Album cover

Trey Gruber

Herculean House of Cards

A tortured songwriter and struggling addict who jolted the tired Chicago DIY scene with his own brand of primal despair, Trey Gruber and his band Parent were on track to join the ranks of Twin Peaks, Mild High Club, and Whitney. His death in 2017 at the age of 26 brought it all to a halt. In his final years Trey wrote and recorded hundreds of previously unheard demos, dandelions in the cracked concrete of 21st century disconnect, an alphabet’s worth of which have been compiled by his family and friends for his only album: Herculean House Of Cards.

For more information on Trey and his story, visit the full feature here.

"Last July"

Sometime in the fall of 2015 at his Humboldt Park apartment, Gruber recorded the haunting demo “Last July” on his Tascam 424 Portastudio. His cousin Garret Knisely recalls, “I sat on his bed that night after he got off work and watched while he did nearly 20 takes on his cheap Memphis bass that he had just bought. We didn’t get to bed until like 3am.” On the song, he reflects about the dissolve of a tumultuous relationship. Singing with clarity that some time and sobriety had afforded him “It’s true, the more we tried/The more we fell apart / You and I, girl, were just doomed/ Doomed/ From the start".

Track List

  1. Trey Gruber Eisenhower to the West Side
  2. Trey Gruber Do You Feel Fine?
  3. Trey Gruber Guillotine
  4. Trey Gruber Same
  5. Trey Gruber Money's Ran Off
  6. Trey Gruber Pray to Christ in Heaven
  7. Trey Gruber No Man for No Home
  8. Trey Gruber Last July
  9. Trey Gruber Sister Say
  10. Trey Gruber Dirt
  11. Trey Gruber I Tried
  12. Trey Gruber Summer City
  13. Trey Gruber Jess
  14. Trey Gruber Stay in Line
  15. Trey Gruber Get Your Fix
  16. Trey Gruber On Fear
  17. Trey Gruber Momma's Way
  18. Trey Gruber Herculean House of Cards
  19. Trey Gruber The Leaving
  20. Trey Gruber In Between - Live
  21. Trey Gruber Ain't Nobody's Fault - Live
  22. Trey Gruber Fool's Gold - Live
  23. Trey Gruber Even Jesus Christ Had Died - Live
  24. Trey Gruber Eisenhower to the West Side (Ballad Reprise) - Live
  25. Trey Gruber Hammer Out the Edges