Following the release of “Big Hit Single”, alt-punk collective Gen and The Degenerates today announce the release of their striking debut album, “Anti-Fun Propaganda” set for release on February 22nd, 2024, via Marshall Records.
Accompanying the announcement comes the release of the riotous new single “Famous”. Watch the official video below. The band will also hit the road with legendary Celtic punks, Flogging Molly, across America in 2024.
Ever since Genevieve Glynn-Reeves was a child, she had an overwhelming awareness of how difficult it is to be a human. There’s infinite possibility, after all, in this life for disaster, tragedy and misfortune. Switch on the news, and it’s all there in front of you – war, crime, climate change, economic upheaval, more than enough to make you think that to be alive is to struggle constantly.
What do you do when it feels like the world is crumbling around you? For Gen and the Degenerates, the answer is to have fun. “I don’t want to shy away from the darkness of being a human”, explains vocalist Gen (whose pronouns are she/they). “But by that merit, I don’t want to be fully consumed by it and forget to have fun and be silly and make light of it. I think it’s important to have these difficult conversations with a sense of lightness and humour”.
Through this lens, the band’s enthralling debut album “Anti-Fun Propaganda” was born. A writhing mass of biting, off-kilter guitars, fuzzed-out driving basslines, and blown-out drums. The album carries all the grit and cross-pollination of hip-shaking desert rock with New York punk at a violent disco while retaining an undeniably British disposition.
Recorded and produced by the infamous Ross Orton (Arctic Monkeys, Amyl and the Sniffers, Drenge, Gang of Four), the album is a coming-of-age story seeing the band as both a tightly knit unit and as individuals, find out who they are, and what they stand for. Late nights and early mornings, sexuality, gender politics and mortality, all while surviving your twenties in a volatile and confusing world fuelled by turmoil.
“The vibe of the album is ‘…anybody else seeing this?’”, jests Gen. “It covers some heavy subject matter, but my inability to write anything sincere means there’s always a sense of humour and absurdism throughout. We’d always struggled with our sound on record”, explains the vocalist, “but meeting and working with Ross, something just seemed to click into place. We make a lot of noise, and Ross was the first person to capture that and refine it”.
Speaking on their latest single “Famous” Gen adds: “It’s kind of a poison pill disguised as a pop confection. It’s taking a satirical look at celebrity culture, materialism, and where we draw our self-worth from, but it’s masquerading as a sexy, unrequited love song. That’s how it began life, but we reworked the music with Ross towards a darker place, and the lyrics took a more sarcastic and satirical turn…”
Pre-order limited edition vinyl bundles here.
1. Kids Wanna Dance
2. Girls! (feat. Uninvited)
3. Anti-Fun Propaganda
4. That’s Enough Internet for Today
5. All Figured Out
6. Plan B (Interlude)
8. Big Hit Single
10. Jude’s Song
Sonically, their debut album “Anti-Fun Propaganda” draws from New York punk and post-punk sounds – think Patti Smith, LCD Soundsystem and Sonic Youth. “The key with them all is that they can be obtuse and artsy or whatever, but they’re not afraid to just write a pop song”, guitarist Sean reasons. The record has its eyes open and its tongue sticking out, bursting with witty takes on the messiness of twenty-something life in a system stacked against you. There are songs about the absurdity of online discourse (“That’s Enough Internet for Today”), pretentious trend-chasing (“Post-Cool”), the desire for a simple, stable domestic life (“All Figured Out”) and refusing to subscribe to a social and political agenda that tries to restrict fun (“Anti-Fun Propaganda”).
Meanwhile, “Girls” celebrates the quirks girls have with a queer slant: “It started with frustration. You see it so much, men being like, ‘I hate it when girls do this, I hate it when girls do that’”, says Gen. “I think men are socialised to dislike women, and that’s such a funny concept considering they’re also supposed to fall in love with them and have families with them”.
The softly theatrical six-and-a-half minute closer “Jude” brings the album to an emotional end, a tribute to Gen’s late aunt that reworks the famous opening line of The Beatles’ “Hey Jude”. “She didn’t like that song because people would always sing it to her at school every time she walked down a corridor”, they recall. “I wanted the first half to [consist of] remembering and talking to her, and the second half to be that point in grief where you can start to celebrate. That’s the last line – ‘I don’t know what happens when we die/But I’m glad that for a while we were alive at the same time’”.
With a debut like theirs, full of personality, witty observations, and frenetic riffs, it’s clear that now is Gen and the Degenerates’ time.