Gurr are the duo of Andreya Casablanca and Laura Lee; best-friends, American Studies students and self-styled “First Wave Gurrlcore” musicians.
While more than willing to nod in the direction of their Riot Grrrl influences, Gurr are also quite keen to move that genre in a new direction, hence the idea of first wave Gurrlcore. Their sound blends their punk-indebted influences, with some gentle psych-sounds and more than a touch of Saves The Day-era emo.
Andreya and Laura met, and formed Gurr in Berlin. The capital and largest city in Germany, Berlin is home to over three and a half million people, making it the fourth biggest city in Europe. Famous for a former wall, many very hip nightclubs and currywurst, Berlin has been inhabited since the 12th century, and first became the capital of the German Empire in 1871. Berlin has a hugely impressive musical heritage stretching from Marlene Dietricht and Felix Medelssohn through to David Bowie and Iggy Pop, and it continues to have a fruitful musical scene to this day.
Gurr have been sharing their music online since 2012, but stepped up their output with 2015’s EP, Furry Dream, which came out via Duchess Box Records. Gurr will release their debut full-length album, In My Head, this Friday again via Duchess Box Records.
“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.” Aristotle said that, he probably wasn’t talk about Gurr, but he could have been. Gurr are exactly the sort of band who make teenage best friends want to quit their jobs and tour the world, heck they make us want to quite our jobs and tour the world, and we’re the wrong side of thirty. It’s hard to put your finger on exactly what it is that makes Gurr sound so inspiring, it’s something about the simplicity, energy and sense of fun; they remind you exactly why people want to be in bands in the first place, before all the bullshit gets in the way.
In My Head is at its heart a collection of short, sharp pop-songs; you can hear the tongue in cheek attitude of Bratmobile, the girl-gang swagger of PINS and the melodic undertones of The Breeders throughout, although they stop short of sounding like a parody of anyone. If you’re thinking this is all going to be raw and ragged home-production though, it’s not at all, they might have lo-fi influences, but this record actually sounds fantastic, from the reverse-tape trickery of opening track Breathless, through to the closing salvo, Song For Mildred, which somehow manages to sound incredibly heavy but also strangely muted.
Lyrically, In My Head floats through ageing, bad relationships, nocturnal explorations and staying up well beyond anyone’s bed time. That said one of the best tracks here, Walnuss is sang entirely in German, and doesn’t suffer at all from us not having a clue what they’re talking about.
In an album of multiple-highlights Free and Moby Dick leap out. The Honeyblood recalling Free is abundant with energetic organ playing, and builds to a thrilling second half, that’s fast paced and fizzes with righteous anger, while Moby Dick turns down the riotous energy, and sways their sound in the direction of sweet, emotive bliss, recalling Alvvays or Waxahatchee, as it takes Herman Melville’s white whale as lyrical inspiration.
As has always been the case this kind of energetic, angry/angsty clatter won’t be to everyone’s taste – but we’d suggest most people would find something to love in In My Head, even if it’s only for a brief trip back into the memories of your previous youthful exuberance.
In My Head is out October 14th via Duchess Box Records. Click HERE for details of all upcoming Gurr shows.