty-five minutes of listening, the band genuinely deals with the aspects of a long-gone relationship. And in fact, the main theme of the album may be perceived both as the accumulation of lost emotions between two individuals or as the understanding of the ongoing deals with the inner self.

Credit: Marcus Prouse jnr

The prologue, ‘Existence‘, opens with a shivering intro, building a tension that intensifies each second. The band foreshadows the upcoming matters of the album, captivating the mood from the very first moment. While this opening crossfades to the first song of the album, ‘Crying‘, the atmosphere segues along as well. Beginning with a siren-like melody, on the other hand, characterizes the response the band prepared to give. Like the S.O.S. call of a sinking ship or a plane crashing down, “Is this our end?” McGovern repeatedly asks. Just a minute before it concludes, the track crescendoes with the distorted sounds that these calls have been made of, leaving a pounding effect on the heart.

Return My Head‘ also goes along with the collapse and the breakdown, carrying this aggressive energy that the previous failures of the subject has led. Supported by the repetitions, both rhythmically and lyrically, The Murder Capital delivers a successful continuity.

Ethel‘, which can be interpreted as the ex-love interest of the protagonist, even if it is imaginary, opens up a remarkable space for the vocals. Reminiscing about the memories of this girl, Ethel leaves the subject chained down to the bygone and forbids him to do, understand or take the next step. The strength of the song comes from this situation, but the goose-bumping vocals of McGovern evolve it to be more responsive than sad.

Whereas the first chapter of the album is more aggressive, the second gets more intense and honestly demonstrative about the feelings. ‘The Stars Will Never Leave Their Stage‘ opens up this next chapter with a bold melody, making it sound like the game that has been played for far too long is already over and sadly lost.

“I love you, you know that,” says ‘Belonging’ before anything else. In a mystical way, sounding almost like a before-to-sleep lullaby or a music box where the ballerina figurine dances through the melody, the band experiments with building an ambient, where the pitch-black scenery of the night is visible. The display of these emotions and the confessions also impress just the way a Black Country, New Road piece would do. The profound lyricism that comes from the gut-wrenching reflections the vocal has mirrored works once again quite well.

‘The Lie Becomes The Self’ stands out with powerful riffs that suddenly fade away without having the time to land. This creates instrumental excitement while making the song more of a post-rock-influenced gem and letting the album take the time to exhale and sober. The poetry that the band put has an empathetic power to relate to and understand the feeling that lies beneath. While ‘A Thousand Lives’ marks a slower pace compared to the rest of the album, ‘We Had To Disappear‘ cathartically reveals the emotions as a whole, and ‘Only Good Things‘ focuses on the positive; the guitars successfully continue to narrate the overall mood.

Credit:  Jennifer McCord

When the titular song, ‘Gigi’s Recovery‘, takes the floor, The Murder Capital shows their prowess at capacity. Beginning with the sirens just like Crying, each moment and every band member adds a new layer to the piece, deepening the production perfectly. In an instrumental-oriented structure, the metronomic rhythms build a tension that feels like a flashing street lamp or a clock that represents the passing of time. Two minutes prior to the closure, Gigi’s Recovery becomes a musical powerhouse, where every feeling had been put through the album ties together and reaches the climax. All of the efforts made so far upgrades to song into a voluminous masterpiece, the best the band has ever recorded.

The epilogue, ‘Exist‘, on the other hand, looks into a sunnier future, where the first day of the rest begins. Instead of seeking the old and already gone, the final moments of the album carries the hope to become the change itself. Every piece of The Murder Capital’s production; James McGovern’s vocals, Damien Tuit and Cathal Roper’s guitars, Gabriel Pascal Blake’s bass, and Diarmuid Brennan’s drums, reveal the essence of their melancholic yet energetic post-punk sound, sensing the light at the end of this very long tunnel. Gigi’s Recovery hits every feeling as intended, proving their expertise both in songwriting and producing a catalog emotionally this satisfying.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Gigi’s Recovery – The Murder Capital

Release Date: January 20, 2023
Genres: Post-Punk, Gothic Rock, Art Rock
Label: Human Season Records
Country: Ireland

Album Cover

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Comments (



Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: