Genki Genki Panic

There are times when a band creates music so recklessly wild and undiluted that it’s difficult to accurately describe or categorize. Chattanooga’s surf-horror outfit Genki Genki Panic is especially adept at making music that thoroughly and unreservedly bucks convention and embraces the ominous tones that linger at the edges of our reality. Their unique blend of surf rock and moody hard rock is constantly shifting as it churns in the air in front of us.

The band is set to release their latest record, “Litanies of Surf,” Jan. 28 and has shared a couple of songs in advance through their Bandcamp page to give fans a brief glimpse of what’s to come. With “Sexy Harambe Frankenstein,” they collect adrenalized hard rock rhythms and mix them with the wobbly melodic bounce of classic surf noise to create a menacing but spry rush of crunchy guitars and muddied beats. They tear through their inspirations with all the force of a hurricane, leaving a wide trail of destruction and broken instruments in their wake.

And though the track doesn’t even hit the two-minute mark, it’s crammed full of mountainous riffs and ragged bouts of percussion. The band lays out a complex landscape of craggy melodies and disjointed rhythms that combine to form a towering instrumental presence. With its decidedly nonsequitur title, you might assume that the track is simply a musical lark and that the band is playing off people’s collective experiences with various memes and events; but the truth is that although they may indeed be smirking at the prevalence of various Harambe associations, the song itself is a roaring, multifaceted trek through their riotous and cathartic influences.


Joshua Pickard covers local and national music, film and other aspects of pop culture. You can contact him on Facebook, Twitter or by email. The opinions expressed in this column belong solely to the author, not or its employees.