To understand where Gurt are coming from you need to take the blues and groove of 70s rock and drag it backwards through the swamps of Louisiana. However, this isn’t a band hailing from NOLA, these guys are the UK’s finest sludge masters. Taking inspiration from the likes of Crowbar and giving it an injection of British thinking (and humour).
From their roots in 2010, Gurt have ripped up the sludge rule book and forged their own way across the UK and Europe. Their growing fan base testament to the work they have put in.
This September the band follow up previous albums, ‘Horrendosaurus’ and ‘Skullossus’, and numerous E.P.s with their latest opus, the wonderfully titled ‘Bongs of Praise’. The album set for release through independent outlet When Planets Collide.
You’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stuck on the wrong CD as the albums starts off. The intro to ‘Dr Strangeleaf’ more ‘Pan Pipe Moods’ than UK Sludge at its finest. But just as you start to wonder Gurt kick in, their distinctive sound melded with intricate narrated samples for this instrumental album opener.
Often referred to as the Mick Jagger of Sludge metal, Gareth Kelly’s vocals are a dirty beast that sit nicely atop the aggressive guitars. ‘Weed It and Weep’ perfectly demonstrating this as the album ramps up a gear.
Over the last nine years the band have developed as a cohesive unit. Their song writing ability and their performance are now a well-oiled machine, and ‘Bongs of praise’ as a recorded entity highlights this. The bounding riffs in ‘Rolling Stoned’ come back and hit you in the face again and again.
The band stretch that envelope more on this album than any other, pushing the boundaries to see how far they can go. As an experimental piece of work this is a masterpiece. ‘One Hit Wonder’ and ‘The Joint of No Return’ perfectly demonstrating this. Yet their humour also shines through especially in the song titles, all reaching back to that same subject.
2019 see’s Gurt make that next step in their career, a third full length album that could project their fortunes to the stratosphere. ‘Bongs of Praise’ is a majestic piece of experimental, humorous sludge metal; a shining light in todays overcrowded marketplace.