2. Magnificent Desolation
3. Residue Three
7. Face [Part II]
9. Your Lips Are No Man's Land but Mine
Every so often, you can listen to the first minute of a previously unheard band and get a very good idea of what the members have in their record collection. In the case of The Gersch, a Boston outfit that existed primarily in the mid to late 90s, it's pretty obvious that those early Black Sabbath records played a big part in their formative years. The Gersch's dirty, sludge ridden sound and high pitched wailings are by no means a ripoff of Sabbath, but boy, you can still feel the influence oozing through like so much tar seeping from the La Brea pits. Sure, there's flavoring from the Melvins or Kyuss, but my first inclination is Black Sabbath.
The band was most active from their formation in 1995 till 1999, when they didn't quite break up. Rather, they've been on an extended hiatus (at least according to my plagiaristic "summarization" of the Wikipedia page) for a decade now. This actually beats the Fugazi defintion of hiatus. Anyhow, in 2006, Tortuga Recordings compiled the various 7" tracks and other recorded output for this anthology of the band's existence. The collection captures the band's unpolished sound, boils and all. The band either could not find a suitable bassist or they were "inventive", as they featured three downtuned guitars and a drummer. One could surmise that perhaps Geezer Butler was their least favorite member of Black Sabbath. Anyhow, the nine tracks aptly capture the band's sound, which actually has a bit of catchiness beneath all the sludge, muck and grime. The band wanders from relatively solidified arrangements such as the album opener "Listwish" to the sprawling thirteen minutes of "Your Lips Are No Man's Land But Mine". At no point during this album will you think, "Gee, this is sure pretty! Oooh, and slick, too!" If you do happen to come to that conclusion, I want no part of your lifetime listening experience.
For those who love the grit of sludge rock, The Gersch is worth checking out.
Review by John Chedsey
Review date: 11/2009