Reviews

Genuflex – The Last Gods

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I’ve been waiting A LONG FUCKING TIME for this single to come out. About 3 or 4 years back Genuflex appeared headlining at Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, support came from Savages and Public Service Broadcasting with accompanying DJ sets from various members of Ulterior. Everyone was raving that this was it, the pinnacle of what we were all trying to achieve. The new heroes had arrived and only an idiot could fail to see it. Anyone that Ulterior were willing to bend the knee to must be awe inspiring indeed.

It was every bit as good as that. Awe inspiring. It was like transcending into a new musical state. Genuflex instantly lashed out with the Bludevotion EP, mesmerising and anguished, yet furiously held back. As much a threat than a statement. It was the perfect move – I was checking their facebook page every damn day for what they’d do next. We knew from the live set that there was some huge pop songs they’d decided not to release straight away, waiting for the right moment to deliver the killing blow tha…

…Never fucking happened. They disappeared. Main man Fine Vine reportedly moved to the states to work some new producer. They updated their facebook once every 6 months saying the new single was due that month, but then went back to radio silence. I gave them up for dead and so did pretty much everyone else. They were moved firmly into the “all that could have been” pile.

And now, suddenly, here they are with a new single. It is good, but it sort of feels like a marooned survivor returning after years adrift to a world that has moved on. His funeral has been had his wife is remarried. The Last Gods opens with a dramatic blast, half way between a marching army and the final scene of epic movie. It quickly crests into a gorgeous, rich vocal refrain that adds humanity and emotion to the cold, hard, electronic ice of the musical backdrop. But then, it repeats this interplay for a full 5 minutes and nothing new actually happens. It feels a lot like the opening track of an album, full of threat and premonition.

But the album doesn’t happen. It goes straight into the (digital) B side, Black Sail. A genuinely wonderful piece of music. It’s calm yet torturous. A ballad for loves lost that could have sprung from the lyre of Orpheus himself. Slowly building in glorious intensity, the distant guitars gradually giving way to a breaking wave of electronics. It’s ultra smoothness is offset by a shamelessly discordant instrumental section, followed by a brief reprise of the strings and ending in a whisper.

What we have here is the perfect album closer, preceded by a hilariously drawn out intro. The Last Gods screams challenge and Black Sails curls up in on itself and dies, but I can’t help the feeling that some kind of event was meant to happen somewhere between. If this was 6 months after the Bludevotion EP, I’d probably be strung out like wire with anticipation, but now it feels like an echo of something that never really was. Like the soft whispering of voices long dead on dusty rolls of forgotten tape.

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