Shriekback

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Shriekback
OriginKentish Town, London, England
GenresPost-punk, new wave
Years active1981–1989, 1992, 1999–present
LabelsY Records, Arista, Island, Capitol
MembersBarry Andrews
Carl Marsh
Martyn Barker
Past membersDave Allen
Mike Cozzi
Wendy Partridge
Sarah Partridge
Lu Edmonds
Mark Raudva
Kevin 'Doc' Sullivan
Websitewww.shriekback.com

Shriekback are an English rock band formed in 1981 in Kentish Town by Barry Andrews, formerly of XTC and the League of Gentlemen (keyboards/synthesizers/vocals), and Dave Allen, formerly of Gang of Four (bass), with Carl Marsh, formerly of Out on Blue Six (guitars/vocals) soon added to the line-up. They were joined by Martyn Barker on drums in 1983. Their early music was a funk-influenced version of new wave and post-punk, later moving towards art rock and always featuring "insidiously weird vocals".[1]

History[edit]

Shriekback was originally formed in 1981 by Barry Andrews and Dave Allen, expanding to a trio with the addition of Carl Marsh.[2] They enjoyed some success on the dance chart on their original Y Records label, and had a string of hits on the UK Indie Chart, while their debut album, Care (1983) was picked up by Warner in the United States.[2] They left Y for Arista Records for 1984's Jam Science, also recruiting drummer Martyn Barker.[2] The album reached number 85 on the UK Albums Chart, and "Hand on my Heart" was a number 52 UK single.[2] They recorded the 1985 album Oil and Gold on Arista (released by Island Records in the US).[3] Marsh left Shriekback during the recording of Oil and Gold and was replaced on guitar by Mike Cozzi,[2] with Andrews taking over lead vocals. Shriekback also left Arista and signed to Island Records for whom they recorded Big Night Music (1986),[4] after which Allen left to rejoin Gang of Four, and Shriekback remained a collaborative centered on Andrews. Allen would also go on to play in King Swamp and The Elastic Purejoy. Marsh was also in the band Happyhead.

After another album in 1988, Go Bang!, the band split up.[4] Andrews continued working on other projects before re-forming Shriekback in 1992, although after the single "The Bastard Sons of Enoch" and album Sacred City, there would be no further releases until Naked Apes and Pond Life (2000). Both Allen and Marsh returned to the studio to contribute to the recording of the 2003 release Having a Moment. After Having a Moment, Andrews recorded three albums[citation needed] for Malicious Damage (Killing Joke's original label) under the Shriekback moniker.

Shriekback are still actively producing music and released the studio album, Why Anything? Why This?, in May 2018. The same line-up of Andrews, Barker, and Marsh self-released their 15th studio album, Some Kinds of Light, on 6 December 2019.

Members[edit]

Other than those listed above, Shriekback members or contributors have included Luc van Acker, Linda Nevill, Emma Burnham, Brian Nevill, Pedro Ortiz, Clare Hirst, Lu Edmonds, Wendy and Sarah Partridge (from Electric Guitars), Steve Halliwell, Eve Moon, Ivan Julian, Mike Cozzi, and Jessica Palin/Jose Fina Cupido.[5]

In other media[edit]

Film director Michael Mann was a fan of the band, and used several Shriekback songs in his films Manhunter and Band of the Hand and in his television series Miami Vice. Music composed by Shriekback is used as the theme song for the Squaring the Strange podcast hosted by Benjamin Radford and Pascual Romero. The duo selected it because of their fondness for music from the 1980s.[6]

Discography[edit]

Studio albums[edit]

  • Care (1983), Y (UK Indie No. 7)
  • Jam Science (1984), Arista (UK No. 85[7])
  • Oil and Gold (1985), Arista
  • Big Night Music (1986), Island
  • Go Bang! (1988), Island
  • Sacred City (1992), World Domination/Capitol
  • Naked Apes and Pond Life (2000), Mauve/Mushroom
  • Having a Moment (2003)
  • Cormorant (2005)
  • Glory Bumps (2007)
  • Life in the Loading Bay (December 2010)
  • Without Real String or Fish (March 2015)
  • Why Anything? Why This? (May 2018)
  • Some Kinds of Light (December 2019)[8]
  • 1000 Books (December 2021)[9]

Compilations and live albums[edit]

  • The Infinite (The Best of Shriekback) (1984), Kaz
  • Evolution - Best of Shriekback Vol. 2 (1988), Kaz
  • The Dancing Years (1990), Island
  • Natural History - The Very Best of Shriekback (1994), Essential
  • Priests and Kannibals: The Best of Shriekback (1994), Arista
  • The Y Records Years (2000), Sanctuary
  • Aberrations 81-84 (2001), Weatherbox
  • Vicissitudes (2002) (Shriekback.com Internet-only release)
  • 2 Live Shows (2002)
  • Live at Hatfield (2002)
  • Secrets of the City (2002) (Shriekback.com Internet-only release)
  • Island of the Hopeful Monsters (2015)
  • Live at Park West, Chicago '87 (2016)
  • Peel Sessions and Singularities (2016)
  • Big Live Band 2017 (2017)
  • The Elated World (2017) (album of commissioned songs)

Singles and EPs[edit]

Year Title Chart positions Album
UK Indie Chart[10] UK Singles Chart[7] U.S. Dance/Club U.S. Modern Rock AUS[11] New Zealand
1982 Tench 9 - - - - -
"Sexthinkone" - - - - - - Tench (EP)
"My Spine Is the Bassline" 15 - - - - - -
1983 "Lined Up" 3 89 35[12] - 42 - Care
"Lined Up (Remix)" 7 - - - - -
"Working on the Ground" 5 - - - - - -
1984 "Hand on My Heart" - 52 22 - - - Jam Science
"Mercy Dash" - - - - - -
Knowledge, Power, Truth and Sex EP - - - - - -
1985 "Nemesis" - 94 - - - 18 Oil and Gold
"Fish Below the Ice" - 88 - - - -
1986 "Gunning for the Buddha" - - - - - - Big Night Music
Running on the Rocks - - - - - 30
1988 "Intoxication" - - - 6 - - Go Bang!
"Shark Walk" - - - 19 - -
"Get Down Tonight" - - 20 - - 19
The Peel Sessions EP - - - - - - -
1992 "The Bastard Sons of Enoch" - - - - - - Sacred City

Video albums[edit]

  • Jungle of the Senses (1987) Island Visual Arts

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Shriekback".
  2. ^ a b c d e Strong, Martin C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, ISBN 1-84195-335-0
  3. ^ Shriekback – Oil And Gold, Discogs.com, retrieved 4 November 2015
  4. ^ a b Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 1082. ISBN 1-85227-745-9.
  5. ^ "Shriekback". Everything2.[user-generated source]
  6. ^ Romero, Pascual. "A few notes and credits before the next episode". Squaringthestrange.wordpress.com. Squaring the Strange. Archived from the original on 12 October 2018. Retrieved 12 October 2018. Our theme song was composed by Shriekback, a band Ben and I both love (particularly because of my fondness for the 80s). Be sure to check out their music!
  7. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 497. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  8. ^ "Shriekback - Some Kinds Of Light". Discogs. Retrieved 3 January 2020.
  9. ^ "Shriekback - 1000 Books". Discogs. Retrieved 5 January 2022.
  10. ^ Lazell, Barry (1997) Indie Hits 1980-1989, Cherry Red Books, ISBN 0-9517206-9-4
  11. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 273. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  12. ^ "Dance Club Songs, The Week of August 13, 1983". Billboard. Archived from the original on 24 March 2021. Retrieved 24 March 2021.

External links[edit]