The Gersch – The Gersch

3 out of 5

Produced by: Bryant Clifford Meyer

Label: Tortuga

Scuzzy, awesomely lo-fi, heavy duty rawk.  Gersch don’t particularly break any new ground on what is, to date, their sole record (and one culled from various recording sessions, accounting for its somewhat mixed pacing), but they commit to their sweaty sound with all due fervor, so that even when a riff peters out a bit too soon or a slow-burn song wanders more than burns, there’s an undercurrent of passion that keeps the recording engaging.

Moments will remind of the geoups that often get name-checked in relation to Gersch: opener Listwish has a Sabbath stomp to it, with a matching howl to the reverbed vocals, while throughout the metal-revival guitar work calls to mind Kyuss.  Where Gersch breaks free of this somewhat familiar mold, though, is what edges them into the upper tier of rock that the Tortuga label supported: Songs will dip into punk or hardcore seamlessly, zooming through some headbanging before slowing down again for the hazy 70s stuff.  These moments are some of the most enthralling – you can just imagine the energy live – and tracks like Face that go down this road whole-heartedly are a blast.

But otherwise the not-album album collection of scattered tracks is apparent, some songs coming across as singles, and some like experiments, such as the open-ended closer, Your Lips Are No Man’s Land But Mine, This type of rock is rarely pulled off with such a raw sound, though, and the successes with blending various hardcore styles definitely makes it worth a listen.