For all its sunny reinvention and chipper boosterism, Milwaukee can be a cold and gloomy place. Maybe that’s why so many Brew City bands take inspiration from the dreamy-but-dreary shoegaze sound of the ’80s and early ’90s. NO/NO and Brief Candles are just two examples of local bands currently channeling that My Bloody Valentine/4AD vibe; now, Milwaukee’s Genau (pronounced Guh-now) looks to get into the guazy game with an excellent self-titled EP.
Released back in February, Genau finds band members Christopher Belkofer and Erik Gosnell (joined here by a drum machine) alternating between washed-out and wary (“Springy,” “Empathy”) and dark-hued and danceable (“Hatecult,” “The Collectibles”). An 11-minute ambient opus entitled “The Well” improbably kicks things off, though the bulk of the self-recorded Genau remains short, sweet, and remarkably pop-friendly. If you’re feeling a little bit noisy and a little bit goth, this one’s for you.