Gengahr, a band probably named after a Pokemon, have their second album ready to go, and it’s a twelve track tour of the group’s current capabilities. Where Wilderness Grows is bright and tuneful indie, recorded with Neil Comber at the production controls. Both the CD and the vinyl editions come with a download code for some live recordings. On Transgressive.
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This is making me want to die. I’m not sure why. I think it’s the cocktail of psych pop and optimism; it would be perfect in nearly any scenario that wasn’t this exact and very grey moment I’m currently living in. This is the kind of record that organises its joy like a trifle of layers: I’m currently listening to “Mallory” and moving through heavy wah, bright radio rock riffs and a beautifully reassuring falsetto. It should make me want to pluck a star out of the sky, and I feel like Gengahr are gonna make plenty of us feel like we own the universe.
I actually haven’t listened to anything quite this life-affirming in a long time -- thankfully, Gengahr grow you into their brand of lovely. They sound like they’re joking with that club throb intro of “Is This How You Love” before doing more dance-rock psych, offering squeaky guitars, groovy basslines and a little bit of sparkle in the effects department to sound like two flips of Unknown Mortal Orchestra’s coin. After several croons of “Is this how you loved?” it kinda feels like they’re screaming “are you not entertained?!” into my ear, but I can dig it.
Gengahr are professors of the melodic, so much so that they often mix really brilliant ones with the more anthemic stuff: “I’ll Be Waiting” starts with soft, jangly promise before turning itself into a shiny, expansive plateau of feeling. “Burning Air” opens as fluorescent heavy rock, sounding a little too close to Hooton Tennis Club’s estimation of a good time, while also somehow hinting at the kind of brilliant, whiny hooks of Alex G. They know how to write songs but they’re also fond of exploding them. I find myself, at the end of it all, very fond of 'Where Wildness Grows', but can Gengahr do a quieter record too? Thanks.
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- Where Wilderness Grows by Gengahr
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