Ġenn’s unum: powerful postpunk making a noise in the UK

The Maltese band’s debut album cultivates a stunning sense of chaos that demands attention.

Going beyond obvious, first-glance interpretations, Ġenn’s psychedelic, post-punk debut album is garnering great attention across the UK.

Maltese UK-based punk sensation, Ġenn, has released their debut album title unum, and it’s already making waves. The quartet made its way on the UK’s Official Album Sales and on the independent Albums Chart, ranking 97 and 39, respectively. 

Founded in Malta but currently based in Brighton, this is Ġenn’s first release since their EP titled Liminal, put together from a distance during the pandemic-induced isolations in 2021. While the EP gave us a general idea of the band’s essence and style, the release of unum further solidified Ġenn as a strong contender in the UK indie/post-punk scene. Co-produced Tom Hill, Daniel Fox and Ġenn themselves, these 11 unique tracks are full of elaborate drum patterns, catchy psychedelic riffs, groovy bass lines and mighty vocals. If you happen to enjoy the musical prowess of greats such as The Cure, Pink Floyd or Muse, this is the album for you. 

Calypso is the song that stands out the most in an ensemble of already powerful tracks. The guitar riff that echoes throughout the track resembles the sound of legendary Red Hot Chili Peppers guitarist John Frusciante, while the saxophone adds a certain uniqueness that catches you off guard, binding together every instrument, especially throughout the powerful climax. The touch of folklore sets an ethereal ambiance, as I found myself daydreaming, lost in the powerful melody.

Days and Nights is another strong track which is reminiscent of a Peaky Blinders episode, where the protagonists get together to cause absolute chaos and look stunningly fierce doing it. With a significantly more rebellious undertone than the others, the strong vocals and overdriven guitar are bound to capture your attention from the get-go. One can note a likeness to incredibly talented PJ Harvey, both instrumentally and lyrically as the track goes on. Ġenn add an innovative direction with the sense of female vigour and rebellion. 

The Sister Of showcases an interesting blend of highs and lows as the bass and the guitar work in harmony. The eruption of the drum leads the rollercoaster of sound and sets the pace, as you get to enjoy the echoes of the guitar and the strong emotion behind the captivating vocals. This track is accompanied by a newly-released short movie, filmed entirely in Ukraine. With a sinister undertone running throughout, it encompasses a strong visual, musical, lyrical and narrative experience, going beyond an ordinary music video. After watching it, you’ll be left wishing there’s more, and that this was but a trailer for a feature-length movie.

Coming from diverse backgrounds, the artists that make up Ġenn have curated a sound that is characteristic to the band. But subtle nuances help every track stand out, whether through the alternating time signatures and drum patterns, the funky bass effects, whispering or roaring vocals and guitar riffs which are bound to echo in your head long after you’ve stopped listening.

To mark this album release, Ġenn is currently touring across England, and are set to conquer Germany, Spain and France by the end of the year.  They will kick off 2024 with a festival appearance and a remixed track from unum, followed by the release of new music, and a potential EP announcement to look out for.

Knowing that there is a majority-Maltese, all female band making waves well beyond Europe, I will quote a lyric of Days and Nights, and ask: ‘What will become of us’ if we are not the ones to support our local artists and give them the recognition they deserve? Why do we wait for others to start appreciating something before we recognise homegrown talent and offer a platform for them to grow as musicians? 

It is high time we start nurturing local talent, as it forms a fundamental part of our culture. After all, how can we expect others to respect our culture when we fail to do this ourselves?

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