Saturday, November 26, 2016

The Scientists & Shows # 629 & 630


The Scientists are a band from Perth, Australia that not only formed from early incarnations of other bands, but also that had quite a few line-up changes throughout their history. The Scientists formed in 1978, but initially Kim Salmon guitarist/vocalist and main songwriter in the group, formed a proto-punk band called The Cheap Nasties in 1976. Following some line-up changes the band went by the name The Exterminators and The Invaders, before changing their name to The Scientists. The Scientists recorded their first single Frantic Romantic/Shake (Together Tonight) in 1979. The line-up for this single included Salmon on guitar/vocals, Rodd Radalj (guitar), Dennis Byrne (bass), and James Baker from The Victims on drums. “Frantic Romantic” is a power pop-infused track drawing influences from Big Star and guitar sounding like a cross of The Troggs and Johnny Thunders. An EP followed in 1979, with yet another line-up change. It was amended with Ben Juniper on guitar and Ian Sharples on bass, replacing Radalj and Byrne respectively. In February/March of 1980 the band appeared on the Melbourne, Australia based TV show Countdown. It was an equivalent to the British television show Top of The Pops, which primarily featured lip-synced performances to charting singles. The Scientists performed the song “Last Night” on this program.

In May of 1980, The Scientists became a three-piece band when guitarist Ben Juniper left the group. They recorded a full-length album that is commonly referred to as The Pink Album. The album mixed themes of teenage romance, alienation, girls and sounded pretty different from the other music in Perth, Australia at the time. It was shortly after the release of this album that The Scientists broke up in 1981. This would be the end of the early incarnation of the group. Their sound and vision would be much different than the version of the Scientists that would follow. This early version of the band would reflect simpler lyrical themes such as young love, and reflect the musical influences of early 70s punk and power pop that would come off in a sound that resembles The Undertones meets the Buzzcocks.

In September of 1981, Salmon and bassist Boris Sujdovic relocated to Sydney, Australia and reformed The Scientists. Along with drummer Brett Rixon and guitarist Tony Thewlis, the band also took on a new musical direction and sound. The band pulled influences from bands such as The Cramps, The Stooges, Suicide and Captain Beefheart for a sound that has been described as swampy psychedelic rock and roll. Like when they started in 1978, the band released a single, which was then followed by an album. This Is My Happy Hours/Swampland was the first single released as this incarnation of The Scientists in December of 1982. The band’s grittier sound would become more apparent on Blood Red River, which was released in 1983. The Scientists became a very popular indie band in the Australian underground music scene. In 1984, they supported The Gun Club on their European tour. The band would continue making music, releasing five more albums (This Heart Doesn’t Run On Blood, This Heart Doesn’t Run On Love (1984), Atom Bomb Baby (1985), You Get What You Deserve (1985), Weird Love (1986) and Human Jukebox (1987)) before splitting up after a show in November of 1987.

While both incarnations of The Scientists are good in their own ways, it was the second reformed incarnation of the band that would be more influential. The band’s distorted sound that flirted with swampy rock and roll and psychedelia has been called a precursor to the “Seattle Sound” that would eventually be referred to as grunge in the 90s. Lyrically, some of the themes that The Scientists sang of were things such as getting drunk, driving around in suped up cars, working crappy jobs and paranoia. Along with their earlier teenage romance and alienation themed lyrics and power pop/punk sound, The Scientists covered a large scope, which has proved to be vastly influential on music that was alternative to the mainstream.

In 2016, the Numero Group released a box set of all of the band’s recorded output. It is entitled, A Place Called Bad.






Show 630 Playlist:

1. Blue Rodeo - Dust To Gold
2. Gord Downie - Swing Set
3. Drive By Truckers - Filthy And Fried
4. Frankie & Jimmy - Got My Mojo Workin'
5. Nice Motor - Duck And Cover
6. Gramps The Vamp - The Cave Of 1000 Eyes
7. Whitney - Red Moon
8. King Khan & The Shrines - Lucky Man
9. Lesbo Vrouven - New Sealand
10. Jeff Rosenstock - I Did Something Weird Last Night
11. No Museums - No Reason To Send Letters
12. Paul Jacobs - Vincent (Don McClean Cover)
13. Paul Jacobs - Words Of Wisdom
14. Kevin Morby - Dorothy
15. Crocodiles - I'm Sick
16. Ritual Howls - Nervous Hands
17. Derm Kean & An Incredible Woman - Better Things
18. We Are Wolves - Wrong Wrong
19. Iggy Pop - I Dig Your Mind
20. New York - Dolls Bad Detective
21. Ty Segall - Orange Color Queen
22. Tad - 3-D Witch Hunt (Demo)
23. Thee Oh Sees - Unwrap The Fiend Pt.1
24. The Dickies - You Drive Me Ape
25. The Scientists - Frantic Romantic
26. The Scientists - Shake

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 26.

Show 630 Playlist:

1. The Replacements - Election Day
2. The Damned - Politics
3. Radiohead - Scatterbrain
4. Preoccupations - Monotony
5. Monomyth - Puppet Creek
6. Duotang - Nostalgia’s A Vice
7. Foxhart Fishman - Home
8. Brazilian Money - The Hammer
9. Tommorow’s Tulips - Optimistic Vibes
10. Sprinters - Last Song
11. The Seams - Seeds
12. The Zantees - Rockin’ In The House
13. The A-Bones - Sham Rock
14. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings - 100 Days, 100 Nights
15. The Clash - Stop The World
16. Jakob Dylan - Evil Is Alive And Well
17. Pop Group - Words Disobey Me
18. OFF! - Legion of Evil
19. Extroverts - TV Baby
20. The O-L West - Trespassing
21. The O-L West - West Coast Blues
22. Port Juvee - Double Vision
23. The Evaporators - Ogopogo Punk
24. The Fallouts - No Ambition
25. The In Crowd - Stop! Wait A Minute
26. Pretty Things - Don't Bring Me Down
27. The Diodes - Behind Those Eyes

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 19.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Duotang, Leonard Cohen & Shows # 627 & 628

Duotang's New Occupation

Forming in the summer of 1995, Duotang are a two-piece band out of Winnipeg, Manitoba. The band’s sound has been called pop power and mod rock, it blends those genres with a touch of garage influences for good measure. Following a live show with The Smugglers, the band was signed to Mint Records in 1996. The two band members Rod Slaughter and Sean Allum released three full-length albums as Duotang on Vancouver based label Mint Records. Shortly after the release of 2001’s The Bright Side, Duotang went on hiatus. In 2014, the band began performing live shows sporadically and in 2016 they released their fourth album. New Occupation is the band’s first new album in fifteen years. It was released via Stomp Records. Two videos have been released for this album. A video was made for the album track “Karma Needs To Come Around”, a bass and drum heavy track with splashes of synthesizer and subtle maracas. The second video is for “Nostalgia’s A Vice”.



Leonard Cohen



On Thursday November 10th, it was announced that Canadian musician and poet Leonard Cohen passed away. This came as a shock to many as he had just released a new full-length album, You Want It Darker at the end of October. Just a few weeks ago, Revolution Rock celebrated the music of Leonard Cohen. The show featured a song from each of his albums and several from his now last full-length album You Want It Darker. This episode aired as a repeat on November 12th, 2016 in tribute to Leonard Cohen. If you would like to read the post that I made about Leonard Cohen for that episode you can view that here.

Show 627 Playlist: New Occupations

1. The Wytches - C-Side
2. Ex-Cult - Attention Ritual
3. The Birthday Party - King Ink
4. Slint - Nosferatu Man
5. Sonic Avenues - Future
6. Duotang - Karma Needs To Come Around
7. Duotang - (Can't Help Having My) Reservations
8. Parkay Quarts - These Boots Were Made For Walkin'
9. Blonde Redhead - Astro Boy
10. Deerhunter - Slow Swords
11. Suuns - Infinity
12. The Stooges - Down On The Street (Take 8)
13. Tom Waits - Rain Dogs (Live)
14. Girl Trouble - Gonna Find A Cave
15. The Night And Days - Lookin'
16. The King Khan & BBQ Show - Get Down
17. The King Khan & BBQ Show - Hold Me Tight
18. Archaics - No In, No Out
19. No Aloha - Role Reversal
20. Secret Satanists - Youth Eats You
21. Bears - Decisions
22. Protex - Don't Ring Me Up
23. The Scientists - It'll Never Happen
24. Ten Commandments - Feel It

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 5.

Show 628 Playlist: Leonard Cohen Radio Special (Repeat of Episode 626):

1. Leonard Cohen - Thousands (Book Of Longing - 2006)
2. Leonard Cohen - You Want It Darker (You Want It Darker - 2016)
3. Leonard Cohen - Story Of Isaac (Songs From A Room - 1969)
4. Leonard Cohen - There Is A War (New Skin For The Old Ceremony - 1974)
5. Leonard Cohen - Blessed Is The Memory (Songs Of Leonard Cohen Outtake - 1967/2007)
6. Leonard Cohen - Memories (Death Of A Ladies Man - 1977)
7. Leonard Cohen - Diamonds In The Mine (Songs Of Love & Hate - 1971)
8. Leonard Cohen - Dance Me To The End Of Love (Various Positions - 1984)
9. Leonard Cohen - Everybody Knows (I'm Your Man - 1988)
10. Leonard Cohen - There For You (Dear Heather - 2004)
11. Leonard Cohen - Slow (Popular Problems - 2014)
12. Leonard Cohen - Different Sides (Old Ideas - 2012)
13. Leonard Cohen - The Future (The Future - 1992)
14. Leonard Cohen - That Don't Make It Junk (Ten New Songs - 2001)
15. Leonard Cohen - The Guests (Recent Songs - 1979)
16. Leonard Cohen - Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye (Songs Of Leonard Cohen - 1967)
17. Leonard Cohen - Bird On A Wire (Live 1968) (Live At The BBC 1968)
18. Leonard Cohen - Red River Valley (Live 1979) (The Other Leonard Cohen Album - 2010)
19. Leonard Cohen - Fingerprints (Death Of A Ladies Man - 1977)
20. Leonard Cohen - Who By Fire (New Skin For The Old Ceremony - 1974)
21. Leonard Cohen - Travelling Light (You Want It Darker - 2016)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for November 12.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

CJAM FM Pledge Drive 2016 & Show # 627


Every year CJAM FM holds an annual pledge drive. The reason for this is CJAM (like other campus/community based radio stations in Canada) is a non-profit organization. All of the money raised during the week of pledge drive (which occurs for one week, once a year) goes towards the station, which is built on volunteers and programming made for the Windsor/Detroit communities. This year CJAM FM has a goal of raising $40, 000 dollars for their pledge drive campaign. You can show your support by donating in a variety of ways. Incentives are offered as a thank you for your support. Here are some reasons why a station like CJAM FM is still important and relevant in our modern digital age.

1. Programming is alternative to the mainstream. All of the programming on CJAM FM is created by volunteer programmers who put in their own time to make unique programs. Many independent bands from Windsor and Detroit are featured on our programs. If it were not for a place like CJAM, many bands would not have their voices heard in a larger context. The same goes for spoken word content featured on the station. CJAM broadcasts in over eight different languages. CJAM does things differently for the community and is created by students and programmers from our communities.

2. CJAM day by day. As mentioned during last year’s pledge drive, CJAM FM was the second campus radio station in Canada to have live streaming content. They first began doing so in 1996. This was done so because of supporters of the station. Funds raised during pledge drive also go to assist in the day-to-day operations at the station. They go towards radio broadcasting equipment, microphones, CD players, computers, their website and the general upkeep of the station.

3. Campus/community radio is still relevant. Despite the plethora of music, podcasts and internet based content, CJAM FM provides a multiple, more focused viewpoint on a variety of musical genres and spoken word/political content that is often ignored by mainstream media. In many cases, DJs provide unique programming that you won’t find anywhere else. By listening to CJAM FM, you won’t get lost in the digital world of the Internet. You can find interesting content simply by tuning in on 99.1 FM in Windsor/Detroit or by streaming/downloading programs off CJAM’s website.

If you have ever listened to the station online or on the FM dial, you can show your support for the station by calling 519-971-3630 (in Windsor) or 1-855-344-2526 (in Detroit/out of town) or by donating securely online at www.cjam.ca or at https://grouprev.com/cjamfm

You can download/listen to the 2016 pledge drive edition Revolution Rock below the playlist.

The Playlist:

1. Devo - Let's Talk
2. 9th Wave - Zombies Attack!
3. The Pharaohs - The Green Werewolf
4. Glenn Branca - Structure
5. Lydia Lunch - Red Alert
6. Mars - Helen Fordsdale
7. Sonic Youth - Freezer Burn/I Wanna Be Your Dog
8. Preoccupations - Zodiac
10. Angel Olsen - Never Be Mine
11. Shotgun Jimmie with Jose Contreras - Field Of Trampolines (CJAM Session)
12. Danny Kroha - Come Out The Wilderness (CJAM Session)
13. Chris Crossroads - 20 Eyes (CJAM Session)
14. The Growlers - City Club
15. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - Anthrocene
16. Bon Iver - 666 I
17. Iggy Pop - Nightclubbing
18. Tim Presley - The Wink
19. Tuns - Look Who's Back In Town Again
20. Paul Jacobs - I'm Into What You're Into
21. Ramones - Planet Earth 1988

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for October 29.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Leonard Cohen Radio Special & Show # 626


Montreal singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen initially started out his career as a poet and novelist. He released several books of poetry and novels, his first being Let Us Compare Mythologies in 1956 prior to being known as a musician. Although he had always loved and became involved in poetry, Cohen played guitar and was even in a country and western band called the Buckskin Boys in his youth. In 1967, Cohen moved to the US in order to pursue a career as a folk singer due to his lack of financial success as a writer. He became involved with the Andy Warhol factory crowd. His song “Suzanne” was the song that started him on the course to be a musical artist in a more serious capacity. Judy Collins covered this song and it became a hit for her. This brought Cohen to the attention of John Hammond, who initially was going to produce Cohen’s first album for Columbia Records, but when got sick during the recording sessions, Hammond was replaced by John Simon to produce the record. Songs Of Leonard Cohen was released in December of 1967.

Songs Of Leonard Cohen contained songs such as “Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye”, “Master Song”, “Sisters Of Mercy” and “So Long, Marianne”, Cohen’s next album Songs From A Room featured a slightly different approach. Released in 1969, this album would feature one of his best-known songs “Bird On A Wire”. The song was inspired by his time living in Hydra, in Greece. At the time he was living there, telephone poles were being installed for the first time there and birds would sit on the lines. This is part of what inspired the music to this song. It was also inspired, along with a few other songs such as “So Long, Marianne”, by his Marianne Ihlen, Cohen’s girlfriend while living in Greece and his muse. The version of this song that appears on 1969’s Songs From A Room features a simple production style and does not feature drums. The songs on this album are notable for their simple production style, which differed from the recordings of Bob Dylan, who had also been produced by Bob Johnston. In 1971, Johnston once again produced Cohen for his album, Songs Of Love & Hate. This album was grittier, lyrically and musically and featured compositions such as “Avalanche”, “Joan Of Arc”, “Famous Blue Raincoat” and the dirty rock oriented track “Diamonds In The Mine”.

Leonard Cohen continued to record albums and even write poetry. In 1984 he released Various Positions. Initially declared as not good enough by his record company, Various Positions would contain not only one of Cohen’s most famous compositions, but a song that has been covered by too many artists to name. That song was “Hallelujah”. He worked with Phil Spector on 1977’s Death Of A Ladies Man and in 1988, he released the synth rock oriented album I’m Your Man. Leonard Cohen returned to the live stage after not performing for many years in 2010. Live and studio albums followed. In October of 2016, at the age of 82 Leonard Cohen released You Want It Darker. An album produced with his son Adam Cohen.

Cohen’s songs resonate with people on a different level in a similar way that the music and lyrics of Bob Dylan do. The comparisons between Cohen is something that does come up often, but their music stands on their own as both separate and unique in their own ways. Leonard Cohen’s songs have been said to focus on themes of sadness. Dylan himself in a recent New Yorker article said that he sees “No disenchantment in his songs” and while there are definitely elements of the macabre found in Cohen’s lyrics that is not all that is there in the music. There is much more than that. Like a story that can be re-read and new details found, Cohen’s music is much more than music that focuses on sadness. Other subjects that often pop up in Cohen’s lyrics are religion, sexuality, isolation and politics among other things. The lyrics feature layers that demand repeat listens, and this is something that has stayed constant in all of Cohen’s albums, regardless of when they were released.

For this episode of Revolution Rock, along with my co-host Adam, we did a program that featured the music of Leonard Cohen. One song is played from each of his studio albums, some live recordings and other nuggets. We also expand on many of the themes in the above article and elaborate more on certain elements of Leonard Cohen’s music. You can download/listen to this episode in the link below the playlist.

Leonard Cohen Playlist:

1. Leonard Cohen - Thousands (Book Of Longing - 2006)
2. Leonard Cohen - You Want It Darker (You Want It Darker - 2016)
3. Leonard Cohen - Story Of Isaac (Songs From A Room - 1969)
4. Leonard Cohen - There Is A War (New Skin For The Old Ceremony - 1974)
5. Leonard Cohen - Blessed Is The Memory (Songs Of Leonard Cohen Outtake - 1967/2007)
6. Leonard Cohen - Memories (Death Of A Ladies Man - 1977)
7. Leonard Cohen - Diamonds In The Mine (Songs Of Love & Hate - 1971)
8. Leonard Cohen - Dance Me To The End Of Love (Various Positions - 1984)
9. Leonard Cohen - Everybody Knows (I'm Your Man - 1988)
10. Leonard Cohen - There For You (Dear Heather - 2004)
11. Leonard Cohen - Slow (Popular Problems - 2014)
12. Leonard Cohen - Different Sides (Old Ideas - 2012)
13. Leonard Cohen - The Future (The Future - 1992)
14. Leonard Cohen - That Don't Make It Junk (Ten New Songs - 2001)
15. Leonard Cohen - The Guests (Recent Songs - 1979)
16. Leonard Cohen - Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye (Songs Of Leonard Cohen - 1967)
17. Leonard Cohen - Bird On A Wire (Live 1968) (Live At The BBC 1968)
18. Leonard Cohen - Red River Valley (Live 1979) (The Other Leonard Cohen Album - 2010)
19. Leonard Cohen - Fingerprints (Death Of A Ladies Man - 1977)
20. Leonard Cohen - Who By Fire (New Skin For The Old Ceremony - 1974)
21. Leonard Cohen - Travelling Light (You Want It Darker - 2016)

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for October 22.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

All Vinyl Episode, Danny Kroha & Show # 625

On this week’s episode of Revolution Rock we played music from vinyl records only. The show got off to a rocky start, but it featured a selection of current, obscure music and some of our favourite records. The playlist was selected spontaneously and on the fly. You can view the playlist and download the episode in the link below the playlist in this post.

Additionally, we featured a selection from Danny Kroha’s 2015 release Angels Watching Over Me. Released on Third Man Records, this album is Kroha’s take on the traditional folk, blues and gospel genres. Danny Kroha is a founding member of the Detroit garage trio The Gories and has played in numerous garage oriented rock bands such as The Demolition Doll Rods, The Readies and others. He also currently plays in a garage band called Danny & The Darleans. Danny stopped by CJAM FM’s studios at the end of August and performed three songs for a new video/audio series that I have started that we’re calling CJAM Sessions. You can view his performance in this video below.



Saturday Night Playlist:

1. Marvin Gaye - Ain't That Peculiar
2. Mark Sultan - Pounding
3. Tim Buckley - Move With Me
4. The Beach Boys - Heroes & Villains
5. Young Rival - Workin'
6. R.E.M. - Fall On Me
7. The Smiths - Hand In Glove
8. Sam Coffey & The Iron Lungs - Season Of The Witch
9. Shotgun Jimmie - Solar Array
10. Gang Of Four - To Hell With Poverty
11. Ritual Howls - A Thoughtful Beast
12. Joy Division - Exercise One
13. Cellos - Stowaway
14. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - From Her To Eternity
15. Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited
16. Danny Kroha - Cannonball Blues
17. Hank Williams - Bachelor Till I Die
18. Ray Condo & The Hardrock Goners - Willing And Ready
19. Luxury Christ - Black Book
20. Dion Lunadon - Com/Broke
21. Dinosaur Jr. - Fury Little Things
22. Ty Segall & Mikal Cronin - I Wear Black
23. The Diodes - Burn Down Your Daddy's House
24. Patti Smith - Free Money
25. Iggy & The Stooges - Search & Destroy

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for October 15.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Bell Peppers, Nirvana & Shows # 623 & 624

The Bell Peppers - Born To Love



The Bell Peppers are a rock n’ roll combo out of Manchester, UK. They play a mix of surf, R&B and beat music. This track “Born To Love” is part Bo Diddley, part surf, Part garage, and a lot of shaking rock n’ roll grooves. It is from a forthcoming EP to be released by the band. Their last release, Sizzling Hot Bell Peppers was released in 2013. All of their music is currently free to download via their bandcamp page.



Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit (Top Of The Pops 1991)



In September, Nirvana celebrated the 25th anniversary of their breakthrough album Nevermind. In November of 1991, Nirvana was asked to perform their hit single “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on the Top Of The Pops TV show in Britain. For this program musicians usually mimed along with an instrumental backing track version of the song. When Nirvana asked to perform the song live, they were denied. The vocals, however, were live. As a result, Nirvana mimed along to the instrumental backing track out of time and Kurt Cobain sang the song in a deep, low voice. It was later revealed that he was doing his best Morrissey impression, but this version of “Smells Like Teen Spirit” goes down as one of the memorable, rebellious performances of the Top Of The Pops TV show. It was cut short midway through the song when the audience rushed the stage.



Playlist for Show # 624:

1. Carl Perkins - Matchbox
2. Patsy Cline - I Got A Lot Of Rhythm In My Soul
3. Wes Dakus & The Rebels - Seesaw
4. The Chantays - Monsoon
5. La Luz - Don’t Wanna Be Anywhere
6. Kim Gray - Little Saigon
7. Kate Fagan - Master Of Passion
8. Twist - Can’t Wait
9. Preoccupations - Stimulation
10. The Wicked Awesomes - Somewhere In Nowheresville
11. Zoom - Subway Surfin’
12. The Damned - See Her Tonight
13. Rudi - Big Time
14. X Dreamysts - Dance Away Lover
15. Bell Peppers - Born To Love
16. Lightbulb Alley - Pepper Spray
17. Ricked Wicky - The Important Girl
18. Guided By Voices - My Zodiac Companion
19. Guided By Voices - I Certainly Hope Not
20. Guided By Voices - Long Distance Man
21. Run Coyote - Troubles
22. Radiohead - The Numbers
23. Ohtis - Pervert Blood
24. The Brandy Alexanders - Hey, Why'd You Do It?
25. The Nots - Cosmetic
26. Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit (TOTP 1991)
27. Pavement - Perfume-V
28. Teenage Fanclub - I'm In Love
29. By Divine Right - Complicated
30. By Divine Right - Uncontaminable

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for October 8.

Episode # 623 was a repeat of a previous episode that originally aired in January 2015. You download that episode here and view the playlist here.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Gruesomania & Shows # 621 & 622


It’s 2016, I’m standing in a local record store and looking through the used bins and CD sections to see if maybe there are any Gruesomes releases. Their music is scarce in record stores these days, but you never know. On the vinyl side of things, there are Gruesomes records missing from my collection. I recall reading that Gruesomania was reissued on vinyl recently. I quickly place an order. Emerging from Montreal and rising to popularity in parts of Europe and the North American underground music scenes, Gruesomania followed 1986’s Tyrants of Teen Trash. Originally released in 1987 on OG Music and recorded in Montreal, Gruesomania is often seen as one of the band’s best efforts released during their initial run as a band from 1985-1990.

The Gruesomes took influence from obscure garage compilations, 60’s garage and R&B acts and merged it with the visceral energy and attitude of 70s punk rock. Placing the record onto my record player, as the record catches “Way Down Below” opens Gruesomania with its spooky, fuzzy garage riff. This song draws on images of a bad relationship, hell and the band's horror/b-movie styled humour. A performance based music video for this song received high rotation on Much Music in Canada in the mid-80s. Gruesomania is filled with the same snotty energy as Tyrants Of Teen Trash, but also adds more of a soulful/R&B rhythm to their sound. This was in part due to John Knoll joining as the band’s drummer, replacing original Gruesome member Eric Davis. The album combines raved up Gruesome originals and several R&B/garage covers. The third track “Leave My Kitten Alone” is sung by guitarist Gerry Alvarez and complete with raunchy, twangy guitars and catchy vocal harmonies. This song was covered by The Beatles, but was originally released in 1959 by Little Wille John.

The rough and raunchy, “Ain’t Got Nothin’” about a snooty rich girl comes in as track four with stop and start guitar stabs and a sleazy R&B groove before the album’s first instrumental track “Whirlpool”. This short surf instrumental track is a smooth interlude awash in drums that are heavy on the ride cymbal, guitar solos, bouncy basslines and reverb soaked guitar sounds. On the back of the Gruesomania record, there is a short description of the record by Fuad Ramses and then a brief description of each song on the album, ala old blues and garage records. “I Can Tell” is a song originally by the band’s “Spiritual mentor and close friend: Mr. Bo Diddley” as it is stated on the back of the record. “Buzz Off” ends side one of Gruesomania with heavy bass, snarling vocals by Bobby Beaton and harmonica, a song that is described as a “pretty hot classic” on the back of the record.

If side one of Gruesomania started with the horror stylings of “Way Down Below” and songs that seem to question relationships that could be going wrong, side two starts off with “Je Cherche”, a song that starts off with an explosion, literally. Originally by Les Lutins in 1967, the song's title roughly translates into “I’m Searching” in English. This song starts off with lyrical subject matter that seems to question several of the topics brought up on the first side of this LP. “Why Me?” is a song about boredom, TV dinners, lack of cash and loneliness, “Time’s Gonna Come” shows The Gruesomes getting thrashier, fuelled on adrenaline, along with the instrumental “Jacknife”. “Outta My Mind” is a raved up garage song complete with harmonica, thick R&B influenced bass grooves from John Davis and intense vocals sung by guitarist Gerry Alvarez. Described as a song about “A tale of mistaken identity”, this song as do many on the second side of this LP, picks up on the band’s undeniable energy and chemistry. “You Said Yeah” is a fuzzy heavy guitar driven song that comes in as track thirteen before the album’s last track. “Heart Full Of Pain” is a slower song, complete with tremolo guitar and a paced soulful executed groove.

As Gruesomania ends, there is a short, hidden track, which features members of the band messing around on a piano and with each other. This, along with their sense of humour in their songs and in the actual liner notes, showcases The Gruesomes ethos and aesthetic. As the album ends, the record crackles and hisses as the record needle rises, I recall a review of this album from 2009, which describes the album’s production levels as “below that of farting into a ghetto blaster's built-in microphone”. This humorous comparison while partially joking brings forth the fact that The Gruesomes were all about their chemistry. The album does lend itself to the lo-fi realm of recording, despite not being recorded on 8 track. In fact, there’s nothing wrong with the sound of this album. It was never going to have over the top 80s over production techniques of the day. That isn’t the point and never was.

Rising from basements in a variety of reissues in different forms intermittently since 1987, Gruesomania was released on CD via Ricochet Sound in 2008 with bonus tracks and released on vinyl via Artofact records in 2015. Raised on bad TV shows, obscure garage nuggets, boredom and snotty, adrenalized enthusiasm, Gruesomania is infectious in its execution. Catch Gruesomania. It’s just as contagious today as it was in 1987.


Playlist for Show # 621:

1. The Barracudas - Summer Fun
2. The Submissives - Do You Really Love Me?
3. The Beatles - Cry For A Shadow
4. Wilco - I'm A Wheel
5. Tom Waits - I Don't Wanna Grow Up
6. The Good Family Album - Taller Than The Pines
7. Danny Kroha - The Road is Rough And Rocky
8. The Pogues - Bottle Of Smoke
9. Uncle Tupelo - Screen Door
10. The Gories - On The Run
11. The Pack AD - Is It So
12. Mexican Knives - Nightmare
13. Cellos - Standard And Poor
14. By Divine Right - Stretch Parachute
15. The Pixies - Holiday (live In Detroit 11.22.04)
16. Ty Segall Band - The Tongue
17. Sonic Youth - Tom Violence
18. PJ Harvey - Stella
19. Protomartyr - What The Wall Said
20. Richard Hell & The Voidoids - Down At The Rock n' Roll Club (Alternate Version)
21. Blondie - Eat To The Beat
22. Weird Lines - There Are Never Too Many Matches
23. Archaics - No In No Out
24. Square Waves - All That's Left
25. The Famines - Got Lies If You Want Them
26. Dion Lunadon - 1976
27. The Gruesomes - Jacknife
28. The Gruesomes - Outta My Mind

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for September 17.

Episode # 622 was a repeat of a previous episode that originally aired in September 2015. You download that episode here and view the playlist here.