Just as New York’s legendary No Wave scene began to wane, a phoenix rose from the ashes of burned-out post-punk, flying into the realm of heavy, guitar-driven rock reigned by Swans and Sonic Youth. Forming in 1982, Live Skull also joined this cloud of energy and is still considered by many aficionados to be the “quintessential New York noise band.”
The Manhattan group reflects upon their forty years of existence, ever-evolving and reinventing itself, with their new release, Dangerous Visions. The band’s new tunes tear into the air with the same ferocity of their early material, while the unearthed tracks are still vitally relevant today. This album showcases their sea changes, from the more recent recordings on Side 1, to the deep archives on Side 2. Four tracks from their 1989 Peel Session are finally being released here for the first time. Such a wide range of sources could make for a scattered album, but Live Skull’s singular approach to music-making unites everything on Dangerous Visions.
With artwork by celebrated illustrator and cartoonist Gary Panter, Dangerous Visions will be released on CD, white vinyl, transparent purple vinyl (limited to 100 copies), transparent red vinyl (limited to 100 copies), and digital download. The digital edition comes with a bonus extra track. You can order it here.
A mysterious, alluring self-directed video is out now for the track In A Perfect World. The band shot the opening footage on lower Broadway in Manhattan during “several nights of vibrant Black Live Matters demonstrations, which were marred by hooded counter-demonstrators who smashed storefront windows and committed other acts of vandalism.” The siren at the start of the song was recorded from a band member’s fire escape.
The spread of Covid 19 and the growing empowerment of violent far Right groups, described by the band as the “twin pandemics,” provided the backdrop for writing In a Perfect World. The video is limited to the four band members and their partners as they remain socially distant and isolated. Despite the heavy themes, the playfulness and determination of the artists remains intact. The phoenix returns.
Live Skull reflects upon the creation of the video: “As a contrast to the heaviness of the times, we opted for some simple role-playing, while poking fun at themes of identity, fear, and our own mortality; and noting that our time spent alone/together has altered us in ways we might not be aware of.”
Watch the video for In A Perfect World below:
Live Skull’s Dangerous Visions is out now.