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Gengahr – Red Sun Titans Review

Stuff it full of tracks, fatty bits and all. This is no lean cut of indie pop power; this is a titan of grand and elongated qualities. If King Krule can do it so too can Gengahr. Fourteen tracks. Take it or leave it. Take it, then. Red Sun Titans is an interesting album, reserving its better moments for its latter half and opening with alienating and shaky introductions. Lossless audio. You can afford to lose this album. Warming up slowly, like a Rustlers in a microwave, Red Sun Titans crashes through its shakier feel with a bit of a focused turn later. Hold tight for the soft indie rock perspectives and the slide guitar subtleties of the title track. Worth it to hear them work janky and layered acoustics into a bass-led track.  

Interesting but never fully formed, the songs Gengahr has under them with Red Sun Titans are wavering and loose. Sometimes it works, as it does with the crunch and liberation found in the instrumental on its title track, but much of the time it slouches around with no interest to be had. Patchy losses and gains mark inconsistent listening. Gliding through A Ladder cements Red Sun Titans for what it is. Light indie pop to stick on with the windows down, to glide through the streets on sunny days. Some of us can’t drive. Environmentalists, or at least this is the excuse given by the man who failed his theory by three marks and decided there and then it wasn’t for him. Roads are safer for it, and one less Gengahr album purchase is made. 

Very flat from start to finish, even the perky ending, the bells and whistles glued to the final tracks, are of little solace. In The Moment picks things up a little, its weightlessness presents the nice flow Gengahr is after but little more. Simpler beats and the coasting electrics followed up on Heels To The Moon bring about the hollow shell Gengahr are constantly crafting. Nice instrumentals, but nothing in the heart of their lyrics. Clunky transitions between minimalism fixations and the Cirque du Soleil. A collection of skippable filler marks Red Sun Titans as nothing large or anything to love. Two interludes to make up for what, exactly? Instrumental snippets the band were fond of but could not fit into their songs. Splash it in there. A dabble of instruments is as good as it gets. 

Pick a lane, Gengahr. White Lightning strikes through as their bottled-up moment of brilliance. Lightning strikes even for the broadest, and where Red Sun Titans frequently suffers, it is worth salvaging for a couple of parts, like a cube-crushed car. Eventually, the album just turns to static. Your brain switches off when the sun is battering down and you can smell a roast dinner on the way. Keep staring down the rises and falls of the nicely-managed Suburbia though, its lighter flourishes come in handy from time to time. Regardless of the instrumentals, the feverish and intermittent quality, none of it quite cuts through the pitch and range necessary for their brand of dream pop. Not quite the nightmare some jokes would be desperate for, but not exactly a sound sleep either.  

Ewan Gleadow
Ewan Gleadow
Editor in Chief at Cult Following | News and culture journalist at Clapper, Daily Star, NewcastleWorld, Daily Mirror | Podcast host of (Don't) Listen to This | Disaster magnet

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