Gengahr show a glimpse of what could be a very bright future for the band, but this album still needs some fine tuning.
Gengahr has released their second studio album Where Wildness Grows, and whilst it shows the band progressing and honing in on their delicate indie sound, they leave enough scope for improvement. The band have clearly submitted to their creative surplus, with quantity prevailing over quality in this case.
Where Wildness Grows displays Gengahr’s flamboyant growth and untamed expression but still needs to have some of its weeds picking out. Even at only twelve songs long, the album becomes tedious after only a few tracks, often feeling repetitive with each track merging into the next in a feral stream of consciousness. The standout tracks from the album are undoubtedly the lead singles ‘Mallory’ and ‘Carrion’. The former is a successful showcase of the band’s newfound jaunty up-tempo beat overlaid with ethereal vocals and a guitar-driven melody with lead vocalist Felix Bushe tackling the enigmatic chorus “Cut from a shadow / The darkest ground / Seeing is believing / But I won’t be found”. ‘Carrion’ on the other hand is a much heavier song, showing an edgier and more rock-focused side to the band. However, aside from the odd surprise, like the laidback sophistication of ‘Pull Over (Now)’, the remainder of Where Wildness Grows blends into a homogenous background of unmemorable indifference. Tracks like ‘Left in Space’ and ‘Rising Tides’ don’t really add anything of importance and just act as filler.
That being said, Where Wildness Grows seems to be the makings of a turning point for Gengahr. Whilst being slightly messy, the London based four piece have found an identity, a clear sense of what it means to be Gengahr. There is elegance to be found, as a tinge of stylishness and class provide a solid foundation in lines like “Tipping forces greet us down / So when the sky falls out of throne / But be my eyes to carry us / Burning down the start again”, from the urbane bridge of ‘Carrion’. Almost abandoning their brooding melancholy from previous album A Dream Outside, this latest release shows an optimism in both lyrical and musical content, but also in stepping in the right direction to what will eventually be the release of their full unquestionable potential. Ultimately, they need to refine the wildness, because amongst the dangling shrubbery is a core of indie rock purity that, when cultured, will be sure to attract the attention that this band deserve.
Where Wildness Grows is available now via Transgressive Records