Release DetailsLABEL Tortuga
RELEASED ON 5/27/2006
posted on 7/2006 By:
This self titled effort collects works recorded throughout the ass end of the last decade by The Gersch, a project that includes Cliff Meyer (Isis, Red Sparowes). Don’t let the other projects on Meyer’s resume fool you and your views, positive or otherwise, as the cream of the post-metal crop won’t come into play in this case, except that if you’ve demonstrated good taste in regards to those bands, you’re likely to recognize the quality here. Well, that and the fact that these guys, like Meyer’s other bands (as well as the Melvins, who may be the most appropriate reference), are hard to nail down with precise genre speak. The gist of it is that The Gersch is a full dose of quasi doomish, sometimes hardcore, semi-sludgy raucous heaviness. Clear enough?
This album sounds like a pieced together collection of spare tracks, but ironically, it seems likely that even a properly recorded album would feature the same sudden shifts in sound and feel that make The Gersch an intriguing beast. On songs like opener "Lightwish", the band baits and switches by starting off with leaden, monolithic doomy riffs and then shifts quickly into uptempo quirky chaos. The song has a faintly Ultramega OK vibe to it, in part thanks to the high registered wailing vocals. The band accentuates their mood hopping with their sequencing; following up the jerky, super-caffinated early hardcore flavored "Face" with the hypnotic buzzing, slow flatness of "‘taker", and then redlining again with the amped up riff rock of "Bloodbottom". The band opted to trade the bass for a third guitar and the triple threat usually combines for a noisy wall of fuzz and off kilter runs. Vocals typically play a well balanced supporting role. On "Taekr" the band starts with a repeated slow and doomy riff, circling slowly and picking up speed with each turn. As the song takes off, the vocals join with spoken word lines that are mostly eclipsed by the echoing ghostly vocal lines that shadow every appearance of the vocalist. The album is capped by the thirteen-minute "Your Lips Are No Man’s Land But Mine", a loose medley that starts with two movements of echoing atmosphere before, halfway through the track, a more traditional song rears its head. Tacked onto the end of the track is a noisy, gritty cover of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s "Ohio" that doesn’t seem a bit out of place.
This is one of the rare times when the scores at the top of the page are more helpful than the words underneath. The Gersch was an odd duck that’s better heard than described. Take the recommendation, check some samples and hear for yourself. It’s too bad that this band was so short lived, but like the jocular proclamation of the sticker on the album cover states: "It’s not the length, it’s The Gersch". This one’s a grower.
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