Rheostatics – The Blue Hysteria

Here’s another gem that I found at Sonic Boom in Toronto on my trip there in May. It was $2.99, which once again shows that they sometimes drastically underprice works of art…

Rheostatics – The Blue Hysteria

I like to play word association when I think of Rheostatics: creative brilliant weird noisy adventurous colourful rawk stories intelligent fun…

See? For those of you who already know the Rheos’ work, and maybe even have heard/own this album, you’re nodding along in agreement and thinking the same thing I am, that these guys were popular, it’s true, but they should have been even bigger. It’s not a reflection on their work, so much as it’s a commentary on the state of modern rock radio that these guys weren’t everywhere all the time.

I could go into specifics for each song, like the obvious Neil Young homage of Bad Time To Be Poor, the science fiction fun of Fat, the 70s rawk (Blue Oyster Cult, anyone?) of Feed Yourself, or the roomy 60s swing of The Idiot… hell, Four Little Songs has so many songs in it all by itself… But trying to tell you about each song isn’t fair. Even listing off those few is just the tip of the iceberg. Besides, I might hear one thing, you’d hear another, so let’s just leave it as:

Rheo albums are so good, so varied, so smart, and the Blue Hysteria is another such work in their discography. It’s jangly pop, straight up rock, psychedelic beauty, crunchy metal chunks, and band geek humour all in one. This is what happens when you put superlative players together and let them give full rein to their imaginations. There’s so much going on in each track, it demands repeat listens. One spin does not do it justice.

Full marks. I loved this album.

13 thoughts on “Rheostatics – The Blue Hysteria

  1. J. says:

    I’ve never heard of these dudes … I like the album cover, though. There was a time I’d buy an album on the strength of the cover … there was a time meaning ‘whenever I’m looking at records’.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. keepsmealive says:

        Gordie was actually saying that because all the drunk obnoxious Hip fans (and there are many, though not all) were rudely chanting “HIP! HIP! HIP! HIP!” throughout the Rheos’ set. So that comment was actually Gordie (quite rightly) giving the louts shit for being asshats. That’s a story that gets told in On A Cold Road… do you have that book?

        Liked by 1 person

Put yer words here:

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.