Geese – Projector | Album Review

Living in the home of UK post-punk (Manchester) can leave quite the indifference to new post-punk artists. But for the same reason that I couldn’t get enough of Poison Ivy for their decadently cold and coarse sound, I flocked to the NYC-hailing luminaries, Geese, for their gritty vignettes of human phenomena.

Their debut alt-rock album, Projector, couldn’t be more promising. For the first time in what feels like forever, a refreshing sonic vision has reanimated the post-punk corpse. What’s infinitely more impressive is the fact that the Brooklyn-based quintet was still in high school while this phenomenal debut album was in production. It is the ultimate middle finger to anyone that underestimated this generation of artists.

The dynamic album kicks off with the tumultuously electric single, Rain Dance, which serves as the perfect introduction to the volatility and stylistic gravitas of Geese. Sure, plenty of artists before them have experimented with reminiscent post-punk tones, but the sheer instrumental exuberance and raconteurial confidence from the vocals grips you by the pre-chorus in Rain Dance.

In their alt-noir standout single Low Era, Geese show a more melodic side, allowing angular guitars to bring in the swampy and swaggering, garage rock meets pop meets post-punk, single that has already racked up in excess of 432,000 streams on Spotify alone. For a band at their outset in this post-pandemic era of music, which may as well exist in a parallel universe from our pre-pandemic times for the entropy that chokes the progress of new artists, that is quite the feat.

Track 3, Fantasies / Survival, finds an enigmatic way to highlight the disparities between our existence and desires – which would be incredibly depressing if it were not for the fact that this bleakly energetic track leaves you galvanized by its grandeur and elegance. I’m not usually one for showy riffs, but the glitchy no-wave chaos that disrupts the track towards the outro was almost enough to make John Dwyer (Oh Sees) seem nonchalant in his iconic style.

If you haven’t declared yourself fanatic about Cameron Winter’s lyricism by this point, First World Warrior is more than enough to transform your appreciation into adoration. This gently melancholic single uses the mellifluous nature of the melodies to compliment the hazy, ethereal atmosphere in the vocal timbre and the emotional vulnerability that appears to come to Geese so easily. Any fans of The Horrors will undoubtedly find themselves sinking into First World Warrior with discernible ease.

Disco is notably one for the Talking Heads fans, with deadpan lyrics being delivered over tribal drums until the atmospheric instrumentals build around the outstretching lyrics that claw for connection. As the extended single shifts through its varying evolutions, it leaves you guessing with every twist of the sonic knife.

The LP concludes on the punchy track, Opportunity is Knocking, which proves that Geese can easily get the dopamine flowing when they experiment with warmer tones. From a proto-punk prelude to dreamy piano-led instrumental increments, the single is an eclectic smorgasbord that pulls from all corners of the alternative spectrum.

It is nothing short of baffling that this prodigious debut has been met with scepticism from music moguls who have questioned the motives of Geese and dubbed them as cocky trust fund kids that cannot be trusted. Sure, not every new band has the financial backing to make an ever-lasting impression on the airwaves from the first hit, but to diminish a riotously indulgent record on little more than the basis of classism and scepticism is nothing short of ignorant. Maybe we should be checking the financial background of MSM music reviewers too if finance is pivotal to the credibility of creativity.

In 2022, it is probably time for us to throw away the idealisation of the starving artist. It is no coincidence that people with financial opportunity and freedom choose to become artists; art is still a necessary component of the human experience – regardless of who it comes from. Otherwise, we’d probably have to write off all artists just as soon as they have any money in the bank.

I digressed, but Projector was notably one of the best rock releases of 2021. With an international tour tentatively booked – Covid-19 variant and chaos pending – it is clear that this is only the beginning for Geese and their mogul-confusing sound. Especially considering that they have already been snapped up by the prestigious punk label, Partisan Records, who also invested in Fontaines DC and IDLES.

Projector is now available to purchase.