The rules: three songs each. One original, one cover, and one cover from the other’s back catalogue. Bosh. And with that premise, two of the UK – and London’s finest in sludge – Gurt, and Limb – come together for ‘Split Roast’, a special release for the Witch Hunter Records label and one that makes for an interesting experiment and an enjoyable listen at that.
Gurt are up first, with new track ‘Sophisticate’ kicking off proceedings. It feels like Gurt have been around longer than 2010, but their 70’s inspired sludge rock machine and won them many admirers and ‘Sophisticate’ doesn’t change tack on that front, as excellent as what’s come from the band before now. Its then that things take a turn for the curious. I never imagined the day when the Talking Heads’ ‘Psycho Killer’ would be turned into a mud-crawling sludge track, but Gurt put their own unique spin on it and vocalist Gareth tackles every ‘fa fa fa’ and ‘q’uest-ce que cest?’ with ruthless abandon, while the rest of band chug out to the march of the beat, before turning to Limb’s ‘Gift of the Sun’ to meet their side of the bargain, marking it with a vicious display of snarling intent.
Limb’s latest release ‘Gift of the Sun’ somehow escaped my attention, despite my appreciation for their demo which showed promising things. Hence while I’ve still a little catching up to you, its great to hear them in fine form on new track ‘Plague Doctor’. They next dive into Queen’s often overlooked eponymous debut to cover the stirring ‘Son and Daughter’ which makes excellent light of Limb’s blues-rock influence and stays faithful to the original, if only of course to serve it with a heavier sound. They choose ‘Soapfeast’ – which originally appeared on Gurt’s split with now-defunct sludgers Dopefight – to close, and delight in taking on the vitriolic potty-mouthed song with a more mid-paced, bluesy tone compared to Gurt’s anvil-heavy fast/slow original.
Now available on Witch Hunter in a variety of options, including limited CD, and you can stream this release below too if you want to see why you too should get with the program.