Geese – ‘Projector’ review: one of the year’s most thrilling rock debuts

Geese – ‘Projector’ review: one of the year’s most thrilling rock debuts

On their debut, the Brooklyn teens deliver some of the most compelling guitar music around – straight from their leaky basement

In a matter of mere seconds of Geese’s debut album ‘Projector’, it becomes clear to see why the Brooklyn teens were snapped up by Partisan Records [IDLES, Fontaines DC] before a note of music had been released. Weighty opener ‘Rain Dance’ suggests the label would have missed a trick in not getting them to sign the dotted line – the track is alive with all the pure energy and inventiveness of a band set for great things.

The rumble of excitement surrounding them felt even more impressive in the last year, given the absence of live shows that usually launch emerging guitar bands from darkened dive bars into buzzy stardom. Instead, they caught attention with online showcases like The Great Escape and word of mouth that rippled across social media, seeing them sell out shows on both sides of the pond.

‘Projector’ came together in the type of converted basement studio that runs the constant risk of pissing off neighbours, but that raw, cagey sound is largely the charm here. ‘Low Era’ shows they’ve more tricks in the bag than your average moody post-punk gang. The new wave anthem arrives like every great sassy LCD Soundsystem number, and the groove-led instrumentation soon opens up for a danceable anthem: “Some are born with the psychic affliction / Catastrophic when they go in the street / It comes to people like you naturally.”

The further into the album you plunge, the more it lives up to such noise. ‘Fantasies / Survival’ is the biggest glimpse into why this band makes for such a thrilling force, hinged on a guitar line The Strokes’ Albert Hammond Jr. would pinch for his own band, the track flails with youthful spirit and emotion before swerving into a squall of math-rock territory. Spectacular.

Lead single ‘Disco’ kicks off with a whopping drum beat that Girl Band mastered before cutting into the stadium-ready melancholy of a Thom Yorke vocal line. It’s a moment of pure beauty as frontman Cameron Winter yearns: “I don’t need to know if you’re struggling to breathe / You threw your drink at me as I was leaning in / But I still asked you if you wanted to leave.”

There’s certainly space for more names in the avant-garde post-punk revolution. On these shores alone we’ve seen Black Midi thrive and Black Country New Road pick up a Mercury Prize nomination; a clear pathway has been laid out for these kindred spirits who are writing their own chapter. With ‘Projector’, the band have escaped their modest confines of a studio where pipes leak onto amps and delivered some of the most compelling new guitar music around.

-Rhys Buchanan

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