In need of a little time out from the world? Brighton quartet ĠENN’s latest release Liminal is a more than suitable antidote. Casting a shoegaze spell on punk, the new EP takes a trip through psychedelic grooves and funky rhythms. Less head in the clouds and more feeling empowered, it is made for playing loud and letting go.
Right from the get go, there is something inherently classic about the sound of Liminal. In particular is The Doors’ influence on opening track ‘Feel’, leanding a smooth finish to their DIY aesthetic. Sensory language puts us directly in the narrative of a drug induced trip, as the music channels in to a trance at the bridge. It creates a sense of reaching a high and wanting to stay, which is very much akin to the thrill of listening to this track and the subsequent desire to fall headfirst in to the rest of the EP.
The tempo slows to a deep funk with ‘Mackerel’s Funky Mission’, as vocalist Leona Farrugia tells a story of escapism through the soul of a fish living free in vast waters. It is a mindset used to release oneself from the hold of various lockdowns from the past year, and any other situations that can be mentally jarring. Spoken word verses create a very real sense of getting out there, even if not today or tomorrow, but someday, and builds to an ecstatic vocal release at even just the thought of it happening. A rousing ride to get us pumped for the freedom that awaits in the hopefully not too distant future.
Of course, with freedom comes standing up to authority, and this is where the punk mentality comes out strong in ’23rd March’. Calling upon the political side of the events of this past year, this track stands to attention and creates a riot in words, while taking a contrastingly mellow musical tone in grooving guitars. It is an overall calm approach to addressing the setbacks caused by recent events.
That is not to say that there isn’t a fire burning underneath, and sure enough, the aptly named ‘Catalyst’ follows to unleash that fury. Chants of “REVOLUTION” sound an alarm in protest before an insistent drum beat rhythm comes in to add weight to the riot. ĠENN sound frustrated and fed up, exasperated and emotional. It is a powerful release of energy served up raw and rich with tenacity.
‘Just Another Sad Song’ follows, slowing down to something a little more gentle, making way for the guitar alone to stand out with pangs of emotion. Add to that the soft vocals in the verses, cushioning the strain of those in the chorus. This is a very tonal song with so much more to be said in the music and vocal details than the words themselves. A tender moment, making the EP as a whole all the more powerful for it.
Ending on a high note, Liminal closes with the infectious ‘Falling Out’. With impulsive foot tapping and singing along a must, this ecstatic number is for sure the best way to close the EP. From starting up soothingly feel good before going through the motions, to then come full circle with an extra hit of energy in this last track – you just couldn’t write it better.
Liminal is out now via Everything Sucks Music and available to buy and stream here. ĠENN have also been confirmed for this year’s online edition of The Great Escape (13th-14th May). Tickets available here.