The Clarks are an American rock band that have somehow managed to stay together for 20+ years, support themselves through their music, and remain relative unknowns - much in the way that Bob Seger was a Detroit-area favorite for over a decade before exploding on the national scene with his Night Moves album, The Clarks, though musically worlds apart, have been superstars in and around their hometown of Pittsburgh, succeeding in Pennsylvania as the national stage awaits them. Now, with the straight-ahead, guitar-driven rock of Restless Days (2009 on High Wire/Fontana,)
The Clarks are poised to make the same kind of mainstream crossover that Seger experienced in 1976. In fact, perhaps not since Seger has there been an act that’s received such extraordinary notoriety year after year in their hometown while remaining under the radar for the rest of America. But The Clarks have a sound that’s bigger than one town. From the scorching guitars of “Trampoline” to the storytelling of “Midnight Rose”, the new songs deliver a real rock band playing real instruments. Add in overlapping vocals, driving percussion and great hooks, and you’ve got a cohesive collection of muscular music from a seasoned band that knows their trade. If Green Day played songs written by Paul McCartney, the result might sound a bit like Restless Days.
The new album, The Clarks’ first studio CD in five years, features twelve tracks in all - eleven original songs by The Clarks, plus a rollicking cover of “Wonderful World”, which was commissioned by the Pittsburgh Penguins and used as part of their 2008-2009 season marketing campaign.
The Clarks are Scott Blasey, Lead Vocals, Electric and Acoustic Guitars; Robert James, Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Vocals; Greg Joseph, Bass Guitar, Vocals; Dave Minarik, Drums, Vocals.
Restless Days was recorded in Pittsburgh and produced by Sean McDonald, who has also worked with Indie faves Grapevine, Carroway, and Mercury, but perhaps is best known for his work on the PBS American Soundtrack and My Music series.
The Clarks describe themselves with pride as a band that’s always fashionably in style and fashionably out of style all at the same time. They’ve never struck arena-rock poses - never had any gimmicks or affectations at all. They just get onstage and get it done. And they’ve never found a reason to do it any other way. Because if your casual college band turned into a career dream come true, complete with airtime on the Late Show with David Letterman ( www.clarksonline.com/multimedia) and more than a quarter-million albums sold - and you managed to do it while remaining based in the hometown where your families, friends and biggest fans are - why tamper with success? That sentiment still stands, but as the title of their new album suggests, the band is getting a bit restless.