System 56

System 56

Profile:
System 56 was a band from Cleveland, Ohio, formed by Steve Simenic in 1981-82. The group drew much of its early inspiration from artists such as Ultravox, BeBop Deluxe, Simple Minds, Gary Numan and the Cars, featuring a stripped-down type of aesthetic, which blended edgy guitar riffs against a Minimal-Synth backdrop, fueled by a driving rhythm section. The band was committed primarily to crafting and recording their music in a small home studio setting, and in early 1982 released their first single "Metro-Metro b/w In the Old World". Two live gigs followed, when shortly thereafter, the band had an internal split, leaving Vince Scafiti and Steve Simenic to carry on by themselves, in the interim. Later in that same year another release followed, - Beyond the Parade - 6-song EP, which garnered some critical acclaim as well as both college and commercial support on local Cleveland airwaves. Because the group had been reduced to just two-pieces, there were no live performances, with the band choosing instead to continue to recruit replacement members, and move forward with additional recording projects. In 1983, synthesist Paul Teagle joined the band shortly after they released their second single "Life on a Cool Curve b/w The Other Side of Science". The resulting music was both more accessible, as well as more layered and nuanced, further embellishing its Minimal sophistication with guest saxophonist Phil Capone, providing a smoky ambiance on the more ethereal b-side. The single garnered extensive airplay on Cleveland airwaves, as well as a number of underground stations outside the local area, while positive reviews continued to roll in. As 1984 arrived, the band added a new bass player, Tom Lash, to its lineup, and restored the group to its original form. While the band continued to focus on recording and releasing its third single "A Man Needs a Motor b/w Shapes of Things" they now began rehearsing for some live performances. With the new single getting strong locallly, the band made its Cleveland debut on September 28th at the Phantasy Theater, playing to a sellout 1000-seats venue. A second Synth player, Dennis Richie, also augmented the live line-up. Two more shows followed later in that year at the Phantasy Niteclub, and shortly thereafter, the group dissolved.
Sites:
Members:

System 56 Discography

Albums

5603 System 56 Beyond The Parade(LP) Detour Records 5603 US 1982 Sell This Version

Singles & EPs

System 56 Metro-Metro (Single) Detour Records, Detour Records US 1982 Sell This Version
System 56 Life On A Cool Curve Detour Records US 1983 Sell This Version
5606 System 56 A Man Needs A Motor / Shapes Of Things(7", Single) Detour Records 5606 US 1984 Sell This Version

Compilations

5608 System 56 Retrospective: 1982-84(CDr) Detour Records 5608 US 2003 Sell This Version
SS10 System 56 System 56(LP, Comp, Ltd) Synthetic Shadows SS10 Italy 2013 Sell This Version

Videos (8) Edit