Muncie Girls – ‘From Caplan To Belsize’

By Conor Mackie

From the first note of ‘From Caplan To Belsize’, there’s a confidence, a sense of self-belief around Muncie Girls. Their debut album has been a long time coming, but that wait has made the release even sweeter. Ten songs of perfect pop-punk from one of the UK’s most consistent punk bands, Muncie Girls have put one hell of a debut under their belts.

The production on this record is amazing, it’s polished and professional but still retains just the right amount of grit to allow Muncie Girls’ energy to come through. Opener ‘Learn In School’ offers an immediate, exciting welcome and shows just how far Muncie Girls have come. This song is the encapsulation of summer, a bouncy, perfect pop song, best enjoyed in a park with your friends with some shitty cider. ‘Respect’ is a rallying cry against misogyny lad culture and it’s moments like this that show that Muncie Girls aren’t just your average punk band. They tackle difficult, important themes, whilst also writing catchy, perfect songs to go with them.

‘Balloon’ and ‘Social Side’ show that, even when they slow it down, Muncie Girls can still deliver wonderfully catchy songs. ‘Social Side’ is especially interesting, placed right in the middle of the record, it shows a side of Muncie Girls that hasn’t surfaced before. Sounding like a wonderful mix of The Cure and Turnover, this song shows that, when needed, the band can change it up. It is ‘Gas Mark 4’, though, that is the standout song on this record. The song is a perfect snapshot of what Muncie Girls are about – catchy choruses, blistering drums, beautiful and relatable lyrics (“Didn’t think it through, just like everything I do.”) The ‘Committee’ and ‘No Recording’ double-header closes out the record in a perfect finish to the record: ‘Committee’ is a lovely, plodding, slow burner whilst ‘No Recording’ feels like a celebration.

Every release since debut EP ‘Revolution Summer’ has allowed the band to grow and develop and ‘From Caplan To Belsize’ is no different. The band seem tighter, more focused, they play harder and faster than before, you feel a stronger sense of belief. Luke Ellis’ drums are absolutely incredible, gone are any hints of the slight overplaying that existed in the earliest Eps, replaced instead with incredible fills that demand attention. Lande Hekt’s voice is as stellar as it’s always been, and her bass adds so much depth, allowing Dean McMullen’s guitar to crunch away.

There’s been a lot of talk about Muncie Girls so far this year, and this debut more than lives up to all the hype. This band will do big things this year and ‘From Caplan To Belsize’ will show up on many, many ‘End Of Year’ lists. This record is brilliant.

CONOR MACKIE

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