GENN – Catalyst (Everything Sucks Music)

GENN – Catalyst (Everything Sucks Music)

Lifted from recent EP Liminal Brighton-based musical riot GENN release their ‘call to arms’ single Catalyst, along with a live version of Feel. 

Genn by Holly WhittakerArtist: GENN
Track: Catalyst
Label: Everything Sucks Music
Released: 27 August 2021
Find it: Bandcamp | Spotify

As everything slowed in a world nudged toward necessary solitude the fractures in society seemed to grow wider, faster. A supercut of horrors came whichever way you faced, feelings of helplessness flourished in the quietness of our on-hold lives. The path of least resistance sure looked tempting at times, the bliss of ignorance longed for at times.

But now is not the time to luxuriate in turning from what doesn’t directly affect us, it is the time to stand together. It is this call to ‘stay awake’ central to Catalyst, most recent single from multi-national Brighton-based GENN. With cycling guitar, a weight-shifting sway of rhythm, and snarling, squalling vocals, this is the pause before the punch. Held tight in the recording this track is contained fury, runs of repeated refrains, and certainly serves well as a call to arms.

Vocalist Leona Farrugia said of Catalyst, “The word ‘revolution’ has often been used in more grand ways throughout collective history, but ‘Catalyst’ started as more of a personal rediscovery, realising that everyday is a ‘work in progress’ in order to wake up from the coma of tradition. In previous years, I understood the importance of moving forwards, doing my best to cast off the shackles of the past. In this sense, the song acts as a way to remember that change starts from within.”

A b-side in the form of a live version of previous single Feel recorded at the Close Encounter Club adds the rawness you’d expect from a live recording to the hazy psych track.

When we wrote about it at the time we said, ‘From heart-racing rhythms the track slowly expands, the punctuation of percussion acting as an anchor against which the loose-limbed vocal line tugs languidly as the song stretches and edges beyond its boundaries. It is a track which hints at escape, a lure toward seeming liberation that softly destroys as you sink into it. What it’s thankfully not – as so many gaze-infused psych-pop tracks turn out to be – is self-indulgent or excessive: this roomy track carries no slack.’ In this live version we hear all that, muted slightly perhaps, but more immediate for having been recorded in the moment.

Lifted from their brilliant recent EP Liminal Catalyst and Feel these tracks continue to draw you in to the musical riot orchestrated by GENN. Long may it continue.

Catalyst by GENN is out digitally now via Everything Sucks Music. EP liminal is in pre-order for a second vinyl pressing and is available in this and other formats on Bandcamp. The band are on tour across the UK with TV Priest this autumn, as well as headline dates and festival appearances.

Find GENN: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Spotify | Bandcamp

Band image: Holly Whittaker

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Sarah Lay

Sarah Lay is editor of Popoptica.
A long-standing music journalist she's also co-founder of independent record label Reckless Yes, an author of novels, and when not messing around with words and music, a digital strategist.
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