I’m lucky to have friends with amazing taste in music. Without them, I never would have listened to Oregonian band Genders. Recently back from tour with Built to Spill, they returned to Portland for a release show for their latest album Get Lost.
The album starts like a cool summer night: windchimes on the porch, the wind represented by dreamy “ooh”s and a sense of loneliness as one sits with a cigarette on the front step. “Something To Get You By” exemplifies the album well, showcasing alternating vocalists and guitars that never seem to reach the apex of a crescendo. Running a little under 6 minutes, this is the longest song on the album.
The following songs range from poppy to introspective, each exemplified respectively in track 5 – “Golden State” – and track 10 – “Twin Peaks.” Both happen to be my favorite tracks on the album. “Golden State” leads with percussion, reminiscent of a drum circle, enticing me to stomp my feet. I imagine a bunch of kids surrounding a beach bonfire. The instrumentation of this song is very playful, at times giving off a surf-flavor, which ties very well into the title. In “Twin Peaks,” the vocals are layered and echo-y, creating a surreal and space-y sound, with a hint of discordance and lots of noise.
All the songs feature dreamy vocals and poppy guitar. But in general, I prefer the mood of the last few songs of the album, starting from 52-second song, “Close My Eyes.” The penultimate song “Oakland,” features spunky guitar and a synth inspired by psychedelic 70s surf rock.
I could do without the excessively long “How Long Can I Wait?” which should have ended at the 4 minute mark, but continues a minute longer. The last song of the album is disappointing as well. Although it starts strong, it fades away, and gives the album no sense of finality, which is a shame, considering how great of a listen the rest of the album is.
I’ve since dived into their previously released 7” and EP, also available via their Bandcamp page.