Gengahr – Where Wildness Grows

Through their signature dreamy psychedelic vibes, Gengahr are easily one of the freshest rising indie acts currently coming out of the UK. Following their monumental debut of A Dream Outside in 2015, the band have now returned with their second feature release, Where Wildness Grows, bringing with them 12 tracks which each have the power to introduce an all new chapter to this band’s incredible sound.

Without a doubt, the aspect which truly sets Gengahr apart from the crowd is the level of control that vocalist Felix Bushe has over his high tones, being able to pierce the highest of sopranos whilst maintaining a remarkable degree of precision and delicacy. This, combined with the euphorically bliss guitar tones, makes Gengahr’s sound a delight to endure for hours on end. Where Wildness Grows opens with the already released singles ‘Before Sunrise’ and ‘Mallory’, offering a sense of familiarity for existing fans stepping into these tracks, while the upbeat tones set the summer feeling which Gengahr thrive upon.

There is definitely a degree of development to the overall tone of the sound, it simply feels more intense, bigger and brings out everything that make Gengahr so fresh to begin with, whilst simultaneously sanding away any of the rougher edges a lower budget DIY record holds. The record’s namesake track ‘Where Wildness Grows’, is definitely a stand out song and could easily be used as the summary for the entire album. The slower, more atmospheric start soon shifts into a more groove-driven and holistic sound from the bass riff, whilst sharp drums pound at great intensity. This track is five minutes of excellence and shows a perfect evolution from A Dream Outside whilst still including the tenaciousness of Gengahr’s infectious sound.

There is genuinely little to fault from this record, it has everything that you’d expect from a progressive band on the uprising. The choruses are chant worthy and the overall diversity of both the upbeat and slower songs really makes the pacing of the record blossom as the listen goes on, so you never quite knowing what is coming next. The guitar work in tracks such as ‘Blind Truth’ ring brilliantly and the occasional addition of streaking solo notes leave a huge impact whilst the bass continues to provide the upbeat bounce underneath the track. Meanwhile, ’Burning Air’ is an interesting addition to the record as it introduces us to a far fuzzier, almost grunge-like, sound which we’ve not really seen Gengahr dabble in this much before. Either way, it suits Felix’s delicate tones surprisingly well and has definitely opened a new door of exploration for the band to consider.

Where Wildness Grows is a record which has proven that Gengahr weren’t just a passing name and are instead a well formulated band who more than know their place within the industry. This record is no filler and the sound is continuously delivering a fresh and unique feel which no other band around at the moment are capable of matching to such a high calibre. Gengahr may have taken a step away from the DIY sound which first drew me to them but, instead, have replaced it with something far more slick and better than I ever could have imagined. The summer months will see this album truly reaching its prime and so many will become staples of summer playlists. I can definitely see Where Wildness Grows contending for record of the year, this is the kind of album which, when you reach its end, you can’t help but replay, a phenomenal follow up that the band should be incredibly proud of.

Ben Walker