ĠENN are best described as a four-piece alternative post punk band. Yet they are so much more than that. Originally from Malta the transnational group are now based in Brighton, concocting genre blending music that oozes ferocity and power. In 2018 they released their first full length album (the incredibly named Titty Monster) which showcased their DIY punk aesthetic. Now moving into 2021 ĠENN have returned with their Liminal EP, showcasing a different musical dimension whilst staying intrinsically true to their raw punk energy.
Opening track Feel has such a strong hypnotic quality with Leanne Zammit’s bass being the main driving force behind the songs mesmerising aura. The combination of all the instruments and faraway vocals instantly reminded me of The Doors. Feel is such an excellent encapsulation of 70s psychedelia and the experimentation that allowed creativity to flourish in many shapeshifting directions. Yet most importantly, there’s a fresh modern edge to the song with Leona Farrugia’s vocals ethereally beautiful and distant amongst the mysterious backdrop. It’s a stunning piece that really evokes calm and subtle intrigue.
Mackerel’s Funky Mission is pure sunshine in a song, the lyrics dreaming of returning to Malta. I adore the spoken word style in the verses, Farrugia’s vocals sliding into power and seduction with perfect ease before a catchy melodic chorus. Musically, there’s real room for Janelle Borg’s incredible guitar work to shine and flourish in the middle section, forming a beautiful cacophony of experimental and melodic tones.
23rd March is a date that all of us here in the UK remember with no warmth or celebration. Inspired by the date of the first lockdown, 23rd March is punk through and through, condemning the current political situation and the utter failure of handling Covid, Brexit and Black Lives Matter.
The chorus speaks of praying for the souls of Government figureheads which Farrugia explains is “Written in the style of a Maltese expression… In Malta, when someone is seen as “evil”, there’s a tendency to say that you’re gonna pray for someone’s soul since this particular person needs your prayers to be saved.”
23rd March is therefore not only an attack against contemporary injustice but also shows the tenacity and resilience of the human spirit, how we can keep persevering against challenges and evil. It also beautifully showcases the sass and humour often woven into GENN’s lyrical content.
The shortest track on the EP Catalyst opens with cries of revolution and police sirens that I soon realise are Borg’s guitar, a clever effect. Moody and furious, Farrugia’s vocals are empowered and passionate and rallying the cry for change.
Just Another Sad Song does what it says on the tin. A truly sorrowful track where Farrugia’s vocals transcend into mere whispers in the verses that still hold so much emotion. The song kicks into sudden gear at the two and a half minute mark, the instruments intent with Farrugia’s wails over being alone and losing her voice layering perfectly on top.
Final track Falling Out opens with a bassline that is wonderfully fuzzy and grungy. It’s a great track to conclude the album, offering space for Zammit and Borg to expand and demonstrate their instrumental flairs with the backdrop of Sofia Rosa Cooper’s drumming that never falters or bores throughout the EP. Each beat is intentional and furious in the right moments, something that can be said for each member of ĠENN.
At the time of writing this review I was still feeling overwhelmed by the week of horrific news for women in that UK that spawned from International Women’s Day right up to Mother’s Day on the Sunday. Listening to the Liminal EP gave me such a boost of faith and confidence, the product of the power, creativity and relentless spirit of women.
Liminal is an EP worthy of your attention. Its psychedelic, experimental, emotional, raw and powerful but most of all fun. There’s such obvious passion and joy within ĠENN’s music that naturally seeps into the listener and gifts them with positivity and light. And we need that now more than ever.
Highlights: Feel, Mackerel’s Funky Mission
Liminal is released on March 30th via Everything Sucks Music.