Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The GRUESOMES (Canada)

- LP
1987 (Og! Records)


"Gruesomania. It started in a basement. It spread to the small clubs. It conquered Canada. Now it's threatening the world...You too can get infected with Gruesomania. The only needle you need is the one on your record player. So what are you waiting for? Slap on the platter, kick out mom and dad, and crank it up!" - liner notes

"SUMMER 1987… Downtown in Montreal, Canada. It’s towards the end of a great holiday, visiting my sister and her husband.
I’m standing in a record store called Cheap Thrills, having decided to buy a Canadian LP as a souvenir of my stay. In the ‘local music’ section a sleeve catches my eye: four guys with bowl haircuts, fringes almost down to their noses, standing outside an American gothic house that could have come straight off an Addams Family set. The Gruesomes. I ask the assistant, ‘Who are these guys?’ He tries to sell me a Canadian country-pop LP, dismissing The Gruesomes as, ‘Okay, but kinda pointy boots, sixties...’ I ignore him and buy the LP anyway, having been convinced by the sleeve notes (by Fuad Rainses) which promise ‘...primitive raunch, maracca- shakin’ rave-ups, harp wailin’ R&B and other teenage sounds...’

I return home. All the way from Heathrow the rain is pouring, as it should when you come back to England. I put the record on as I unpack...I am hooked forever. The sound is like The Pretty ‘Things and The Downliners Sect, but, if anything, louder and cruder. I have discovered 1980s garage punk...

The Gruesomes sound developed, but always remained true to
the same crude snotty garage R&B. Like The Tell-Tale Hearts, they
always sounded as if they had more in common with the wilder
British R&B merchants than the more American Nuggets/Pebbles
bands. They also had a fondness for covers of obscure ’60s
Quebecois R&B sung in French." - Phil Suggitt

"Montreal quartet who specialized, originally in '60's garage style cover tunes with an affinity for punk formed in 1985. With all the members between the ages of 16 and 19, they derived their influences from bad TV and listening to obscure mid-60's record. The band took its name from an episode of The Flintstones.

After garnering attention with two EPs on Primitive Records in 1985, and less than a year after picking up musical instruments for the first time, they released their debut album, 'Tyrants Of Teen Trash', in 1986 for Og Music.

The album sold well in Europe and North America and frequently landed at the No.1 position on many alternative playlists across Canada.

Their following grew which led to back-to-back LP releases of 'Gruesomania' (1987) and 'Hey!' (1988) making them one of Canada's biggest selling underground acts.

However, the extreme pressures of touring and recording finally took their toll on the band and they broke up at the height of their popularity in 1990." - Wes Doerksen and Patrick LeBoutillier

Gerry Alvarez - guitar, vocals
John Davis - bass
John "Jed" Knoll - drums
Bobby Beaton - vocals, guitar, harmonica

Way Down Below
I'm glad for you
Leave my Kitten Alone
Ain't got Nothing
I Can't Tell
Buzz off
Je cherche
Why Me?
Time's Gonna Come
Jack Knife
Outta my Mind
You Said Yeah
Heart Full of Pain

-PRODUCED by Pete Moss and The Gruesomes

Download (160 kbs, 42 Mb)


Slobodan Burgher said...

Good stuff for this sunny morning! Thanks!

DEVIL® said...

great album Thnxxx !!!!
greetzzzz DEVIL®

Dgrador said...

Glad to pass these along.

SamIam said...

Always good to see more Gruesomes. Thanks for leaving a comment and allowing me to backtrack to your excellent new site. It's vital to increase the CanCon in the blogosphere. All the garage posts are much appreciated. Now for some serious downloading.

Cheers, SamIAm

Dgrador said...

So awesome to hear from you.
Stay tuned for more Cancon, yes!

Trustar said...


Very cool album. Thanks for sharing all of the excellent tunes from the frosty north. Good luck with the blog. Your off to a great start.

Happy Holidays


Trustar Vibrations

Anonymous said...

Diggin' the gruesomes. Thanks for the comment over at radnauseum! Keep up with your new site. You must be doing well because my traffic has increased since you linked to me. Thanks. I'll pop in a link for you later.

Three cheers for Canada.

Julio said...

The gruesomes, great album!!!!!

whatwave said...

Hey! Reunion show coming up in May in well as the records being re-ished on CD (with some extra tracks from the archives) on Ricochet Sound....