LES SEXAREENOS with MAXIMUM RNB at the El Mocambo (464 Spadina), Friday (September 28). $8. 416-968-2001. Rating: NNNNN
loud, lewd, beer-hoisting frat rock probably doesn't immediately come to mind when you think of Montreal. And that's probably a good first clue as to why Les Sexareenos' potato-mashing kicks are widely shrugged off in their hometown. The maraca-rattling roughnecks' latest party platter, 14 Frenzied Shakers (SFTRI), is yet another action-packed stomp starter that has their fellow Quebecers shouting, "Huh?"
The inescapable fact is that Les Sexareenos' sloppy stabs at Sam the Sham and the Pharaoh's Ring Dang Doo and ambitious attempts at starting goofy dance crazes like Do The Rat Dog don't fit into the concept of 60s retro-chic as defined by fellow Montreal groups like Les Sequelles. They don't wear pressed suits.
"I don't know what it is," groans drummer Blortz, "but everyone in Montreal has something against us -- the hipsters, the press and especially the bar owners.
"There must be some weird rumours going around, because every time we play we're accused of stealing a microphone, a smoke machine or something, so we either have to pay them or never appear at the venue again."
Naturally, Les Sexareenos have been spending most of their time on the road, making regular trips to the States. It's probably for the best that few clubs in Montreal will book them, since you'd expect the whole idea of greasy rock and roll made by outcasts is probably better appreciated in Middle America.
"Yeah, that's what I thought. We started touring and I figured there'd be all kinds of places like Memphis and New Orleans where people would love the crap we play, but we'd show up and there'd be three guys shaking salt in their beer.
"Apart from Cavestomp in New York, the whole 60s garage thing is now just a West Coast phenomenon."
Oddly enough, even when the turnout is modest, Les Sexareenos have a way of attracting the celebrity element, often in the most unlikely places.
"We played this bar in Winnipeg, the kind of place where if you saw a hot dog on the floor someone would come by and eat it. For some reason, Christina Ricci showed up in an Iggy Pop T-shirt. She'd obviously been drinking, 'cause she was breaking bottles and being really obnoxious.
"After the show she followed us back to our hotel, and the people we were drinking with shouted at her to "Fuck off and stop trying to act punk!'
"Christina just waved them off and had her boyfriend carry her away, which was pretty funny. That Iggy shirt was cool, though."