GURT Premiere “Weed it and Weep” from Bongs of Praise

gurt live shot

I’ve said it more times than I can count over the 75 years I’ve been running this site (because you’re only as old as you feel), but charm goes a long way in my book. UK sludgehoisters GURT have it down, and their third full-length, Bongs of Praise, will see release Sept. 6 as an offering that manages to be both wildly heavy and brazenly fun, a debauched party record that takes neither itself nor you too seriously and ends up a good-time blister-raising 45 minutes of pummel and shove, seeming to capture just that very moment where you’re drunk enough that everything is awesome but the room hasn’t started to spin yet. You might also be high. Scratch that. You’re definitely high.

GURT have been raising hell for the better part of a decade at this point, which puts them ahead of many in London’s ultra-packed underground scene, and they’ve never lacked for a distinguishing factor in the raw fuckall of their approach, with screamer Gareth Kelly bringing forth a seemingly endless supply of weed puns — and even though I don’t really smoke, I fucking love weed puns; see “The Joint of No Return,” “Rolling Stoned,” and indeed the title of the album itself — over chugging, uptempo riffs that sacrifice no weight for movement, the band’s experience coming through in the it’s-a-given chemistry between guitarist Rich Williams, bassist David Blakemore and drummer Bill Jacobs both in the speedy cacophony of “Jazz Cabbage” (video posted here) and the more rolling pace of “Gauze and Effect.” gurt bongs of praiseThere’s no pretense to be had anywhere that GURT are shooting for anything more than having fun, and for as heavy, brash and downright nasty as Bongs of Praise is pretty much from intro “Dr. Strangeleaf” onward, they make the invitation to the listener to come along and, you know, also get high, plain to hear in their energetic rush.

Credit for that has to go in no small part to Jacobs, of course, but the riffs to which he’s playing are also straightforward enough to catch attention without wavering. “Weed it and Weep” — premiering below — launches the album after “Dr. Strangeleaf” and is willfully obnoxious like it’s about to get kicked out of the venue it’s playing, and though GURT will dig into various styles of bludgeonry throughout cuts like the gotta-be-an-inside-joke “Squidgy Black Slide” and the later, probably-als0-an-inside-joke “Marijuanarmchair” before rounding out with the title-track’s play off the tenets of epic metal, the unifying factor, screams aside, is the obvious glee with which GURT execute Bongs of Praise. This is a band having a blast doing what they do, and refusing to pretend otherwise. Why the hell would they?

Even if you’re the stand-in-the-back-of-the-room type, as I am, GURT make it easy to appreciate their hash-oil-drenched party vibe and stonerly worship. In its riffs, barks, weight and groove, Bongs of Praise is admirably conscious of who the band are in making it, and though they probably wouldn’t take this as a compliment, I mean it as one when I say they sound like they know what they’re doing, because for all its shenanigans, there’s a core of confidence and songwriting underneath that can be neither completely hidden nor faked when it isn’t there. I’m not saying GURT have matured — and I think “One Hit Wonder” backs me up on that — but just that their particular approach to stoner sludge has developed to a point where it is decidedly their own, whatever familiar elements might persist in it. In the end, that ends up just being part of the fun.

Check out “Weed it and Weep” on the player below, followed by a quick quote from the band and more from the PR wire.

And enjoy:

GURT, “Weed it and Weep”

GURT on “Weed it and Weep”:

We are proud to release the third track from ‘Bongs of Praise’ in new track ‘Weed it and Weep’. We have being playing it live for a year now since our Euro tour with Brume last summer, so some of our well-versed fans may already know it well, but finally we have the album version out in the world and sounding like an absolute rager!

They take the blues and groove of 70s rock and drag it backwards through the swamps of Louisiana. The drums are thunderous, the vocals demonic and the guitars down-tuned, down-tempo and down right sexy. This is not doom, this is not sludge: this is GURT.

In 2014, they unleashed their debut album ‘Horrendosaurus’ through independent label When Planets Collide, and which they promoted through a three week European tour with Dopethrone, as well returning home to a packed out audience to open Bloodstock’s second stage.

Released in 2017, their sophomore album ‘Skullossus’ explored darker and more menacing shades of sludge doom. Through a theatrical performance, their sound swelled in size as they toyed with their repertoire; adding rip-roaring, guttural vocals, psychedelic rhythms and classic rock’n’roll-worshipping riffs. On top of their two full-lengths and seven EPs, GURT have been relentlessly touring the UK and Europe, sharing the stage with the likes of Weedeater, Red Fang, Eyehategod, Black Tusk, Valient Thorr, Cough. In their own right way, they have cast their hypnotic savagery to the crowds of Bloodstock, Desertfest, Riffolution (UK) as well as Stonerhead (Salzburg) and 2019’s Monospace Fest (Paris)

GURT live:
08.29 – UK – COVENTRY, The Phoenix
08.30 – UK – FALMOUTH, The Fish Factory
08.31 – UK – MANCHESTER, Riff Fest
09.01 – UK – TBA
09.02 – UK – TBA
09.03 – UK – BRISTOL, The Old England
09.04 – UK – LONDON, MacBeth

GURT are:
Gareth Kelly – Vocals
Bill Jacobs – Drums
David Blakemore – Bass
Rich Williams – Guitar

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