Gengahr: A Dream Outside

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Gengahr (we’ve no idea how to pronounce it — Gengarrr as in “Gengarrrr me ‘arties?”) are a rather hyped band, and one of those myriad of “next big things” knocking about at any one time.
At first listen, it’s both hard and easy to say why: easy because their slightly stoned, pleasant pop and falsetto vocals make them an easy comparison with MGMT, the next big thing of a few years back. Harder because they sound just like MGMT; what’s the big deal?
Tracks 1-3 float by quite pleasantly, and there’s no denying that they can write sweet little pop tunes, She’s A Witch in particular. But then along rolls up track four Bathed In Light and the album starts to veer from “just like MGMT”; first with a deviation from the norm with the drums (sticking the side of the drum rather than the high hats, we think), which gives the song a little pertness, the guitars and vocals go a bit wacky, and then there’s a weird out-of-kilter, almost out-of-tune synth solo, before the chorus comes back as if nothing ever happened.
This trick of sounding conventional and then transmogrifying temporarily into the sound of witches chilling out after praying to Gaia typifies the album.
The excellent upbeat Embers has some kind of electronic meltdown not once but twice; early single Fill My Gums with Blood has a nice, slow groove, is about vampires and is also slightly leftfield.
We like it, though it’s a bit short, so live they’re going to struggle to fill a set without resorting to long instrumental sections (or MGMT covers) but we can recommend the album and we’d hope to catch them live soon.
They’re touring with the Maccabees and playing some festies but have their own tour in the autumn, including 15th October at the Deaf Institute in Manchester.

About jerobear

Weekly newspaper editor in Cheshire, England. I blog my editorials and the CDs I write about. I play drums, drink coffee, play music, meditate. I hate filling in forms.

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