Shriekback is a rock band formed in the early 1980s by Barry Andrews, formerly of XTC and The League of Gentlemen (keyboards/synthesizers/vocals), Carl Marsh, formerly of Out On Blue Six (guitars/vocals), and Dave Allen, formerly of the Gang of Four (bass). At first, they enjoyed some success on the dance chart on their original Y Records label, but left for the big time on Arista Records for 1984's Jam Science.
At first, they enjoyed some success on the dance chart on their original Y Records label, but left for the big time on Arista Records for 1984's Jam Science. Finding little success, they switched to Island Records for the next year's breakout, Oil & Gold. This album signalled a shift for the band, with Carl Marsh leaving the band and rockers Martyn Barker and Lu Edmonds joining what was now Andrews' vehicle. Indeed, Allen left the band after the followup, Big Night Music, and Shriekback remained a collaborative around Andrews.
Dave Allen would go on to play in King Swamp, The Elastic Purejoy, and most recently in the reformed Gang of Four. Carl Marsh was in the band Happyhead. Both Allen and Marsh did return to the studio to contribute to the recording of Shriekback's 2003 release, Having a Moment.
Their best-known song is Nemesis, which received wide airplay on the indie/college circuit. The song was notable among the hard rock of its day for its use of unusual imagery and lyrics including the use of the word "parthenogenesis" in the chorus.