For most bands it is a lottery, throwing your hat (and crucially your talent) into the ring with all the other like-minded souls with nothing more than the dream of riches (or at the very least a modicum of attention) in mind. The very notion of failure rarely occupies the thoughts of up and comers though because hope nearly always overrides the cold steely facts that for most it will all end in tears or worse still apathy. In most cases you’d have a better chance becoming president of the United States than making a living as a musician but this fact hardly seems to dampen that early enthusiasm. But boy are we thankful for those incandescent debut albums that appear from nowhere, recordings that are authentic, youthful and with enough vim to take your breath away.
We’ve never heard of a get-together at SXSW where the new kids on the block have the opportunity to meet the grizzled weather-beaten types at the other end of the band lifecycle. A chance for those as yet unfazed by one of the hardest industries to rub shoulders with fellow musical practitioners who have been there, done that and quite literally worn (out) the t-shirt. It’d be an interesting discussion and one that could undoubtedly benefit both. Who knows but that undeniable twinkle could be enough for that hard nose to revitalise a passion that has slowly but unerringly been quenched over a dozen years spent hauling heavy equipment through the dark cesspits of indiedom. Likewise the hard nose could dampen the twinkle to a point where jumping head first into something without thinking it through might not actually be taken that lightly.
But taking a chance is what bands as promising as London’s Gengahr do and in the process leave us with fully formed opuses like ‘Powder’ which will take pride of place on their yet to be released debut album. Whether they’d be better off ploughing their resources into Euro Palace is open to question but for now there are plenty who are placing their bets on Gengahr being one of 2015’s hottest new bands. And it’s easy to see why because ‘Powder’ is awash with possibility and crafted nuance. A sense of non-linearity pervades throughout which is often the case in nascent bands, the type that have ambition and vision that is often dissolved once they come into contact with an over reaching record label that decides what kind of song the public want to hear. KD