Saturday, October 03, 2015

Road Gore: The Band That Drank Too Much, Jerry Jerry & The Sons Of Rhythm Orchestra & Show # 580

Road Gore: The Band That Drank Too Much is the debut album released by Edmonton, Alberta’s Jerry Jerry & The Sons of Rhythm Orchestra. Although the album was released in 1985 on OG Records (and on CD in 1990), the band first got their start in 1982. Their first release was an EP in 1984 entitled Fighting Socialism put out on Rubber Records. Apparently the only release on this label, Rubber Records was an independent label put together by the band’s soundman, Barry Peters. However, it wasn’t until after opening for Deja Voodoo at the Edmonton Ski Club that Jerry Jerry & The Sons Of Rhythm Orchestra were signed to OG. Reportedly the band drank six cases of beer, smoked several packs of cigarettes and played for approximately 45 minutes, but something about the band’s uninhibited sound and energy drew in the members of Deja Voodoo. Road Gore emphasizes that alone in its title, but the music contained on the record is something else entirely. In thirteen tracks, the band blasts through rockabilly, country, surf, gospel, and garage musical styles with a feral energy that some might also call punk rock.

The album opens with a surf song called “Gospel Surf” a short ramshackle song adhering to the elements of the surf music genre, but at the same time adding elements of garage rock and rockabilly music, featuring sound effects and random hollering from lead vocalist Jerry Woods. This song in its reckless abandon is a calling card for what was to come from the band and on the album. “Rhythm Crazy” comes in as song number two on this album with a clean rockabilly tone and tongue-in-cheek lyrics telling the story of a partying dancer with “soul in her big fat feet”. A more upbeat tempo comes in for the third song on this album “Color TV”, a song that touches on the commercialism of TV culture at the time and a character that becomes so transfixed by television she doesn’t notice a burglary that takes place in her house. The choppy rhythms of “Baby’s On Fire” recalls scratchy garage rock burning with lyrics relating to jealousy, “Livin’ On Top” looks at the US culture through a Canadian lens and “Daddy Was A Peacock” is a sloppy R&B take on a story that recalls a fathers glory days.

Side of two of Road Gore starts with the song “Happy Nun” with fuzzy guitar riffs and lyrics that juxtapose a happy nuns demeanor vs. a more raucous lifestyle, “Bad Idea” echoes with sleazy roots rock and country influences with an anti-socialism message, as the ramped up country of “Rancher King” seems to question the traditions of the rancher lifestyle. Songs such as “You Make Me Blue” travels into bluesier pastures before “Judgment Date”, which after several songs dealing with mischievous drinking related activities, brings us to an Armageddon-gospel themed track that builds and burns with as much intensity as the album’s first track. Following two more songs featured on the It Came From Canada compilation albums on OG Records (“Radical Look” and “Yap Yap”), the band relocated to Montreal in 1986 and released their second full-length album, the critically acclaimed follow-up Battle Hymn of the Apartment in 1987.

According to an interview with Exclaim in 2000, the album’s title was inspired by a road trip to Saskatoon with another band featuring Moe Berg (later of The Pursuit Of Happiness), but it was also around this time that the band made the connection with Deja Voodoo and OG Records and were put on the path towards their sound and ethos. Jerry Woods has often said that when The Sons Of Rhythm Orchestra started he didn’t take them that seriously, but on Road Gore: The Band That Drank Too Much, there are a multitude of different things growing beneath the surface. Whether it is the cow-punk dynamics of the music that also featured elements of garage, surf and blues or the lyrics, on Road Gore: The Band Who Drank Too Much, Jerry Jerry & The Sons Of Rhythm Orchestra started on a road less travelled with something different to say and to spread their own gospel.

Saturday Night Playlist:

1.  Jerry Jerry & The Sons Of Rhythm Orchestra - Gospel Surfer
2.  Jerry Jerry & The Sons Of Rhythm Orchestra -  Rhythm Crazy
3.  The Syndicats - Crawdaddy Simone
4.  The Dirty Pretty Things - Don’t Bring Me Down
5.  Monomyth - Transmission
6.  Telstar Drugs - Pulley
7.  Ought - Celebration
8.  The Buttons - I’ve Been Lookin’
9.  The Colonials - Crawdad
10. The Sadies - The First 5 Minutes
11. The Sadies - Leave This World Behind
12. Johnny Cash - Train Of Love
13. Richard “Rabbit” Brown - James Alley Blues
14. The Space Plan - Tread Lightly
15. The New Dimensions - Chicky Run
16. The Sentinals - Exotic
17. The Libertines - Heart Of The Matter
18. The Intelligence - Refuse To Pay The Dues
19. Shannon & The Clams - It’s Too Late
20. Rock “N’ Roll Monkey & The Robots - Love Is Chemical
21. Neon Boys - High Heeled Wheels
22. Simply Saucer - I Take It (Demo)
23. The Verlaines - You Say You
24. David Kilgour - Living In Space
25. The Slit Plasters - The Dung Fly
26. Fake Tears - Heart Break Loud
27. MC5 - Baby Won’t Ya

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for October 3. Or subscribe to Revolution Rock as a Podcast.

As a side note and for those keeping count, episode 579 of Revolution Rock was a repeat episode that originally aired back in August 2015. You can download that episode here and find the playlist in this post.


whatwave dave said...

We got to see Jerry Jerry many times over the years and they always put on an engaging and powerful show. JJ always had some great comments on whatever was happening politically in the world that day.
And yes, they drank a LOT and earned their moniker of The Band That Drank Too Much!!

Fun Times!!!

Dave said...

Good to hear they lived up to their name! Thanks for commenting Dave.

bizarrethailand said...

Thanks for the review and spinning some of the tunes. From Blake Cheetah, bass-slinger on the first two albums.

Dave said...

Hey Blake, thanks for visiting my site and commenting. I have the first two records and spin stuff from them on my radio show. I will continue to do so in the future!