Early shows relied more on the group's energy and humor than actual musical ability, but despite this (or because of it) the Gruesomes became an instant club favorite. Less than a year after picking up instruments for the first time, the Gruesomes recorded their debut LP for Og Records, a Montreal independent music label. The result was 1986's Tyrants of Teen Trash, a collection of primitive teen anthems that sold phenomenally in both Europe and North America  and dominated the number one position on alternative playlists across the country. The band's follow-up releases on Og, 1987's Gruesomania and 1988's Hey! were also chart toppers and established the band as one of Canada's biggest selling underground acts. Famous for their smoldering live sets, the Gruesomes toured Canada and the U.S. playing to capacity crowds, often setting attendance records at top clubs. In 1987, Ottawa's John Knoll replaced Eric on drums, taking away from the punk sound that the band originally had, and leaning more to the early r'n'b sound that they acquired. Always taking an irreverent approach to music, the Gruesomes were known for their humor and goofy stage antics.
Their famous Halloween shows were schlocky tributes to horror themes, incorporating campy props such as coffins and Dracula capes. In the late 1980s, the Gruesomes were Canada's best-loved touring band on University campuses and the alternative club scene. The Gruesomes released two videos, 1987's "Way Down Below" and 1988's Monkees-inspired "Hey!". Both clips received heavy rotation on Canada's video station MuchMusic. In late 1989, Al Boyd replaced Gerry Alvarez on guitar. When the Gruesomes broke up in 1990, they were still at the height of their popularity. The pressures of constant touring and recording had finally caught up to the band.
In an era when mainstream commercial success for punk oriented bands was virtually inconceivable, the Gruesomes felt that they had accomplished a great deal. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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