SEX CLARK FIVE - Strum & Drum!

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This is rare in this version - the original CD 1995. Listen to the soundbites here, it's a classic:

Found this online: "I've been playing the hell of out of the Sex Clark Five's debut album "Strum And Drum" lately. It came out in 1987, a self-produced 4-some, despite their name, out of Alabama, a state I still have never visited. I bought it maybe a year later at the now-defunct Sam's Jam's in Ferndale, Michigan. I kept seeing this album in the new release vinyl bin for what seemed like months. Never heard of it or them. It almost started getting annoying that I had to flip past this silly-named band every week while browsing. After a few months, I couldn't take it any more and just decided to buy the stupid thing. The music was pretty low-fi cool, but it was forgotten soon thereafter and stashed away for a long, long time.

Fast-forward to 2012 and re-discovery time:

I still know very little about the band; they have apparently stayed together or at least re-formed, there are some fairly recent live clips on YouTube. They may be the gentle, Southern counter-part to the Pixies, at least in appearance---having a female bassist that chips in with the vocals, an acoustic and electric guitar front line, brief tunes, if far less weirdness. Some of it is almost proto-Belle & Sebastian. Still, the final track SC5.jpg on Strum & Drum is quite a surprise-----more of a Wilco noise/fadout or a VU outtake, or kids anywhere discovering feedback for first time. Maybe it was an in-joke---the SC5 seem to have a good sense of humor----the drummer plays with a bag over his head sometimes.

If you insist on putting a label on it (and I love a good label) then you could predictably call it 80s College Rock/Alternative.....and then however many more adjectives seem appropriate. "Strum & Drum is an apt title as that is their groove----vaguely Kinks-like, the acoustic and electric guitar often playing the same thing, drums tribal and pop, but not a hint of [bad] 80s production cliches. There are 20 tracks that go by in a mere 34 1/2 minutes. More than a couple of the songs I wish would go on for 3 or 4 minutes-----hooks fly by and then are never repeated and then they are onto something else. I still can't figure out how they do it in "Window To The Works", it's like a teaser to some 80s sunshine pop that never was.

They have a couple other albums that followed this that I will be looking for now, but it seems by minimal consensus out there that Strum & Drum is their summit. It's cool to have a near-mint lp now with a history behind it. It's time has come."