Iron City Houserockers
Eight years of presence and just four complete albums are enough to stay in music history?
I cannot say for sure, but what I can say is that some bands deserve our attention.
Among them are the Iron City Houserockers, who, although they have a “short” history, nevertheless wrote their own musical history.
From 1976 until 1984, they gave Rock and specifically Heartland Rock some great albums.
The band started as “Brick Alley Band” by a high school teacher and guitarist Joe Grushecky.
It was a typical American band that played “classic” Rock sounds of the time.
What may have differed was that Grushecky focused his lyrics on issues of life, heart and always accompanied by a discreet accordion sound.
Besides, he did not hide that he had several melodic influences from the Rolling Stones, J. Geils Band, but also the “rage” of Punk Rock.
The majority of Iron City Houserockers came from the working class.
This inspired them to write more socio-political lyrics and of course to have a great impact on the local bars they played.
In 1977 they signed with Cleveland International Records, led by former A&R head of Epic Records Steve Popovich.
Popovich named them “Iron City Houserockers”.
Two years after the signing of their contract came the debut album “Love’s So Tough” in 1979.
The band’s next album, “Have a Good Time but Get Out Alive!“, Received rave reviews from Rolling Stone magazine.
In fact, in the review of the album, the author described it as “New American Classic”.
But The Village Voice called it “the strongest album an American band has created this year.”
Following is their third album entitled “Blood on the Bricks” which was also praised since the 1983 release of “Rolling Stone Record Guide”.
Renaming them “Iron City Houserockers”, they had a lot of problems when they were touring outside Pittsburgh.
In order for the band to avoid further problems, they were renamed Houserockers.
The name change also brought changes to the band’s lineup, with Ned Rankin resigning first.
It was not long before they found a replacement and Ron “Byrd” Foster takes his place on the drums.
At the same time, Gil Snyder added synthesizers to his piano and accordion, characteristic of both of their melodies.
Unfortunately, these changes did not seem to excite the public, with the result that their fourth and final album “Cracking Under Pressure” did not become a commercial success.
Although it received rave reviews, this was the reason for them to leave MCA Records, but also to disband a few months later.
And somehow the “small” passage from the history of Rock ended ingloriously…