Gengahr first burst onto the scene with ‘Fill My Gums With Blood’, a startling title and an intriguing concoction of music. The last band that has grabbed me so much in terms of vocals was Alabama Shakes, but Gengahr and their lusciously smooth falsettos have taken that title, and wear it proudly. On their début single last September, ‘Powder’, their guitar virtuoso John Victor was pushed to the forefront. Less than a year later, we find their début album ready for release. A frightening climb, and as you will hear, it is only a reward for their ability and the final product.
Whilst label mates at Transgressive with indie favourites Foals and Dry The River, they sound closer to alt-J than anything else. Although, a slightly more assured and less of a “we are weird people, and make weird music” push. Right from the opening sound of the starting track ‘Dizzy Ghosts’, you get a sense of what the title of the album implies. The transcendence into the fluffy and beautiful world Gengahr want to transport you to is aggressive and relaxing . The tranquil verses take a sharp nosedive into the vicious chorus. ‘Bathed In Light’ provides a jangly chord structure along with drums ripped straight from ‘Song 2’ – of course by Blur, a band that Gengahr are looking to the sky for inspiration.
Above: the video for Blur-esque single, ‘Heroine’.
A swamp of guitar effects create a delightful sludge of sonic complexity that need to be experienced live to truly witness. Everything is dialed noticeably higher, with the guitar a bit more prominent. The shrill of Felix Bushe’s high pitched vocals add an even higher creepiness to the line “I’m not gonna miss you, but I’ll always want to kiss your mouth” on the album highlight ‘She’s A Witch’. Whilst this track is better live, they wouldn’t be the first band to tone down slightly on their debut (both my eyes are firmly directed at you, Ed Sheeran). Along with the short insight into their style and music, this provides a teasing insight into the band, and begs you to see them live and wish for more material to dive into.
‘A Dream Outside’ invites you into Gengahr’s world and slowly but surely slurs along until the relatively short 36 minutes are up. It’s quite like a rollercoaster ride that you love (and is safe, hopefully), and never want to stop. You’ll be back for more, that’s certain – I know I will be.