When I reviewed the debut LP “Horrendosaurus” from London-based sludge lads Gurt, I took a moment to reflect on the idea of what it means to be funny within a genre – and sub-genre – that is typically anything but. And whether or not I got to the bottom of that mystery, there was no doubting that these guys have a strong sense of humor, and don’t hesitate to show it. No, their songs don’t actually sound like carnival farts or sledgehammered watermelons, but the devil is in the details, and the album’s lyrics, song titles, cover, and overall refusal to take itself too seriously revealed a posture of subversive ridiculousness which I found both refreshing, and genuinely funny.
So it should be no surprise that their SURPRISE follow-up is a 4-track EP released on April Fool’s day, whose cover is an homage to the late Village People, and whose track listing begins with “8 out of 10 Cunts” and wraps things up with “Baggy Trousers”. Tackling some serious issues here. And while there’s still plenty of silliness up front, there’s no denying that this band -and this album – rips with much menace and no mercy. If they’ve got direct ascendants I’d have to point to Eyehategod, in terms of vocal stylings, as well as tempos and riffs that are both agonizing and angular in terms of their pounding. This comes out the most in personal favorite “Scrump”, which runs the full gamut of sludge tempo, beginning with the “slow as shitberries” (and a great example of a groove which sounds so 4/4 but is anything but), shifting later to “fast as fuckballz”, and ending things out with a well-rounded “Children of the Gravy”-esque rollick. Unafraid to navigate through a borderline-outrageous series of dramatic time changes, Gurt shows us that even when they’re laughing their way through a brief EP, they’re still shockingly ambitious, in fact hell bent on making music that is perpetually daring, over-the-top, and frankly, jaw-dropping.
Head to their bandcamp to grab your own copy of the D.I.Y.M.C.A., and make special note of the fact that this sucker drops just in time for a 9-date tour through Europe with Bong Cauldron and Pist. Full poster/details below: