RELEASE DATE: 01/05/16
RECORD COMPANY: 1980 Records
Think of a heartbreak so huge, it’s almost impossible to understand. That’s what’s at the core of Sheboygan band Geena’s debut album Modal. Released earlier this year, the eight tracks are expansive, with an insistent emotional power that means this is a record to return to. Geena wear their 90s influences on their sleeve – named after actress Geena Davies, they have a clear sonic connection with the founders of shoegaze. But it’s not the only influence on show and when combined with formidable song-writing skills, it’s elevated beyond a pale copy of the good old days.
The opening notes of Wilt set the scene, with its reverb ringing out into the void. Floating is simply beautiful. The slow-strummed guitars bloom with fuzz and reverb, almost ready to leave the ground. The spare bassline and pounding drums keep it anchored in reality and the vocal is anthemic and anguished. Satellite squalls and wails. The soothing sounds of Sleep help us drift into dreamland. Layers and layers of guitars open Hum/ Atrophy. With its mellow melodies, it is melancholy and glowing and gorgeous.
Gone is an interesting construction, with elements of hardcore evident. But then it all slows down and this, combined with a vulnerable vocal, means the track crackles with emotional charge. Epic closing track Home starts with a tremendous tom-heavy drumbeat. The guitars soar and roar, sometimes restrained, sometimes less so, but always big, bright and bold.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
In her time, Sarah Cuthbert-Kerr has attended raves and rock clubs. She enjoys pedals, pizza and spy dramas. Sarah also plays guitar in Edinburgh-based noisemakers Wozniak and is co-founder of Morningside Young Team who put on gigs and put out records for discerning audiences who enjoy fuzz and confusion.