New Track: ĠENN – ‘A Reprise (That Girl)’

A Reprise (That Girl)‘, the latest single from Anglo-Maltese quartet ĠENN, is deeply introspective; cleverly constructed to offer provocative commentary. While it has plenty of its own comments to make, it wants you to go on your own journey with the lyrics and the atmosphere generated by the music – it wants you to take the moment you spend with it and reflect on your own experiences of the world.

The track begins with a throbbing techno-infused bass line, accompanied by a repetitive, catchy drum beat that buries its way into your ear and refuses to leave. The two combine to create the sensation of a funky futuristic production line. The sound is hypnotic and dystopian and addictive; easy to picture glazed-eyed, blank-faced automatons moving to it. Of the track, ĠENN say that it’s designed to reflect “technological gratification”, and this comes through loud and clear in just the opening bars. The instinct to lurch towards technology after just a moment left alone with your own thoughts lurks there in the motions of the beat.

The vocals are delivered deadpan and low, subtle yet dangerous. They have the tension of an elastic band about to snap, of a predator preparing to leap. The lyrics are comprised of moments that create a complete picture of existence, from the perspective of someone floating through the day but not quite engaged with it. They capture feelings, the essence of an experience, more than explicitly describing a day in a life. It leaves you free to project on them whatever in your life inspires that sense of malnutrition, catharsis, futility, nature’s sedative.

The mood shifts from soft-spoken, passive apathy to revolutionary rage as the track ramps up into its climactic moments. It gives the song a sense of hope, if only people could throw off the shackles of repetitive oppression and work to rebuild the world in a more exciting way. It launches the song into its final, powerful declaration – “Death upon the mundane/Death upon the many” – creating an immense empowering anthem, oozing a fierce impassioned drive.

Mixed by Tom Hill and mastered by Katie Tavini, ‘A Reprise (That Girl)’ is out now via Liminal Collective. Catch ĠENN live at The Great Escape on 11th May at The Brunswick for Off Axis / Miro Co-labs stage.

Kirstie Summers

Photo Credit: Jordan Core

New Track: Cosmic Ninja – ‘Cardiac Unrest’

Living up to the vibe you might expect of a band called Cosmic Ninja, their newest track ‘Cardiac Unrest‘ is a fast-paced futuristic banger. 

Kicking off with a low but bouncy bass riff throbbing through the first few bars, it rapidly ramps up with a raucous, powerful rage, as strings and synths leap into the fray. The resulting soundscape feels like a battlefield – exciting and dangerous, rushing with righteous adrenaline. The lyrics match this energy; phrases like “step up step up, we’re not messing around, we’re gonna hold our ground” are delivered with an infectious passion. It’s difficult to listen to this song and not end up on the band’s side against the oppressive forces they’re facing off against.

Blending a sense of personal determination (“I’m doing my own thing and i don’t give a fuck what you think”) with an undefined foe that feels much wider-reaching (“we’ve got to put a stop to this somehow”), the lyrics are left open for you to project your own concerns onto, whether you’re worried about bigoted governments with too much power or a single bully persecuting you alone. Regardless, the energy is the same. The synths scream and the drums roll like thunder; inspiring all the fury and confidence required to stand up and fight back.

The track ramps up to a screaming crescendo, before rolling back into the chorus then ending abruptly on the “we aren’t fucking backing down”. There is no room for misinterpretation here: ‘Cardiac Unrest’ is a statement, a promise and a threat all in one.

Kirstie Summers

Photo Credit: Rupert Gammond

New Track: Weekend Recovery – ‘No Guts All The Glory’

The second track taken from their forthcoming LP Esoteric, ‘No Guts, All The Glory’ solidifies the fuzzy guitars and catchy refrains fast becoming central to Weekend Recovery’s sound. Much like their first single ‘Chemtrails’, the band’s latest release blends emotional delivery and screaming guitars that make for one hell of an earworm.

‘No Guts, All The Glory’ hits you with fierce drums right from the start. The beat comes in loud and hard, before guitars and vocals quickly ramp up to full energy and stay there. The drums are quick, the guitars are fuzzy and the vocals are so rich with feeling you can’t help but be absorbed into the narrative. In true Weekend Recovery style, the lyrics pull no punches. Without going into the he-said-she-said details, the track calls out the lies and hypocrisy of someone going out of their way to take credit for other people’s achievements – “Well don’t you wanna take the glory, someone else’s work of art!”

Two vocalists sing alternate lines, giving the track a sense of ambiguity. They could just as easily be yelling at each other as ganging up on a third subject who has offended them both. Either way, the hurt is unmissable. Both vocalists evoke utter disdain and contempt for whoever has inspired the song. They lash back in a blunt, uncompromising refusal to play along. They can acknowledge the manipulative behaviour, but rise above it and get on with their lives – You can brag about me, I won’t talk about you”. There’s even a trace of laughter behind the words, as if mirth has become the only reaction left when watching someone try so hard and still fail to take you down.

This playful undercurrent suits the light, upbeat melody and bouncy rhythm – it makes the song a joy to listen to. The rage in it is cathartic whilst acknowledging the absurdity of people who choose to create more drama in a world that has enough problems already.

Esoteric, the upcoming album from Weekend Recovery, is set for release this Spring.

Kirstie Summers

Photo Credit: Jess Johnson

EP: wormboys – ‘smalltime’

Infused with the intense vulnerability they are fast becoming known for, smalltime is the latest EP from wormboys. The Leeds-based four-piece have a distinct sound that mixes an eccentric mashup of genres into a unique experimental style. The EP is made up of three tracks – ‘something pretty’, ‘worm’ and ‘tree’.

something pretty’ kicks off with a solid rhythm; the throbbing bass riff and steady drum beat settle in before the screaming guitar leaps in over the top. Higher pitched vocals ring clear above the growling combination of drums and strings, whilst the vocals wail over the grungy, fuzzy music – a howling tribute to queer hedonism. The lyrics and instruments blend in a way that swirls and flows, evoking smoke and glowsticks and swaying movements that aren’t quite balanced, but aren’t quite ready to topple over either. The track draws you into the intoxicating moment it depicts, then spits you out at the other end wishing for it back.

The next track, ‘worm’, is softer; low strings twinkle gently over a subtler beat. The little tune is almost mournful as deeper vocals carry the lyrics, soft and low, drifting like mist. A second vocal – higher, this time – highlights the melody in a distant, ghostly cry whilst in the background there are crackles that almost sound as if there might be something wrong with your speaker. They ramp up as the song gathers energy into a raw, powerful wail of guitar. Upon a repeat listen, those early crackles are wonderfully foreboding. The combination of the soft vocals and the guitars sound like a trapped scream, as it needles into your head with its fierce sense of neurosis and paranoia. This is a great track for showing off the band’s experimental side, using homemade pedals to create a unique distortion on the strings – it is distinctly wormboys, blasting the honest emotion already at the core of their sound.

Finally, we reach ‘tree’, which chugs to a throbbing start that echoes the distorted crackle of the last track, then drifts into a fuller, rounder tune. It has brighter chords and a simple but catchy riff played over strings that dance around each other. Although it couldn’t be called cheerful, the opening bars are misleadingly bouncy. When the vocals kick in, they are pained, ripping through the false pep and thrusting the feeling into the song – if it didn’t fit so perfectly with the rest of the track, you might imagine the vocal line is unprepared. It sounds spontaneous, spilling out all the pain without plan or direction. The music drops away to let the outburst shine, leaving a sense of isolation in the verses until the instruments leap back in for chorus with a harder punch.

As a whole, smalltime combines three exciting tracks to create a fantastic platform to launch wormboys into the next stage of their career. The EP shows off a huge range of skill in just three short tracks, showing off both a mastery of popular styles as well as an undeniable talent for creating altogether new sounds. 

Kirstie Summers