Big Catholic Guilt is recognized as the premier “Industrial” electronic hard rock band from Boston. With innovative studio recordings and a powerhouse live performance, BCG received critical acclaim throughout New England and far beyond. Winners of the 1992 WBCN Rock and Rock Rumble, 8 nominations in the WFNX / Boston Phoenix Reader’s Poll, 3 nominations and 1 victory for a Boston Music Award, appearances on the CMJ charts, holding the #1 song for 3 months running on the WZBC college radio chart and #3 for the year are just a few of the accolades BCG received.
Big Catholic Guilt was formed in 1989 by Tim Osborne and Sam Jordan, who remain the central core of the group through a number of personnel changes.
A friend suggested that the duo call producer Lamar Lowder. It Ends the Same was tracked at Lamar’s in one afternoon, and mixed the next day. On Lamar’s suggestion, the decision was made to release the track to radio stations, which meant a name was needed, and Big Catholic Guilt was born.
The song quickly received high volume play and rose up the local charts. The success fueled Tim and Sam to write more, and soon Uncle was released, followed shortly thereafter by Wrong Side. Those too, were widely received, particularly on college stations such as WZBC and WMBR. WFNX disk jockey Duane Bruce started playing Uncle on his Saturday night live show at Axis on Lansdowne Street, and word of the new group spread. BCG was the enigmatic band everyone was talking about. Rumors spread, and pressure grew for live performances to reinforce the high quality recordings.
In 1991, BCG released their first CD, entitled Possession. The release of Possession was accompanied by a live performance at the Paradise Rock Club that was filmed and shown regularly on Boston Cablevision TV.
In its first year in the public eye, BCG would receive 2 Boston Phoenix / WFNX Readers Poll nominations, one for best new act, and one for best rock group. Though through the years they were nominated for a total of eight Phoenix / FNX awards, BCG would never win.
After performing a total of only five live shows, BCG would be invited to perform in, and go on to win, the 1992 WBCN Rock and Roll Rumble, sharing the stage that year with such notable acts as Concussion Ensemble, Morphine, Letters to Cleo, Sam Black Church, and Powerman 5000.
Following the Rumble victory, BCG was signed by Cherrydisc records. While on Cherrydisc, BCG would record Judgement, which would be BCG’s best selling, and most recognized release. Judgement sold thousands of copies internationally.
In 1993, BCG also was nominated for two Boston Music Awards, one for Outstanding Local Hard Rock Group, and one for Sam for Outstanding Local Male Vocalist. BCG would win the former, with the band’s friend Eric Shaun Murphy of Cliffs of Dooneen winning for vocalist. In 1993, BCG would again be nominated for a BMA (Outstanding Local Hard Rock Group), and two members would present at the awards ceremony.
While the buzz on BCG was great, management and legal issues would interfere, and the band was never signed to a major label. In 1995, the bands third CD release Damned was picked up for distribution by Young Americans Records. But Young Americans would go chapter 11 that same year, and the CD undersold expectations.
In 1996, Big Catholic Guilt played their farewell performance at The Rat in Kenmore Square. Though they remained close friends, it was not until 2010 that the group would appear again on stage together, when they would perform at the Middle East in Cambridge for a single night.
The “Resurrection” show took the bands performance to a new level. Using cutting edge audio technology to record the performance, the show would also be visually captured by director Steven Glass with nine cameras. This would become the 22 song DVD release, Resurrection, which would not only contain all of BCG’s popular songs, but many new and previously unreleased songs as well.
There is no doubt, in the words of Rick Schettino, then editor of New England Perfomer magazine, “Big Catholic Guilt has built a landmark in the Boston soundscape.”
Published on June 27, 2017