My attraction to this band is my unabashed love for the deep, sexy, croon-in-your-ear voice of Barry Andrews. The band’s dark, moody instrumentation accompanied by Andrews’ equally mercurial and pensive singing sets the stage for a mind-bending excursion into the inner reaches of your soul.
The band originally formed in 1981 and, like many 80’s bands, morphed through several line-up changes, sustaining them up until their most recent release in 2007. The core members were Barry Andrews, Dave Allen (bass guitar) and Carl Marsh. Andrews’ previous musical experience included performing with the bands XTC and League of Gentlemen. Allen’s pedigree included bassist for the group Gang of Four.
Shriekback enjoyed mild success in the UK, but remained virtually unknown here in the states. Michael Mann (producer of “Miami Vice,” “Manhunter,” and “Band of the Hand”) took a liking to the ethereal, atmospheric sounds that set Shriekback apart from the crowd, much like his own TV and movie creations. Mann featured several of Shriekback’s songs in his productions, thus gaining some US traction for the group.
My personal favorites are the LPs Care and Oil and Gold. These two collections highlight all that was and is still good about this unique band. I also purchased Cormorant a few years ago and was pleasantly surprised to hear a band that had managed to not compromise their signature talent and sound over the years.
Check out the band bios and more of their music on MySpace. If you are in the mood for music that will pique your intellect while shaking your soul, you won’t be disappointed.
“Nemesis” via YouTube user universalmusicgroup:
“Underwaterboys” via YouTube user cloud74buster:
“Hand On my Heart” via YouTube user groovedigger00:
“Accretions” (Monstrous Dance Mix) via YouTube user Ox51D:
Purchase Shriekback music here.
Tench (EP – 1982)
Jam Science (1984)
Oil and Gold (1985)
Big Night Music (1986)
Go Bang (1988)