Album Review: Gengahr – A Dream Outside

Gengahr
A Dream Outside
Release Date: 15th June 2015

After an impressive string of singles, that has seen this band played on 6Music, featured on blogs and in the music press and gaining plenty of fans around the country and the world, the Gengahr lads have finally released their much anticipated debut album. ‘A Dream Outside’ is bound to be the culmination of plenty of hard work from the band that should take these four from an awesome act known to a few to a great act bound to be a highlight of this summer’s festival bills.

We open this debut LP with the calm build up of ‘Dizzy Ghosts’ as softly plucked guitar backs up a piercing vocal which flits constantly between strained notes and harmonious singing. The choruses are chaotic with the mass of drums and cymbals along with swirling guitars, making it feel like the dizzy ghosts of the title have come to life in musical form.

After the opening track comes a trio of previous releases starting off with ‘She’s A Witch’ where a calm build up of folky guitar plucks precede high pitched vocals and a steady percussive rhythm. Those drums hold everything together while the track grows through the addition of elements such as a swirling retro guitar giving a trippy, throwback feel, evident in the vocals too making this is a great dreamy, psychedelic inspired track and just perfect for hazy summer days.

Next comes ‘Heroine’ with a build up reminiscent of a subdued version of Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Since You’ve Been Gone’. High pitched, hazy vocals are placed over the top of melodies that play around each other from steady, flowing lines in the verses to bigger notes of the choruses. It is those melodies that makes this one so catchy becoming somewhat of an earworm. Finally we have ‘Bathed In Light’ with its dreamlike sounds and lethargic vocals along with a vintage edge making it a truly wonderful track from the off. Great melodies will see you swaying along whilst still managing to be one of those ethereal wonders that comes around every so often letting you fully lose yourself within the whimsical sounds.

It is the middle section of the album which I find the most intriguing though as ebbing and flowing guitar chords creating a flowing melody open ‘Where I Lie’ carrying us through delicate verses and mellow, hazy choruses; as the tempo picks up screeching riffs and pounding drums end this on a rock fuelled note. It is next track ‘Dark Star’ though where the band truly shine as we start on a jazzy, soulful tone, all funky bass lines and classic percussive rhythms. This is a great middle point to the album giving a chilled out vibe making it the perfect track to sit back and relax to. This one may be a short instrumental track but I love this as it not only showcases the band’s musical abilities but also their confidence to just let the music do the talking.

Another previous release ‘Powder’ is all lo-fi indie with a chillout vibe and nostalgic undertones. Killer riffs and layered backing vocals in the choruses give this a huge sound, becoming a track that is totally in your face, for the best reasons possible. The change from sleepier sounds to the rock and roll of the choruses is a great juxtaposition and shows another side to this band.

As we near the end of the album, echoey vocals carry us through the hazy, baggy influenced ‘Lonely As A Shark’ sitting triumphantly on top of fuzzy guitar strums and a consistent rhythm from softly hit drums. The end of the track sees the rock side of the band come out with big riffs and disorder from hi-hats and drum beats. For final track ‘Trampoline’ it is a chilled out effort as lethargic vocals reverberate around along with screeching, high pitched guitar notes creating a stunning modern day 90’s shoegaze meets 60’s psychedelia song. As you sway along to the drawn out sounds, you get lulled into the psychedelic, laid back world of Gengahr, which seems to be an absolutely brilliant place to be.

Check out the awesome ‘Powder’, a previous single taken from the LP:

To find out more about Gengahr visit their website, their Facebook page, their Soundcloud page or you can follow them on Twitter – @gengahr

Credits

Album Cover [source – transgressiverecords.com

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