Witch Hunter Records return with a split of epic proportions. London-based sludge-metallers Gurt and Limb join forces for ‘Split Roast’. The release features three tracks from both bands; one original song, one cover and one cover of a song from each other’s band.
Gurt kick things off with the bombastic, grinding groove of ‘Sophisticate’ which rocks a killer riff that will satisfy the headbanger in all of us. Gurt decide to stick with a more mid-paced groove for the entire song instead of their usual switch between doom and thrash-punk which usually defines songs like ‘Soapfeast’. The change is definitely a positive one as the song allows you to take in that excellent groove and really appreciate it. A solid start from the sludgemeisters.
Next up is a hugely enjoyable cover of Talking Heads’ ‘Psycho Killer’ which has no place sounding so good as a sludge metal song. Gurt have done a brilliant job fuzzing up the Talking Heads classic and when vocalist Gareth Kelly belts out that famous “ooo-ooo-ohhhhh!” you’ll have a hard time not raising those claws. The song only stumbles when Kelly attempts the “fa fa fa fas” which don’t really lend themselves too well to the front-man’s growl, but otherwise this is a massively entertaining take on the new wave classic.
Finally Gurt have a go at rearranging Limb’s ‘Gift of the Sun’ from their recent 7” of the same name. Gurt definitely deliver in making the song sound like themselves which is a commendable achievement for any band making a cover. The main differences to the original come with Kelly’s choice of vocal style which is more of a scream compared to Rob Hoey’s more melodic bark. The only other change comes in simply slowing the track down slightly and making it rely more heavily on its more simplistic groove. Once again Gurt nail another satisfying slab of doom.
Limb return with ‘Plague Doctor’ which proves this band are still on an upwards trajectory. Limb are a punishing desert rock outfit with massive hooks, simple yet enjoyable grooves and Rob Hoey’s raw yet melodious vocals which are a little bit more recognisable than Gurt’s. Limb have added another cracking song to their discography which is getting us incredibly hyped for their upcoming debut album.
Unfortunately for Gurt, Limb really steal the show when it comes to covers. The band give the stoner makeover to Queen’s ‘Son and Daughter’ which works almost too well. Seriously, you wouldn’t believe how well the song works with its central hook slowed down enough to give it more of an impact. This is hugely impressive stuff from Limb and not many bands can boast that they can make Queen sound like anybody else other than Queen.
Limb continue their cover onslaught with Gurt’s ‘Soapfeast’ which is made considerably more enjoyable simply by making Gareth Kelly’s vocals more understandable. The brilliantly over-the-top swear-a-thon contains the wonderfully daft line “I don’t really give a cunting fuck”. This is made even more enjoyable by repeating it over and over for the song’s refrain. Who would’ve thought swearing could be so fun?
Gurt and Limb’s ‘Split Roast’ is a wonderful release that is equal parts punishing and fun. How many doom records can you name that you would regard fun? This is the real pulling factor on ‘Split Roast’ and you can hear that both bands had an absolute blast making it. Is party doom a thing yet because I think both bands may have just invented it.
‘Split Roast’ by Gurt and Limb is out now and available to order from Witch Hunter Records.