Gene, having dumped their label and having no new album or tour in the US
for the last three years, flew to L.A. in June of this year and played three days of sold-out
concerts at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. On the third
day, Rising for Sunset was recorded live. As other critics have pointed out,
such a move takes brass -- or at least innate faith in one's talent. Gene's faith
in itself is well deserved. You'll either love Gene or -- if you're a serious fan of the Smiths -- be mildly offended, as they're the band that Gene has been voted most likely to
swallow whole (NME ran a feature on Smiths knockoffs about a year ago, in which Gene
was deemed one of the most successful). They're emotional, like Suede -- their
lyrics, on certain songs, will at the right times cleave your heart.
Rising for Sunset shows off Gene's passion and their
verve for really ripping into a song. The super-popular "As Good as It Gets" is
a prime example. The group definitely has their quirks on display
here: Martin Rossiter has a fair bit of vibrato in his voice, which has darker and more melancholy in tone than it was on
Olympian. "For the Dead" is a track of rollicking blues with a dark
lyrical heart. "Your Love, It Lies" has beautiful, reflective guitar bits
that underpin Rossiter's roar of "But still I'm wanting more", leaving
you feeling hollow. Steve Mason's guitar work is amazing, and when listening
to "Your Love, It Lies" in particular, you can pick up the crowd's
appreciation of his artistry as well.
Listen to Gene at first because you think you ought to. It's more than likely that you'll end up listening compulsively.