Live Skull created abrasive no wave music not unlike their 1980s contemporaries Sonic Youth, Swans, Rat At Rat R, The Chameleons, Mars, Teenage Jesus & the Jerks and Band Of Susans. Their music featured angular guitar parts interspersed with bleak, quieter passages, for a haunting overall effect. The lyrical subject matter was usually as pessimistic and harsh as the music itself. Live Skull never achieved mainstream recognition, but retain underground notoriety and share a family tree with other relatively noteworthy groups.
Live Skull formed in New York City in 1983 by the guitar/bandleader tandem of Mark C. and Tom Paine. They were soon joined by drummer James Lo and Marnie Greenholz (Paine's then-girlfriend), on bass guitar. In 1984, a self-titled debut 12" EP saw release on the tiny Massive label. They soon signed with indie label Homestead Records, which released their 1985 debut full-length Bringing Home The Bait. On this LP, vocal duties were shared by Greenholz, Paine, and C. 1986 album Cloud One had slightly more accessible song structures. A concert album, Live: Don't Get Any On You, was recorded at CBGB's late that year.
Thalia Zedek joined the band as lead singer in 1987, taking over most vocal duties so that the other members could concentrate on their instruments. Zedek had previously played in the Boston-area post-punk outfits White Women, Dangerous Birds, and Uzi. The band also replaced Lo with ex-Ruin drummer Rich Hutchins (). Zedek and Hutchins debuted on 1987's Dusted, which spawned a black-and-white music video for the song "5-D", likely filmed in the same abandoned warehouse featured in the album's cover art. (This video later appeared on the Twelve O'Clock High video compilation.)
The group signed to the larger Caroline Records label, debuting with 1988's six-song Snuffer 12". Hutchins was now also playing with the band Of Cabbages & Kings. Greenholz subsequently left and was replaced by Sonda Andersson, a former member of Rat At Rat R and cousin of avant-garde composer Glenn Branca. Released in 1989, Positraction was a more accessible, song-oriented effort that maintained the generally positive critical reaction. Live Skull disbanded in 1990 due to musical differences. (FROM WIKIPEDIA)
Positraction was the last album released by New York band Live Skull. It was released by Caroline Records in 1988.
All songs written by Live Skull, unless otherwise noted.
1. "Circular Saw" 2:06
2. "Richie's House" 3:39
3. "Mr. Groove" 2:02
4. "Hit & Sink" 2:49
5. "Demon Rail" 3:11 *lyrics by Berlin/Zedek
6. "Sunday Afternoon Whiteout" 2:32
7. "Disengaged" 2:28
8. "Amputease" 3:33
9. "Safe From Me" 2:57
10. "Caleb" 6:58
1. "Paul Revere's Bush (Tree Girl)" 2:07*
2. "Was" 2:22**
3. "Face" 3:08**
4. "Chair" 4:29**
5. "Step" 3:08**
6. "Word" 2:33**
7. "Straw" 3:15**
* compilation track
**from Snuffer EP
Personnel: Tom Paine - guitar Mark C. - guitar Sonda Anderson - bass Richard Hutchins - drums Thalia Zedek - vocals,lyrics Martin Bisi - producer, engineer Live Skull - producer Michael Lavine - photos