The Brighton-based four piece Ġenn are back with a new EP (or at 20 minutes and six tracks mini-album?) Liminal – and it’s an absolute riot to listen to. Mixing together psychedelia, punk and funk into some kind of musical voodoo, this is an album that embraces its diverse influences with open arms, and delivering just enough to leave you wanting – no – needing more.
Feel kicks us off with some tasty hypnotic bass and sparse guitar (and cowbells!), setting the scene for some pretty hypnotic grooves from the band that support the rather sweeping and addictive vocals from Leona Farrugia. The track builds on this energy until we’re treated to the track’s mesmeric conclusion.
Taken to this hypnotic state means Mackerel’s Funky Mission feels the perfect follow on from Feel and is quite possibly my favourite track on the whole E.P. and it feels quite normal to be listening to a song that follows the dream of a mackerel to travel to Malta. And hey, I felt a little bit sorry for the funky mackerel too, his friends laughing at them. Dude, I’m rooting for you and in my head I know you made it to enjoy that fucking wild grass!
23rd March takes on a slightly darker tone. We’re still treated to the tight rhythms and loops that so successfully guided us through the first two tracks but the heavier guitar and more urgent vocals start to draw us into a more serious note. But this is so skillfully done at no time does this feel out of place. On the contrary, I felt like I was being taken on a journey. Life is made up of lighter and darker moments and so is this EP and 23rd March guides us perfectly into the more serious half of the album.
Catalyst starts off with chants for Revolution and is soon backed up with purposeful and confident guitar riffs. Leona’s vocals “I wanna be in the middle of it all, And how will I make it?” really draw you in. Close your eyes and you can imagine being there, the raw energy of change coursing through the song, and maybe even a hint of optimism that it can be achieved as the words “We’re awake now! Yeah, we’re awake now!” ring through.
Just another Sad Song grounds brings us back down to earth with is melancholy and sultry tone. Muted guitar and sparse bass and percussion give the vocals room to breathe which really helps to give them a sultry, tainted edge until the song grows into a cacophony of sound before just as quickly diminishing into nothingness.
Falling Out closes of the EP perfectly, a slightly more poppy edge the track still retains a darker edge that makes the track feel distinctly Ġenn. They sing about how it was never going to last, and yet I get the distinct impression this album is going to be a regular on my turntable. We’re not falling out just yet!
So here we are at the end of the EP, and the end of the review. Ġenn’s sound may draw inspiration from multiple genres, but they manage to skillfully draw them together and make something that sounds distinctly… well.. Ġenn. Liminal may be a transitional sound for the band – but whatever they do next I am already sold.