The Henry Clay People
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The Henry Clay People


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"[live review] Schmindie Recap...Destroying The Scene"

Last night Rock Insider presented a lineup of The Henry Clay People, Death To Anders, and Derek Halet. Starting off let's say that The Henry Clay People freaking kill.

If you will, imagine someone preaching rock at you. What an insanely killer set! Now if you were there last night, you cherish watching a small riot started and climaxing with Joey bringing both himself, his guitar, and his monitor off the stage almost face first (afterwards hearing that he may have broken his hand but he was doing fine at the end of the show - though I heard about a crunchy hand). You just don't get shows like that anymore. Honestly if you haven't seen or heard these guys at least check them out may piss your pants it's so good.


Let me conclude with the fact that I am downright pissed at myself for not grabbing a pic of him laid out on the floor off that stage with the monitor by him when the management came to call it a night! Darn you camera full of pictures!
- Rock Insider (

"[album review] Hiisi Finnish Lord of tree-kind"

Yesterday at the Haagen-Dazs Cafe I exclaimed to a friend of mine "You won't be a virgin for long!", because we were talking about Rocky Horror, and then after that I got up and accidentally walked into a glass wall. This is life, kids: lurches, boo-boos, faceplants, the stares of strangers. And The Henry Clay People explode with their knowledge of this, of life loose, staggering and ripe. Blacklist the Kid with the Red Moustache is vigourous and dazzling, a rock'n'roll record that leaps from roof to roof, scattering tiles. There's the stamp of Pavement and The Replacements, but also just of ye olde American rawk, the way certain riffs bring out the hair on your arms. And yet it's not meat-head, it's not headbanging: it's flash-smilin' and up-down-jumpin'. It's boys and girls together in the crowd, seizing each other, listening to the trundle of a bass-drum and a fizzing red rocket of electric guitar.

(Recorded by producers who made Frog Eyes and Godspeed records, mixed by a dude who worked with Wolf Parade, and made mostly at a studio that was home to Sleater-Kinney. Also: they are from L.A.) - Said the Gramaphone [mp3 blog---]

"Album Review"

Fans of the ’90s indie rock heyday will bow to this debut from L.A.’s The Henry Clay People. Like a Southern California daybreak, the songs on Blacklist the Kid with the Red Moustache are uplifting, carefree and crisp. Reminiscent of early Built to Spill, Pavement and Modest Mouse, the album greets the listener with catchy, jangly guitars, a thrusting upbeat tempo and discerning lyrics.

The album’s fist-raising pace is framed by the indie rock trinity: electric guitars, bass and drums. Like their aforementioned contemporaries, these boys write songs that give faith to the suburbs, reinvigorating a struggling genre that has been lacking in the ass-kicking department since Giant Drag kicked out its jams.

The harmonized vocals are fierce, chockfull of narratives and youthful verve. Although nearly indistinguishable at times, lyrical fragments emerge from the crushing guitars and relentless drums of the unremitting “Captain Kid”: “... It was an act of God / And you say that God must be / Must be so proud!” Blacklist the Kid with the Red Moustache is up front with nostalgia, ensemble lyrics and soaring guitars melting in fuzz while the hard-hitting drums pound out a rhythm that could chip commandments into stone. If only it were ‘94, these carefree anthems and angular reinventions of the three-minute pop song would be punctual: intelligent, experimental song craftsmanship, wry literate lyrics, and more hooks than a tackle box.

The right people have taken notice of this remarkably unsigned foursome. Mixed by Harris Newman (Wolf Parade) and produced by Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire) and Colin Stewart (Destroyer), The Henry Clay People are poised to obliterate the spongy folk pop and uninspired rock pouring from suburban garages as of late. The baton is passed. (Self-released)

-Christopher Petro - West Coast Performer Magazine

"Album Review"

Loaded with moxie and filled with sarcasm and wit, The Henry Clay People write sloppy, unapologetic rock and roll. In an era where the only way to get attention is to either write novelty songs or sound "artsy," it's great to hear a band stick with a more natural approach. Drawing on decades of guitar music, such as The Clash and The Replacements, their songs are sharp and accessible. They mix jangly Pavement-esque guitar hooks, with the playfulness of Modest Mouse to create something they can call their own. - American Songwriter Magazine

"Album Review"

When sonic circus Broken Social Scene wants to stick their fingers in the Pavement, they just name a song after the band (“Ibi Dreams of Pavement”). The Henry Clay People opens an album with a line about “the main character of the subplot” which sounds inspired by the “extra in the sequel to the movie adaptation of your life” Steven Malkmus sang of in “Shady Lane.”

It’s refreshing that this unsigned LA band—composed of brothers Andy and Joey Siara (handling guitars and vocals) along with Eric Scott (drums) and Noah Green (vocals and bass), who met in 7th grade gym class—has no problem listing Pavement, The Replacements and Guided By Voices as influences on its Myspace page. (Sure, Neil Young gets tossed in as the obligatory headscratcher-to-indicate-depth, but we’ll spot them one, since the twin-guitar shredding does sound like Neil as received through Built to Spill.)

The low-budget, low-fi sound is attractively raw, and promising enough to lure producers Howard Bileman (Arcade Fire) and Colin Stewart (Destroyer) for “Blacklist the Kid with the Red Moustach,” the band’s second LP.

There is a certain sameness of sound here—but again, that’s another way of saying “consistent.” By the song’s final third, it gets a little hard to sift one song from the next. The band has forged a cohesive and successful sonic identity, but the songwriting here suffers from a lack of the herky-jerkiness that would so often make its influences thrilling. We could use a few more time changes now and again, or maybe a creepy-crawly freak ballad to remind us that we’re still underused. “Killer Bees—The (F) Artists” does answer this call with its bare, two-guitar, Ritilin troubadour effect, but as the album’s penultimate song it comes a bit late.

For a band that describes its output as “sloppy rock,” “Blacklist the kid...” could feel even looser. There are few effects that feel tossed off or otherwise improvised. This is a shame, because the sound threatens to turn deadly when it does. A Doug Martsch-inspired guitar solo on “The Man in the Riverbed” doesn’t do too much for the song, but a single squeeling, pitch-bent note on “The Untitled Communist Song” sends chills up the spine.

The thrilling “Elly Vs The Eczema Princess” throws a dance-rock vibe into the mix, and by the time the band promises to “name a park bench” after said princess, it’s hard not to reach for the nearest window to roll down and stereo to turn up. “Children of Chin” sports a similar bob, and makes it impossible not to be excited about Henry Clay.

Some of the wacky-yet-somehow-intimate stories on this album could be from one of the Silver Jews sessions with Malkmus, and the lyric sheet is strewn with quotable gems. Witness “Riverbed”—”He fell asleep inside the riverbed sometime ‘round 6 a.m....for 60 cents he’ll clean your car and feet/ your kids, don’t wake them.”

The existence of two self-funded, self-released LPs entitles the band to look down on the commercial aspects of the business, one supposes, but in an age where The Shins sells cars and Franz Ferdinand pumps up fans at football games, “A Rubber Made Band” comes off a bit puffy as the album’s finale.

Outrage like “they sold their hearts out to get paid...the curtain fell, the records sell…Where is the spirit circa 1968?” makes we wince. When the soapbox gets kicked away, things turn hilariously rock-and-roll instead of heavy handed with gems like “we’ve got shit to get done, babies to make/ yeah we’ve got wives to leave and lives to lead.”
‘Course, 1) they’re from Los Angeles, 2) they’re not on a label and 3) they kick a good amount of ass, so one imagines they’ve got some bitterness to work out. With a little more songwriting confidence, this band has an even better album inside them.


"LA TIMES BUZZ BANDS---"The Henry Clay People:running, just not for president""

The mind-bending narrative twists and live-wire musicality on the last album by the Henry Clay People put the L.A. quartet on the must-see list for scenesters who like their pop smart, fast and fun. But to hear singer-guitarist Joey Siara tell it, the band might be evolving backward.

"We grew up listening to a lot of punk rock. A lot of bands start from those punk-rock roots and go from there," Siara says of the new material that he, brother guitarist Andy Siara, drummer Eric Scott and singer-bassist Noah Green are preparing to record. "We're kind of doing the opposite. Even the lyrics aren't as esoteric."

Not that the last album, "Blacklist the Kid With the Red Moustache," didn't have plenty of charm beyond its title. Arriving at an aesthetic that makes them sound like the teenage sons of Built to Spill gone off their Ritalin, the Henry Clay People make song puzzles with smile-while-you-rock titles like "Elly vs. the Eczema Princess" and "The Bandage on the Bloodclot."

Even the band's moniker -- it's named for the 19th century politician and failed presidential candidate -- is liable to raise some eyebrows. "It was either 'the Henry Clay People' or 'the Forgotten Presidency of Chester A. Arthur,' " says Siara, who majored in history at UC Santa Barbara. " 'Henry Clay' got a moderate thumbs-up from the band."

Something of a test-tube act in its early stages (the band made an album without having played live in L.A.), the quartet has racked up some 70 gigs since September. "That's given us a little bit of confidence," Siara says. "Playing shows elicits some kind of response, for better or for worse." - Kevin Bronson / LA Times

"In the Mouth of a Desert"

The Henry Clay People might bring to mind the swagger a grizzled bar-band opening for, say, the Hold Steady, but they put forward an unmistakably local sound. In much the same way that Television recalls the concrete and steel of New York City with dark, knotted guitar lines, the Henry Clay People are able to echo the stuccoed sprawl of Orange County with jangly guitar hooks and bouncy rhythms—a sound surely tied to the band’s hometown of Yorba Linda, the well-manicured and self-appointed “Land of Gracious Living.”

With Blacklist the Kid With the Red Moustache, their upcoming full-length, that sense of place is conveyed again and again. On “Children of Chin,” the band sound like they could be piling into some beat-up sedan on their way to the beach, tossing a pair of bright, slinking guitar lines atop a buoyant beat, then twisting everything into a catchy sing-along chorus. Vocalist Joey Siara’s confident slur carries the song, falling somewhere between Conor Oberst at his most up-tempo and Les Savy Fav’s Tim Harrington at his least indecent—a style that’s disaffected enough to take the song’s sunny indie-rock and inject suburbia-induced lyrics that call for us to “Bury the hatchet or the knives or whatever into our backs.”

Then there’s “Social Scientology,” which continues Henry Clay People’s casual disillusion with the opening lyrical quip: “I believe in social scientology or any shit that makes me think I’m free.” It sounds a little self-serving, sure, but it’s a perfect outburst for the apathetic Orange County youth. Where else could shabby, Mediterranean-style architecture and fleets of BMWs feel so . . . oppressive? “Gentle Charm of the Soviette” complicates things, though. The song tells of an ailing Russian mistress whose grip on the protagonist remains strong even amidst a Cold War-style hysteria—it’s about as distant from Orange County as possible. But in a way, that distance is symptomatic of the county’s aimless sprawl that some find so alienating. In this case, the response is a detached allegory that Joey attributes to his study of history, although he could’ve easily passed it off as a subconscious hat-tip to fellow history major and Yorba Linda resident Richard Nixon.

At their best and most county-oriented, each of the Henry Clay People—Joey, plus guitarist and brother Andy Siara, bassist Noah Green and drummer Eric Scott—are able to channel indie-rock mainstays like Pavement and the Replacements. But the success of the band isn’t in rehashing a tried, ‘90s-tinged indie-rock sound; it’s in relocating that sound to Orange County—and usually in under three minutes, to boot. - OC Weekly

"Album Review"

Fans of Pavement and the Replacements should appreciate the rough edges, off-kilter harmonies and DIY ethic of this local indie-rock band, which is building an appreciative following with guitar-heavy, oddball rockers like “The Man in the Riverbed,” “Children of Chin” and “Social Sc*entology” (“I believe in social Sc*entology and any shit that makes me think I'm free”). One to watch. - Pasadena Weekly

"The Henry Clay People - Blacklist The Kid With The Red Moustache [album review]"

The Henry Clay People have been at the top of my long list of local L.A. bands I-still-need-to-see-but-can't-manage-to-catch for way too long. Since September the Glendale by way of Orange County power pop quartet have played just about every east side venue and are really starting to build a small and fierce following.

The Henry Clay People started as a project between two brothers and two school friends who bonded over a love of The Replacements and Pavement. Both influences show heavily in their songs. When it comes to describing their sound the band replies "we simply do the best with what we got." If you ask me there is still something incredibly original and unique about their quirky guitar driven tracks.

After hearing the band's first self released album, Birdman & The Squid, Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Godspeed You!) and Colin Stewart (Frog Eyes, Destroyer) agreed to produce the band's second full length, Blacklist The Kid With The Red Moustache - which is available NOW. The record was later mixed by Harris Newman (Wolf Parade, Sunset Rubdown, Swan Lake) and in true DIY fashion every aspect of the album was fully funded by the band themselves.

Blacklist The Kid With The Red Moustache is a fun and engaging record loaded with soaring guitar riffs, tons of moxy, and a personality that pulls the listener in.

Fans can purchase the new album from the band's myspace page. If you live in LA you can purchase the record at the band's shows or at Amoeba Records. Be sure to catch The Henry Clay People at their CD Release Show April 4th at The Scene in Glendale. - Rock Insider []

"Album Review"

The Henry Clay People describe their music as "sloppy rock and roll," and while that's a fair description, it hardly conveys the power and the sharp sense of humor that lies behind the said sloppy rock.

The reckless edge is what makes these guys so fun to listen to. The song titles and lyrics are purposefully sarcastic, using acerbic wit to wisk away the usual rock lyric banalities. How else do you explain a name like Elly Vs The Eczema Princess? The music is a mighty mix of all things indie rock, leaning mainly on big noisy guitars and heck-if-I-care vocals, the perfect end product of teen angst that's too smart for its own good. - Mish Mash Music


"Blacklist the Kid with the Red Moustache" (2007)
"Birdman and the Squid" (2005)

Tracks from "Blacklist..." have received airplay on LA's famed INDIE 103.1, a number of various college radio stations and online radio stations, and some podcasts, including Mike Watt's "Watt from Pedro" podcast.



Andy and Joey are brothers. Eric and Joey have been in various bands over the past 11 years. This band has been together for about 5 years. Friendship and a love of music brought us together---no craigslist or classifieds postings.

We play constantly in LA, where the majority of the bands play a tame version of rock and roll, and where most of the bands look like they are Gap or American Apparel models. We are anything but this. None of us could come close to modeling and our form of 'rock and roll' is anything but tame. We have received numerous comparisons to the likes of The Replacements and Pavement due to our wild and sloppy yet poignant live shows.

Our music was strong enough to get Howard Bilerman (Arcade Fire, Godspeed You! Black Emperor) and Colin Stewart (Black Mountain, Destroyer) to agree to produce and record our latest full length album, "Blacklist the Kid with the Red Moustache," which we released in April of 2007 and is available to purchase on iTunes and We recorded half of it in Portland, OR at Jackpot Recording Studio (where such bands as The Decemberists, Pavement, and Elliot Smith have recorded) and the other half in Montreal, Canada at Hotel 2 Tango (where Arcade Fire recorded 'Funeral,' and such bands as Wolf Parade and British Sea Power have recorded). We funded the entire process ourselves---from travelling expenses to studio/producer fees to the final pressing of the CD.

We continue to play constantly all around California in venues both big (the Troubadour in LA) and small (Silver Lake hotspots "Spaceland" and "Silverlake Lounge"). Over 80 shows in the past 11 months...

We will be going back into the studio this fall to record our next full length.

We are currently unsigned.