The Henry Clay People
Twenty-Five for the Rest of Our Lives is the sound of a band righting its ship. In the space between the album's opening line: "I don't want to turn twenty for the rest of our lives," and its closing: "I was learning not to give a shit, not that it ever made a difference," the Henry Clay People claw through thirty minutes of teenage restlessness, quarter-life malaise, and adult resignation. And in doing so craft their most bitter, bratty, and melancholic record to date. In short, this is the sound of the Henry Clay People finding their true north after several years at sea.
"We wanted to finally make the record that our sixteen year old selves would have been excited about. Unfortunately the only way to do so was to live for the last 13 years and get some adult suffering under our belt. Now we can direct our misguided teenage angst at our failed 20s."
Returning to their original lineup, the LP finds the Los Angeles quartet ditching the celebratory drunken honky-tonk anthems of 2010's Somewhere On The Golden Coast in favor of the punk rock that inspired them to pick up their instruments in the first place. Gone are the grand platitudes of Coast, and in its stead is the sound of a band both rediscovering and redefining it roots.
At its core the Henry Clay People have been, and remain, brothers Joey and Andy Siara. And like many a sibling band before them it's this brotherly, and at times caustic, dynamic that stokes the Henry Clay fire. Sharing singing/songwriting duties with returning member Noah Green, Twenty-Five is record dealing with compromised dreams, cheap fixes, chronic pain, bitter breakups, and empty bank accounts. These are tales of a generation born of means but somewhere in between.
Framed by found audio of their Siara's grandfather (who had recorded his memoirs into a handheld diction machine), the album's tales of a generation born of means but somewhere in between are only compounded.
Musically this is a band that exists in a similar netherworld. Too old and square for the neon sax and synth laden hipsters and too young to have seen Fugazi, Built To Spill and Dinosaur Jr. the first few times around.
But it's here that they find themselves, existing and thriving between a nostalgia for Marsh/Mascis sized guitar slack and a sweaty all-ages-ADHD delivery. On Twenty-Five they lovingly squirm like a geeky suburban skater brat covering up the Weezer sticker on his skateboard for an SST. This is a record for and by the high school Descendents devotee turned college Malkmus-minion - the Mats fan that loves his Dookie.
Twenty-Five for the Rest of Our Lives is The Henry Clay People's fourth full-length and their second on TBD Records. They have opened for Drive By Truckers, Silversun Pickups, The Get Up Kids, Mission of Burma, Against Me!, Deer Tick, Metric, Matt & Kim, Mike Watt, and many others. They've also gigged at Coachella, Lollapalooza, Austin City Limits, Sasquatch, and too many SXSW parties to remember.