The band formed in summer 1992 with high school chums William Hellfire and Scott George Beattie aka AGENT 78.
Inspired by the heavy fuzz sounds of Monster Magnet; the raw lo-fi appeal of Estrus records and the pure train of thought writings of Jack Kerouac. With a whimsy
for nostalgia, a pension for vintage suits from Salvation Army and a partiality towards rodents, The Gerbs began at full volume in a claustrophobic washroom, in an unfinished basement in Haskell, NJ. Just two guitars crunching through two vintage starter amps, with a radio shack microphone taped to a broomstick. The Gerbs dug the the paired down sound and wanting to keep it ‘pure’ decided they were rock’ n’ roll enough sans bassist and drummer. First show was at Severed Lips HQ that Halloween, recorded on a boom box and later released on cassette with unique cover art.
In 1993 they recorded on 4-track with Disco Missile front man/engineer Eddie Blade for the “coup de grace” cassette release. In 1994 released a compilation of Boom Box rehearsal and live performance tracks (two from William Patterson collage radio station). The Gerbs were staples on early Severed Lips Recordings free compilation tapes given away via Maximum Rock ‘N’ Roll and at basement shows. The Gerbs played every Severed Lips legion hall and basement show until they split up in spring 1995. The Gerbs rarely played outside of the Severed Lips events only doing one club appearance at the hair metal venue ‘Escapades’ in Jersey City, NJ (where they were asked to leave the stage after 5 songs). They played an ‘away’ Severed Lips showcase at coffee house ‘Prufrocks in Scranton PA, a show at Princeton University and a basement show with Bernie’s Fixx and I.D.K @ abandoned apartment teen hangout FRANK’s BASEMENT in Cliffside park NJ.
Besides playing in Gerbil Church Scott and William ran the cassette label, created the ads, cut and pasted the artwork for zines and fliers and dubbed all the cassettes for distribution. William and Scott also played in Disco Missile and Severed Lips Noise Jam band Alien Pornography.
The final Gerbil Church recordings; a 24tk recording for a music production class at Philadelphia Institute of the Arts (with amazing drummer ‘Bobbie Diamond’ 1993), a Hellfire engineered 4 track jaunt from 1994 and outsider 4 tk recording of Black Beauty, Hotel Song and Scat also 1994 were finally rediscovered and compiled for the internet Via Odd’s N Ends Compilation 2010.
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