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The Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments - Weird Out

Weird Out
Sensible - 1987

Michael Panontin
Toronto-based garage rockers the Ten Commandments got swept up in the mid-eighties Nuggets/Pebbles/Boulders craze, co-hosting their own Pagan Strudel-Fest Pit nights at various clubs about town. With a three-song cassette (Pagan Fest a Go-Go) and a track on the Og label's excellent It Came from Canada Vol. 2 comp under the belts, the foursome (bassist Jim Irwin, drummer Bob Ridley, Byron Pickles on guitar and James Lord on vocals) entered the studios at Wellesley Sound in the summer of 1987, issuing this twelve-song debut on their own Sensible label later that year.

The gloriously amateurish Weird Out is a garagefest of lacerating guitar chords and primal caterwauls that keeps one foot in seventies punk and the other quite firmly rooted in the defiant stance of sixties garage. And while the originals sometimes underwhelm, competent covers of the Teemates' 'Movin' Out' and the Brigands' '(Would I Still Be) Her Big Man', and a flaming hot version of the Rockin' Ramrods' 'She Lied' no doubt upped their street cred amongst the garage purists.

The band tossed out a seven-inch the following year before recording the follow-up to Weird Out, the biblically titled Home Fires Burning, notable mostly for its mischievously blasphemous cover, painted by Toronto's then-ubiquitous pop artist Fiona Smyth. Alas, the lads pushed on into the grunge-infested nineties, but after a final LP, 1992's Miracle Mile, the garage doors closed for good and the Ten Commandments were through.

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