Review by Tony Rounce
Let’s face it – lockdown has played havoc with our social calendars, or to the work diaries of the bands we love. Thanks to Covid19, a lot of careers that were very much on the ‘up’ when the world shut down last March will have to be rebuilt from scratch come this summer.
For some, this will be easier to do than for others. I would wholeheartedly suggest that Brighton-via-Malta (and Crawley) foursome ĠENN would not have a whole lot to do to pick up from where Covid19 left them, 12 months ago…
Even in isolation Leona, Janelle, Leanne and Sofia have worked hard at making music and the results of their hard work have a physical manifestation in the form of Liminal – an altogether splendid new 6 track, 12 inch extended player.
The group has been teasing us with digital singles from the EP for several months and the well-received ‘23rd March’, ‘Feel’ and, most recently, this month’s mystical and most certainly funktified ‘Mackerel’s Funky Mission’ – probably ĠENN’s most commercial offering to date, despite the somewhat obscure nature of the narrative – sound all the better for being available physically. These make up the A-side of Liminal – and there are three more goodies to get to grips with once you turn it over.
Once we can all go out and enjoy gigs again, the militant, pounding ‘Catalyst’ is a shoo-in to become a ĠENN live favourite – and the same will apply to ‘Falling Out’, a ripsnortin’ slambanger of a tune propelled by Sofia’s disco drumming and a delicious audio lasagne of layers of Janelle’s ever-busy guitar and Leanne’s rock solid bass. Sandwiched between them, ‘Just Another Sad Song’ is somewhat more than just another one, the false sense of tranquillity that Leona’s whispery crooning of the song promises dissolving as soon as ĠENN bring the noise and change it up into a scream of voluptuous sound that borders on psychedelia – a genre with which their music often flirts successfully – before bringing back to a whisper for the final few bars. Possibly their most ambitious and envelope pushing work to date, it bodes very well for whatever they plan to do next.
In fact, the same can be said for the entire Liminal EP, which shows that lockdown has neither blunted ĠENN’s creativity nor their enthusiasm. Some of the songs here were road tested at their gig at Brixton’s Windmill last December, and were as well received as any of their older material. Even without the physical animation that is an integral part of the quartet’s vibrant stage persona, it’s possible to visualise the high energy that will go into putting the contents of Liminal over live.
Much as I do and you will all enjoy listing to it, we should all keep our fingers crossed that the chance to see ĠENN live will come again soon, In the meantime you can follow them on Facebook, Instagram and most of your other favourite socials.
Liminal is released on vinyl only (at present) on March 30th and is currently available for pre-order via Bandcamp.