Made for playing loud, Brighton-based genre-blenders ĠENN have released Liminal, an extended play that takes us on an audible journey of post-punky psychedelia. Following the release of their debut record, 2018’s Titty Monster (released under their previous name, Cryptic Street), ĠENN left their Maltese archipelago in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea to shoegaze at the British seaside, crafting six tracks that clearly define their transition to a more free-flowing sound, whilst still staying intrinsically true to their DIY punk-rock ethos.
Opening with ‘Feel’, Leanne Zammit’s funky basslines and Leona Farrugia’s ethereal vocals build to a hypnotic hazy, wavy kaleidoscopic conclusion of psychedelic instrumentation; perfectly encapsulating all the elements of seventies acid rock such as The Doors. Next up, Janelle Borg hooks us in (pun intended) with a cacophony of melodic guitar riffs on ‘Mackerel’s Funky Mission’, whilst Leona’s seductive spoken word escapism is steeped in mesmerising, rolling percussion, courtesy of Sofia Rosa Cooper. It’s fun to pretend you’re something else, so why not pretend to be a fish?
’23rd March’ – a date we here in the UK will not reflect upon with any warmth – forces us back to reality with passionate lyrics concerning the current political landscape, written in the style of Maltese expression. Leona prays for the souls of an inept Government and their failure in handling Covid-19, Brexit and Black Lives Matter. “I’m just gonna say a lil’ prayer for your soul / Yeah, we ain’t gonna stop ’cause you told us so!”
Chants for revolution see ĠENN exploring darker territories with the more politically direct and raw ‘Catalyst’; a furious combination of scuzzy guitar riffs, rumbling beats, and anthemic, indignant Riot Grrrl lyrics rallying for change: “We’re awake now / Stay awake now!”
‘Just Another Sad Song’ follows with a slow burn of emotionally-driven melody, making way for Janelle’s guitar to flourish – a tender moment further showcasing the versatility of the band – before ‘Falling Out’ concludes Liminal with an upbeat fusion of fuzzy basslines, grungy guitar licks, disco-influenced percussion, and a catchy Warpaint-esque chorus that will stay with you long after the needle is lifted.
With Liminal, ĠENN have produced an infectious record that frequently flirts with psychedelia and flows with pop sensibilities; 22 minutes of raw, escapism-fuelled post-punk – worthy of repeat spins – that displays the passion and confidence of a band not afraid to experiment with their sound without compromise. “Take me to my destination / You know where I wanna go!”
Liminal is out now via Everything Sucks Music.
Photo Credit: Bridie Florence