Looking back through old reviews of Geneva’s debut album Further it soon becomes clear that they largely shared three common characteristics: lame Swiss-based puns, often involving the word Helvetia; reference to lead singer Andrew Montgomery’s cherubic vocals; the conclusion that despite their occasional moments of brilliance, on the whole the music, the band and the production narrowly failed to build on the foundation laid by Montgomery’s soaring vocals.
Amidst all the generally favourable but not overwhelmingly positive sentiments, praise was usually reserved for the album’s singles: No-one Speaks, Into The Blue, Tranquilizer and Best Regrets. Of these, my personal favourite is No-one Speaks, but for this playlist I’ve chosen Tranquilizer. This is a song that is given life by its string arrangement: it’s a classic example of raising the chorus with a string arrangement. Sometimes this can come off a bit clichéd, but here the strings are a perfect complement to Montgomery’s voice. In the middle eight they also play the vocal melody from the verse, before once again crescendoing into a final chorus. It’s what Q magazine described in their review of Further as orchestral euphoria.
Taking a different approach, Melody Maker, at this time already in terminal decline, described Tranquilizer as follows:
This is more of the usual piss-elegant, polite guitar pop complete with a single bloke singing in a high-pitched voice.