ALBUM: ĠENN – ‘Liminal’

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.

Ken Wynne
@ken_wynne

Photo Credit: Bridie Florence

LISTEN: L.A. Witch – ‘Gen-Z’

There’s a hazy feeling that comes with listening to the music of Californian trio L.A. Witch. Their grungy vocals and psychedelic guitars have a way of transporting you to the Californian desert with the taste of last night’s whiskey on your breath.

The band have a unique way of combining vintage appeal with fresh subject matter and ‘Gen-Z’ is the perfect example of this. A four minute track inspired by the high suicide rates among Generation Z due to the pressures of existing in a social media age. Of the track, guitarist & vocalist Sade Sanchez expands:

“When I was a kid, music and guitar was my escape. Music was how I fought through my depressions. What will the future do to get through it?… With constant pressure to be perfect and information/advertisements and brainwashing constantly being shoved in your face, you become a product of your environment. ‘Gen-Z’ is about being a slave to technology, specifically to our phones.”

L.A. Witch’s 2017 self-titled debut oozed swagger through its laidback sound, possibly due to the band’s organic and slow-paced songwriting process. But upcoming album Play With Fire came to be under different circumstances; between their hectic touring schedule, studio availability, and the timeline for releasing records, they found themselves with only two months to do the bulk of the writing.

Despite the limited time frame, however, ‘Gen-Z’ showcases a band on top form; with its gritty energy and swirling bewitching haze, it’s a perfectly hypnotic slice of psych-infused desert rock.

 

Play With Fire, the upcoming album from L.A. Witch, is set for release 21st August via Suicide Squeeze Records. 

 

Ellie Ball
@ellie__ball

 

 

Track Of The Day: Something Leather – ‘Trip To The Sun’

A smouldering, psych-tinged, existential exploration of where we are, vs where we want to be; Brighton three-piece Something Leather are pushing the boundaries with their latest single, ‘Trip To The Sun’. Released via We Can Do It Records, the track is loosely inspired by the character of Icarus from Greek mythology.

Formed of Phillie Etta Jane (vocals/organ), Greg Pass (guitar) and Mike Nussbaum (drums), Something Leather have been cutting their teeth on the London & Brighton live circuits for a few years now. Their dark creations are a captivating blend of old and new sounds; the vintage organ that Phillie plays combines perfectly with Greg’s distorted guitar noises, and Mike’s rhythmic drum beats.

The band articulately describe the context of new track ‘Trip To The Sun’ as “a sarcastic take on the “Fall of Icarus”. It deals with our constant desire to escape from a deadly routine, and the fear that pushing too far might consume you. It has a frenetic pace, western B-movie shootout feel and layers of post-punk and psychedelia on top.”

Something Leather are set to release their debut EP Midnight Reverie on 17th April, and we’re psyched to hear more of their altruistic, alternative sounds. Listen to ‘Trip To The Sun’ below, and follow Something Leather on Spotify & Facebook for more updates.

Photo credit: Jessie Morgan

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something – ‘Keytar’

Having previously wowed us with their kaleidoscopic offerings, including EP Someone Else To Blame and the powerful hypnotic energy of singles ‘Helen Is A Reptile’ and ‘Find A Place’, GIHE fave Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something has now shared a brand new single.

Inspired by a frayed childhood and fractured memories, ‘Keytar (I Was Busy)’ oozes the distinctive soaring majesty of Jemma’s vocals and swirling, twinkling hooks, creating a colourful slice of psychedelia, filled with raw emotion and an energised electro twist. Of the track, Jemma expands:

“… my mum died when I had just turned 21 and this song tries to communicate across astral planes and ages, switching aspect between mother and child, present and past feelings, making sense of none of them and trying to hold on to it all.”

‘Keytar (I Was Busy)’ now comes complete with an accompanying trippy video of the band venturing through the Woolwich Tunnel. Of the video, Jemma explains:

Made in collaboration with filmmaker Taylan Mutaf over the course of half a year and edited across continents the video itself serves as a nonsensical time-capsule, Taylan is traditionally a documentary maker so there is an irony that we have made a document to an imaginary time, in a mythical tunnel and shot with deliberate abstraction.”

Oh Really, What’s That Then? , the new album from Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something, is out 18th October via Trapped Animal Records and Cargo Records. Pre-order here. Catch Jemma Freeman and The Cosmic Something live at the launch party on 3rd October at Set, Dalston. 

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Suzi Corker