REVIEW album Old Subbacultcha Old Subbacultcha

Gengahr Channel The ‘90s With Sparkling Debut

Old Subbacultcha

Old Subbacultcha

Join the North London weirdos as they revive the lost art of the chorus.

“What about the voice of Geddy Lee, how did it get so high?” asked Pavement once of the Rush frontman. “I wonder if he speaks like an ordinary guy?”

The same question comes up when listening to helium-voiced Gengahr singer/guitarist Felix Bushe strut his stuff on the band’s debut LP, ‘A Dream Outside’. His unconventional delivery goes someway to explain he and his group’s outsider charms.

Not that he’s out of key, of course, though Gengahr are certainly on a different register to the bulk of their psyche rock peers.

For starters, ‘A Dream Outside’ skips any of the trendy ‘80s shoegaze or synth sounds entirely in favour of cues from at least a decade later.

There’s something of the glorious ‘90s about this band, from the quiet/loud dynamics of opener ‘Dizzy Ghosts’ - a chance for guitarist John Victor to whip out his inner Kevin Shields - through to The Bends era Radiohead riffage of ‘Powder’.

Best of all is the minor key brilliance of 'Heroine', every bit as sinister and sleazy as the Suede song of the same name. “All I ask is that you wait for me,” pleads Bushe as Victor’s guitar runs weave with abandon.

Gengahr also tend to go against the grain with their fondness for a chorus, a lost art in these days of Aldi Indie. Take for example reverb-soaked closer ‘Trampoline’ and its, er, bouncy sunshine key change that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Bluetones album (not a bad thing).

“I like it when we’re high,” croons Bushe on the hook. How did he get so high? I dunno, but after it’s all over you never want to come down.

To find out more about Genghar
click here. To visit the Genghar Facebook page
click here. Words by Gary Shepherd