13 Jun 2015

Gengahr / A Dream Outside (album review)

At Vapour Trail we've had a bit of a shake up, and at the moment, we're welcoming lots of new writers into our fold. This is the first piece by Isobel McLeod, who's from Birmingham - it's a review of the hotly anticipated Gengahr debut album

Gengahr, a dreamy four piece from London, open their debut album with Felix’s ringing vocals on Dizzy Ghosts. From the very beginning the album is full of guitar pop with mesmerising choruses. The three singles She’s A Witch, Heroine and Bathed In Light follow, and all three are slightly similar with the trademark falsetto vocals and polished guitars.The album takes a turn at ‘Dark Star’ with it’s very chilled, easy listening vibe. Instead of full vocals ‘Dark Star’ features some distortion and a use of silences which showcases their ability to do things outside the typical indie pop song.

However the album then carries on very much as it started without a lot of difference. Like their live performance,the music is left to stand on it’s own without a big message behind it. A very good album, but does leave the question of where Gengahr will go next. For example whether they will continue to produce songs with a heavy emphasis on the chorus like Fill My Gums With Blood or more distorted songs like Dark Star. There are obvious dreamy, psychedelic influences such as Tame Impala on the album, and their (really great) guitar heroes playlist shows more guitar-driven influences such as Sonic Youth, Thee Oh Sees and Fugazi. The album conveys the layered textures of these bands, but is nowhere near as heavy.

Overall this is a great but easy to listen to album, although quite repetitive. It's a promising start, and personally, I am looking forward to seeing where they turn next.

A Dream Outside is out on Monday, you can buy it here