The Gruesomes | Gruesomania

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Rock: Garage Rock Rock: Psychedelic Moods: Mood: Party Music
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by The Gruesomes

Canadian Garage-Punk and Psychedelic Rock Band.
Genre: Rock: Garage Rock
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Way Down Below
2:15 $0.99
2. I'm Glad for You
2:48 $0.99
3. Leave My Kitten Alone
1:58 $0.99
4. Ain't Got Nothin'
2:41 $0.99
5. Whirlpool
2:04 $0.99
6. I Can Tell
3:41 $0.99
7. Buzz Off
2:14 $0.99
8. Je Cherche
2:42 $0.99
9. Why Me
2:25 $0.99
10. Time's Gonna Come
2:24 $0.99
11. Jacknife
1:50 $0.99
12. Outta My Mind
2:37 $0.99
13. You Said Yeah
2:33 $0.99
14. Heartfull of Pain
5:53 $0.99
15. Unchain My Heart (Alt. Version)
2:19 $0.99
16. Your Lies
2:14 $0.99
17. Buried and Dead
2:03 $0.99
18. Santa Claus
2:33 $0.99
19. Got Love If You Want It
2:55 $0.99
20. I'm Searching
2:48 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Ricochet Sound is proud to present for the first time on CD the 2nd full length release “Gruesomania “ by Veteran Canadian Garage-Punk Rockers “The Gruesomes”!

Orginally issued in 1987 on OG Records…..20 blistering garage inspired Rockers including 6 Bonus tracks from their highly sought after 12” EP “Unchained”.

Riveting classics and live staples “Way Down Below” + “Leave My kitten Alone” …….. the French-Canadian Gem “Je Cherche” to the timeless Fuzz strains of “Times Gonna Come” , “Outta My Mind” and “You Said Yeah”.

The bonus tracks include an alternative version of the Ray Charles classic “Unchain My Heart” ….Their unique take on Elmore James’ “Got Love If You Want It” and the Twisted Yule Reverie of The Sonics “Santa Claus”!

The Gruesomes ripped through snotty 60’s punk-- fuelled by Count Chocula, Frankenberry, Booberry, Hammer horror flicks, bad 70’s TV and great 60’s TV repeats, processed junk food, popping zits, raw emotion and loads of cheap beer. Clad in striped shirts, well-worn leather jackets, pointy cockroach killing cousin boots, stove piped jeans and long shaggy mop tops. Looking like the Ritalin addicted Canadian cousins of the Ramones; the Tyrants of Teen Trash on their second release were ready to prove that the first LP was no happenstance. Not only did they validate it, they upped the ante, destroyed the formula and combusted many a stage with inferno sized bubbling blister making live antics.

With equal mix of humour, sweat, sonic driven backbeat and supercharged kinetic energy, these screaming hairy Banshees might just well of raised the blonde shagged corpse of Brian Jones! Thus bringing back an era when music made you jump up and compulsively convulse like Grand Mal seizures were part of The Gruesomes artillery.

Defying the inevitable and feared proverbial wooden club, these gents sidestepped trends, hip moments of the minute to generate, gyrate their way into your tell tale heart.

Thump, Thump Thump, Thump…Yeah, Yeah Yeah! Gruesomania lives on……..


February 26th, 2009
The Gruesomes - (Ricochet Sound Records)

Martin Siberok [The Hour, Montreal,Canada]

Back in the '80s, Montreal's indie scene exploded with a host of hot young bands covering an array of musical genres. The Gruesomes grabbed the garage-punk corner with their straight-ahead, no-holds-barred approach to this wonderfully raw '60s style. Weaving basic R&B rhythms, fuzz-ridden guitar riffs, snarly vocals and teen urgency, the band produced a primitive sound that placed them in the vein of such groups as Count Five and The Standells as well as early Rolling Stones and The Pretty Things. This re-release of the band's 1987 second album with Way Down Below (a live show staple) and Je cherche (originally by Les Lutins) also includes the six songs from their Unchained 12-inch EP. These guys made us proud of Montreal music back then - and they still do.


The Gruesomes

Ricochet Sound Recordings
US distribution through Get Hip Records Distribution and Canada/US through Scratch Records

Great rock 'n' roll is not what sells the most but what endures, but garage rock has a unique spin on this notion: Not only does the music endure, but reinvents itself every few years. The bands that spearhead or participate in that reinvention cause new listeners to go backwards and find their influences. As a result, older bands have periodic resurgences. Therefore, it's no surprise that The Gruesomes had a lot of recognition in 2008 that culminated in last month's reissue of 1987's Gruesomania, which not only has the original 14 tracks, but an extra 6 tracks from their Unchained EP.

Although technically siblings, The Gruesomes can be considered to be the love child of a glorious mating between The Ramones and The Fleshtones as a bunch of young punks with an affinity for '60s garage rock. Gruesomania is fuzztacular with the opening "Way Down Below" and the satisfaction of "Ain't Got Nothin', which are "dirty" sounding tunes with two guitars buzzing and Bobby Beaton's signature growl. There's also the mod inspired "Glad For You" with a tough backbeat and clean chords, while the cover "Leave My Kitten Alone" is a bit of a faster tempo with some nice garage guitar licks, but somewhere in all of this, one figures out that The Gruesomes manage to retain their own sonics and snottiness.

Given their "trashy" affinity, the surf sounds of "Whirlpool" is a great surprise. It's really tight, has lead guitar Gerry Alvarez playing a tremolo with a strong echo and some nice reverb, but the ending stereo sound of water is...let's just say The Gruesomes! Other highlights include a slow tempo number "I Can Tell" that reaches into some basic r & b, or the "shaking" cool rhythm and harmonica of "Buzz Off." As if a fitting education, one also finally realises the blunt, scratchy anunciation of r's in French makes those who sing it perfect candidates for garage rock on "Je Cherche", which packs a bit more of a punch than the English translation "I'm Searching", which is included as one of the bonus tracks. One of the endearing qualities of The Gruesomes lies in Beaton's self depreciating humor highlighted on "Why Me": "I ask girls out, but the say no deal, It doesn't really matter 'cause they always say no, I can't take 'em out 'cause I got no dough." Just when one has The Gruesomes figured out, one's given a good blast of punk, Detroit garage guitar solos, and enough howls on "Time's Gonna Come" to thank their lucky Stooges.

The Gruesomes are musically top notch and play their instruments well, which precludes their sound of being low fidelity. Thus, Gruesomania is appropriately in stereo and the mixings are successful overall. One can especially hear the advantage on the familiar story line of "Outta My Mind" and the great guitar fuzz of the ghoulishly cool "You Said Yeah", and the trashed out, bluesy tremolo on "Heartfull Of Pain". The extra tracks on the reissue are all solid covers, including a loud and deep cover of the Bobby Sharp r & b standard "Unchain My Heart", the deep, Rolling Stones bent Master's Apprentices "Buried and Dead", "Santa Claus" by The Sonics, although the latter didn't originally ask for Stretch Armstrong and Gruesomania, and "Got Love If You Want It" by Louisiana swamp blues legend James Moore (aka Slim Harpo).

The Gruesomes overall and specifically, Gruesomania capture the essence of garage rock: When one hears great garage rock for the first time, no matter if it was done today or many years ago, it sounds steeped in the old but still new. Likewise, one always can listen to the older end of the spectrum, but that music somehow sounds new and never dated. As a result, garage rock stands alone compared to all other rock genres because it's a continuum. Gruesomania is forever old in its influences and always new to the ears, no matter how many times one has heard it.

Way Down Below!!

Review by: Paisely Umbrella [Texas,USA. Jamuary 23,2009)


Gruesomes - Tyrants Of Teen Trash + Gruesomania CD
Written by Jens [Lowcut E-zine,Denmark]
Thursday, 05 February 2009 11:10

(Ricochet Sound Records)

Reissues of two rare albums from 1986/87 + lotsa bonus songs. Montreal's Gruesomes is a typical 80s garagerock band which obeys all the strict rules of the genre. You know the deal; suits, Brian Jones haircuts and the obligatory cover of Sonics' "The Witch". Well this material is over the 20 years old, so back then when the 2nd generation of garage rock exploded this retro approach was somewhat fresh. The music is sorta the same as their peers back then like Fuzztones and Cynics, a little Nuggets worship mixed with British Invasion beat, fuzz geetars and semi-punky vocals.... Fans of the genre will surely welcome these two releases from Ricochet Sound.

If you dig: Fuzztones, Cynics, Yardbirds

The Gruesomes
By Keith Carman [Exclaim! Magazine-Febuary 2009]

Anyone wondering what the missing link between the Stooges, New York Dolls and Black Haloes could possibly be would do well to check out this re-release of the Gruesomes' 1987 cult classic.
Montreal's premiere garage rock outfit, the Gruesomes — and by default, Gruesomania — are an endless stream of twangy, kitschy pre-punk soaked in as much attitude as reverb. Despite the album's questionable sonic clarity, with production levels below that of farting into a ghetto blaster's built-in microphone, the plethora of upbeat soul/rock/pop gems are endless.
Gruesomania is a surprisingly dirty affair, topping out at 20 bouts (the Unchained EP is tacked on as bonus material) of infectiously greasy fluff. From the bouncy, light-hearted jangle of "Leave My Kitten Alone" to the driving grimace of "Way Down Below" and surf-twang of "Whirlpool," this early Rolling Stones-meets-the Ramones trash rock sounds even more relevant two decades after its creation than it most likely did at the time. (Ricochet Sound)


The Gruesomes/Gruesomania CD (Ricochet Sound)

Review by : The Montreal Mirror - Rupert Bottenburg [January 21,2009]

Yesterday’s sounds of yesterday… today! The Gruesomes were Montreal’s major export of the ’80s garage rock scene and indie-circuit trailblazers (hell, they didn’t even have zines to build them, much less blogs and Pitchfork and such).
1987’s Gruesomania was their second album, packed with raw, fuzzy nuggets like “Way Down Below” and “Leave My Kitten Alone,” and this reissue has been thickened like singer Bobby Beaton’s waistline by six bonus tracks, every bit as dumb and dirty as the rest.

Trial Track: “Je Cherche”


sábado 3 de enero de 2009
The Gruesomes


Los canadienses Gruesomes irrumpieron en la escena garajera en 1986 con aquel ep en homenaje a Jack the Ripper, clásico personaje entre los seguidores de sonidos fuzz-maniacos y sin duda fuente de inspiración para multitud de bandas, de nuevo es el sello Ricochet quien se encarga de recuperar los viejos vinilos de este cuarteto. Tras la edición del directo “Live in Hell” y “Cave In!” el que fuera ultimo disco en estudio del cuarteto, ahora le toca el turno a Gruesomania el segundo disco de Gerry Alvarez, Bobby Beaton, John Davis y John Knoll. Editado en 1987 y afianzando al cuarteto como una de las bandas de garaje mas importantes de Canada, los sonidos escuchados 22 años después no han perdido el espíritu juvenil con que fueron interpretados, ritmo y blues, paranoia, panderetas y maracas, armónicas desquiciadas, sonidos cuadriculados y versiones desde el machacado “I Can Tell” que invento Bo Diddley y desde entonces sigue siendo un referente, “Leave My Kitten Alone” que ya hicieron los Beatles en single o la rara “Je Cherche” en francés y original de Les Lutins (banda de Quebec en los 60´s), además de un buen numero de temas propios que perfectamente podían pincharse junto a temas de mas bandas melenudas de calaveras al cuello como podían ser toda esa legion de cave-teens que hacían discos de garaje alrededor del mundo, nombres como Stomachmouths, Graveddiger V, unos primerizos Sex Museum, Sick Rose, Tyfles, Outta Place, ……la lista es realmente larga, y los temas de la calidad de “Way Down Below” que abre el disco a golpe de fuzz y de cuerdas vocales temblando sobre el micrófono, “I´m Glad for You” inspirada en un solo de guitarra de Dave Davies y con golpes vocales a lo Cynics, “Buzz Off” con Bobby soplando la harmónica y cantando a la vez mientras rememoran a los Sect o Pretty Things, mas sonidos rancios en “Why Me?” y frenetismo sonico en ese “Time´s Gonna Come”, un “Jacknife” instrumental que es puro punk rock desde el garaje, un grito clásico yeah es el pretexto para hacer una canción “You Said Yeah” para cerrar el disco con “Heart Full of Pain”. Pero este cd además incluye los seis temas de otro de los discos de los Gruesomes, aquel minilp titulado “Unchained” se incluyen en esta reedición que da sabida cuenta cuenta de versiones como “Santa Claus” via Sonics o “Unchain My Heart” de Ray Charles, un “Your Lies” que fue grabado para el recopilatorio “It Came From Canada vol III”, una versión de “Buried & Dead”, de los australianos Master´s Apprentices ”, Un recuerdo a Slim Harpo en ese “Got Love If You Want It” que bebe del blues mas genuino, para cerrar con una versión en ingles del tema que ya hicieron de Les Lutins, en esta ocasión su titulo “I´m Searching”. Mientras Ricochet trabaja en la recuperación del resto de la discografía de los Gruesomes, seguiremos pinchando estos gritos desde el garaje en la década de los 80´s y recuperados en pleno siglo XXI.

BY:(Oscarkotj-2009- KICK OUT THE JAMS BLOG)




to write a review


Where were these guys back in their day? I feel cheated that I did not know them at the time. However, it is a treat to have discovered them in the present. All I can say is, if anyone is looking for TRUE rock and roll, you'll find it right here. Big beat with lots of guitar, not fancy, but presented in its raw, pure form. These tunes are, to paraphrase a worn cliche, labors of love. These fellows obviously enjoy what they do Perfection!