Thursday, November 21, 2013

Genders - Get Lost (2013)

This is the debut full-length from new Portland, Oregon-based dreamy/textured/post-rock group Genders. As I posted recently, they include ex-Forest Park guitarist/vocalist Katherine Paul, who actually plays primarily drums for them and on this album I believe. And she also does some if not the majority of the vocals.

The release date is on December 8th, 2013. Yeah, a bit odd day/week/month for a new original-music full-length record, but so be it. They self-released it I guess, so they don't have to concern themselves with distribution and competition for when it can be shelved in stores, etc.

I am finally checking it out just now, although I don't likely have enough time to get through it all yet. (it's a minor miracle I'm able to listen to it yet anyway, with my no-music-at-work approach the last few months). But I am intrigued enough by this band and maybe just Katherine Paul as a musician/songwriter/singer, I want to make what little time I have to share it in here.

I would say the genre-blending of those styles I posted above kind of encapsulates Genders sound for the most part. I guess they do have a poppy/happy side like on the track "Golden State." (I can't help but wonder if the Forest Park track "Golden" is in anyway connected to it, but unlikely).

But I probably shouldn't forget to add, while Katherine Paul's drum work is very refined and stands out frequently on what I'm hearing here, the other members also excel in many ways. Guitarist Stephen Leisy knows his way around creating moods and shifting tempos, including a lot of warm, dreamy, gentle tones. And his vocal work along with Maggie Morris work well on many of these tunes, at times with dreamy harmonies, at other times counterpoint from I think Katherine's and others. And Matthew Hall's bass work is quite audible and adds a great smooth backbeat at times, along with providing a funky front rhythm (if I know wtf I'm trying to say, lol).

Anyway, I'm just going to add, having seen them live, and now playing about half of it while I'm writing this, there's not a song I don't enjoy. There was 1 or 2 tracks at the show last Saturday that did totally stand out, 1 being their closing piece, which seemed to be almost in multiple parts. I'm not sure if that was the nearly 6-minute opener "Something to Get You By" or I'm thinking more likely the 6th track "How Long Can I Wait?"

Hole mother, that tune is starting floor me like I believe it did on Saturday. Stephen's guitar phrases, are almost like a melancholy voice, lol. In fact I can say the 1st half of the record, that tune stands out the most, and it may on the whole record.

But, time is not on my side (I'm seeing Fitz and the Tantrums in a matter of hours at the Myth club, and we are getting our first snow/first example of Minnesota drivers going 15 mph in fear of it), so this is just an initial review/announcement.  I hope Genders make a lot of new fans on their current tour opening for Built to Spill, and hopefully in December and in 2014, this record reaches a lot of people. It would be great to see them open for Warpaint (or the related Portland band Typhoon, except Katherine told me that might be impossible given her day job and Kyle from Typhoon's as well unfortunately) or someone like that as well as BTS, as they seem to have enough appeal to reach a lot of people.

edit: by the way, the guitar solo in "Technicolor Vision" is terrific!..omg the Trippy Peter Frampton-like wah-wah tones in the outro are unbelievable! Why have I never heard of this guy Stephen Leisy before?

"Secrets" is very cool, almost like Warpaint-meets-Kacica meets something totally Genders! The bass and guitar work could have maybe been written by that great Japanese band in fact (who I'm sure the members of Genders have never heard of, of course).

Get Lost cover art
1 Something to Get You By 5:59
2 Atlas Moth 4:30
3 Sugarcoat 4:25
4 The Wilderness 4:43
5 Golden State 4:06
6 How Long Can I Wait? 5:09
7 Technicolor Vision 4:45
8 Secrets 4:51
9 Close My Eyes 0:52
10 Twin Peaks 4:03
11 Oakland 3:54
12 Four Years 4:14