Thursday, February 19, 2009

The Clarks

Hailing from Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, where they’ve amassed thousands upon thousands of fans is one of the greatest unknown bands of all time, The Clarks. Their sound can be best described as post grunge alternative, but to me, it’s pure rock and roll.

Debuting in 1988 with I’ll Tell You What Man, The Clarks have been around for more than 20 years with only modest recognition, which is a shame. These four friends follow a classic rock formula and just focus on making great music. Brilliantly blended harmonies, crisp vocals, and well written, deep meaningful lyrics are what give The Clarks their mass appeal.

I first discovered The Clarks through word of mouth. A good friend at work grew up in the Pittsburgh area and he was constantly talking about this band. He loaned me one of their masterpieces, Someday Maybe, and I was hooked. It wasn’t too long after that, that I owned most of their catalog. The Clarks do that to you, get into your ears and never get out.

Their signature record, Let It Go, was released in 2000 and brought The Clarks the most recognition of their career. New Jersey radio stations were playing their singles, and it was good to hear them on regular radio, which had been a hard thing for the band to accomplish. Let It Go sold well and solidified the bands status as a cult classic staple.

In Pittsburgh, The Clarks are the equivalent of Bruce Springsteen to New Jersey – massive and loved. They frequently sell out stadiums in their hometown, and while they have a solid following on the East Coast, they still haven’t launched into the next stratosphere. Part of that can be chalked up to their lack of extensive touring, part of it can be attributed to little-to-no radio airplay, and part of it can be contributed to the fact that they haven’t released a disc of all new material in more than 5 years. However, there is a new disc due out this year, and if you’re looking for new music with a great sound that is different from what you are used to hearing, cousin Ryo highly recommends The Clarks.

Want to know more? Visit their website here:

Here’s a video of one of their breakout songs

And here they are on Late Night with David Letterman

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