Gengahr – A Dream Outside

Gengahr - A Dream OutsideListen to Gengahr’s debut album A Dream Outside for long enough, and an Arcade Fire influence eventually reveals itself. It’s not the most blatant on the album. However with other critics bandying around comparisons to MGMT, Alt-J and Everything Everything, it seems it’s fallen to DrunkenWerewolf to credit the Transgressive signees with something a little more substantial.

That’s not to say these references are unwarranted. The London based four-piece make comparative reviews look extremely attractive. Their sound is steeped in musical heritage, specifically the British indie pop scene. It’s hard not to find other bands buzzing around your head like lord knows what whenever you listen to Gengahr’s music. Approaching something so demanding as an album review threatens to turn the page into a ‘white guitar-playing man with a falsetto voice’ dictionary. Fortunately for everyone involved, Gengahr have cherry-picked the highlights: a woozy, infinitely catchy and coherent amalgamation of the UK scene, circa 2003-2015, can be formed from A Dream Outside alone.

Doubtless the band have creative integrity. The public are already familiar with lead songs “She’s a Witch”, “Dizzy Ghosts” and “Heroine”; all three captivating, fuzzed-out indie pop, complete with loud/quiet crescendos and sing-along lyrics that have Gengahr rub shoulders with peers All We Are. Things get even better with “Embers” and “Lonely as a Shark”, with the latter particularly screaming out for commercial success. It’s in these songs that Gengahr experiment with their dynamics, changing their tempo to incorporate a nearly Rapture-esque funk.

Whether Gengahr have longevity is an argument unto itself. It’s unfair to dismiss A Dream Outside as a ‘scene’ album for the simple fact the songs are too damn good. Besides, plenty of bands have found critical and commercial success off the back of this style of music. However Gengahr’s safe tactic means they fail to make their own impression come the end of the album. For a debut, this is worrying. Gengahr deserve a slap on the back and a free round at the pub, but we're not sure they're going to get it.

Release: 15th June 2015, Trangressive Records


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