Sunday, July 20, 2014

Jerry Jerry and the Sons of Rhythm Orchestra: Battle Hymn of the Apartment (1987)

"Turn around and be some one better; time permitting and shit."
Jerry Jerry

In 1986 Jerry Jerry and his ever-changing Sons of Rhythm Orchestra emigrated from Edmonton, Alberta to Montreal, Quebec. The band moved from Og Records, to the Doughboys' 1st home, Piepline Records before settling on their final label, Aquarius Records (home of great Can-Crap from April Wine to Corey Hart to Sum 41).

For Battle Hymn of the Apartment (1987) Jerry found his definitive band, with Paul Soulodre (guitar,vocals) George Wall (guitar,vocals) Duke Bronfman (drum, vocals), future Asexual Blake Cheetah (bass), not to mention backing horns, keyboard and a vocal trio.

As the credits suggest there are layers and layers of vocals here and all those voices underpin Jerry's role as the leader of a strange midnight choir. For proof of how this ensemble feeds Jerry's "Pusher for Jesus" personae - give this track a listen.

(art by Matt Wagner from his series Grendel)

On this album Jerry Jerry really claims his voice and that voice is a whiskey-and-cigarette soaked baritone that fires off venomous sermons. The Sons of Rhythm Orchestra are a super-tight unit that propel Jerry, turning his gospel and R n' B pastiches into torn flesh and dripping blood rockers.

A1     Runaway Lane   
A2     Bad Luck At Tulane   
A3     Pushin' For Jesus   
A4     Free Love   
A5     She's Been Used   
A6     Hurtin' Her Won't Make You A Man   
A7     The Mexican In Me   
B1     The Hard Way   
B2     In The Hands Of The Lord   
B3     Wazoo   
B4     Mistaken   
B5     Downhearted   
B6     The Drift

MRML Readers weigh in with a comment: is this Jerry's master work?



  1. Give us 'yer take on this mighty work by Jerry and his SRO:

  2. When I first for this one, I didn't like it as much as Road Gore: not as funny, a bit slick, and what the heck are these songs even about? Grew to love it. Wish this lineup of the band had stuck together longer, but it's a tough old business.

  3. Probably their best. Runaway Lane, Bad Luck at Tulane, Pushin' For Jesus, and In The Hands of The Lord are all pretty spectacular tracks. I still have a soft spot for "Don't Mind If I Do" - even though anyone who thinks "Battle Hymn" sounds slick will projectile vomit when they hear the mix on that one.

  4. Who were those guys in the Runaway Lane video?

  5. Incredible!! I'm ashamed to say I never heard of these guys and I've owned an indie record store since 1981. Thanks for a great find.

  6. And now I really have to finish my blog on those issues of Grendel...


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