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The British band McCarthy is probably remembered more for their left-wing politics than their jangly sound. Formed in Barking, Essex, England, in 1985, McCarthy consisted of Malcolm Eden (vocals, guitar), Tim Gane (guitar), John Williamson (bass), and Gary Baker (drums). Gane was originally a drummer, but Eden taught him how to play a number of chords on a guitar. Both musicians were influenced by British punk groups such as the Sex Pistols, the Clash, and the Buzzcocks, and they covered their songs in small gigs. By the time Eden completed his studies at a university, his Marxist beliefs had grown deeper, reflected in his lyrics for McCarthy. In 1987, McCarthy released their debut LP I Am a Wallet. The album was virtually ignored by U.K. radio programmers, except for legendary British DJ John Peel. Because of Eden's political views, the band was often lumped in with less pop-oriented acts like Billy Bragg and the Redskins, comparisons that upset the group. The band's second album, The Enraged Will Inherit the Earth, appeared in 1989. However, after the group recorded their third full-length, 1990's Banking, Violence and the Inner Life Today, Eden felt there was no need to continue; he believed that McCarthy's creativity peaked with that LP. Moreover, he was burned out from touring. Consequently, the group split up and Gane formed Stereolab with his girlfriend Laetitia Sadier, who also sang on McCarthy's last album. Eden released material with Herzfeld.
© Michael Sutton /TiVo
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