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Sex Clark Five - JPop.com
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Sex Clark Five

Sex Clark Five

Sex Clark Five


Sex Clark Five is a prolific underground indie rock band that began in the early 1980s in Huntsville, Alabama. Calling their inventive sawed-off pop songs "strum and drum" (a pun for sturm und drang), SC5 released several albums that featured a jangly guitar style that became somewhat of a musical trend several years afterwards. Guitarists James Butler, Rick Storey and drummer Trick McKaha were all friends from Huntsville High School. After stints in Kinks cover and pseudo punk bands, the three recruited bassist Joy Johnson. Read more on Last.fm
Sex Clark Five is a prolific underground indie rock band that began in the early 1980s in Huntsville, Alabama. Calling their inventive sawed-off pop songs "strum and drum" (a pun for sturm und drang), SC5 released several albums that featured a jangly guitar style that became somewhat of a musical trend several years afterwards. Guitarists James Butler, Rick Storey and drummer Trick McKaha were all friends from Huntsville High School. After stints in Kinks cover and pseudo punk bands, the three recruited bassist Joy Johnson. Primary singer/songwriter Butler built quirky, catchy melodic hooks around lyrics that often included offbeat European historical references, and wrapped them around rapidly strummed guitars and rave up surf guitar riffs.

Politically charged tunes such as "Liberate Tibet" and "Sarajevo" were called prophetic by some critics. In spite of this the band's songs were often filled with wry, outlandish humor. SC5 would count both Goethe and the Marx Brothers as musical influences. The band came to the attention of BBC radio legend John Peel when he was given a copy of their debut 45 release, "Neita Grew Up Last Night." After playing the disc on his show repeatedly Peel asked the band to send more. SC5 recorded their first full length album "Strum and Drum" in 1986 in Butler's family basement.

"Strum and Drum" became an underground favorite of 1987 and the band earned critical success, extensive college radio airplay and a small but devoted following. Some contemporary indie bands have acknowledged "Strum and Drum!" as a pop milestone. SC5 later issued "Battle of Sex Clark Five," "Ketchup if You Can," and "Antedium," incorporating essentially the same formula. Those records were not as critically well received initially but over time have proved themselves.

The band was also notorious for erratic live shows. Drummer Trick McKaha would usually wear a bag over his head. During the 1990s, SC5 continued to record but found only small labels with few resources to promote them. More than one major label expressed interest in SC5, but the band was unable to follow up due to chronic disorganization. The band toured sporadically and recorded four sessions for John Peel, usually with many unreleased tracks.

Johnson left the group in 1993 and was replaced by singer Laura E. Lee. Butler and acoustic guitarist Rick Storey collaborated on the landmark "Crimson Panzer" (2000), which again appeared almost exclusively on the John Peel Show. Read more on Last.fm.

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