NYC no-wave veterans Live Skull release new album ‘Party Zero‘ on May 26th, 2023 on Bronson Recordings.
New single ‘Hit So Hard‘ offers a delirious trip into the darkness, one you’ll find hard to resist. Possessed by melody and melancholy, dealing in the kind of pulverising pell-mell that characterised the 80s New York sound, the fusion of noise and unexpected tunefulness delivers a heady, psychedelic effect. Recorded at legendary Deepsea in Hoboken NJ by Mark C. and mastered by Fred Kevorkian (Iggy Pop, White Stripes).
Of the track, Mark C says: “At the start, Live Skull seemed more obsessed with the politics of personal relationships than politics at large. Sometimes conflating the two. As the final track on the politically charged ‘Party Zero’, ‘Hit So Hard’ weighs in on the personal side with a promise to never go quietly into the night.
‘Hit So Hard’ comes after ‘Neutralize The Outliers‘, an addictive anthem of otherness and album opener ‘Magic Consciousness‘, a modern post-punk protest tune of uncanny subtlety and power.
Live Skull have confirmed a string of US dates in the Summer, with more to be announced soon.
Saturday 5/20/23 – Our Wicked Lady – Brooklyn, NY
Thursday 6/22/2023 – The Ottobar – Baltimore, MD
Friday 6/23/2023 – Pilot Light – Knoxville, TN
Saturday 6/24/2023 – Local 506 – Chapel Hill, NC
Sunday 6/25/2023 – The Earl – Atlanta, GA
Tuesday 6/27/2023 – Richmond Music Hall – Richmond, VA
Wednesday 6/28/2023 – Black Cat – Red Room – Washington, D.C.
Thursday 6/29/2023 – Century – Philadelphia, PA
Friday 6/30/2023 – The Avalon Lounge – Catskill, NY
Saturday 7/1/2023 – TV Eye – Queens, NY
Insurrections. Global pandemics. The return of fascism. Climate crises. These are some serious times. But if you’ve got angst in your pants and you need to dance, or scream, or play guitar too loud, too close to your amplifier, turn your ear to what Live Skull are doing. The New York noisers, who went on indefinite hiatus just before their kind of smart, gnarly, inventive din became lucrative, rose again in 2016. Their new album ‘Party Zero’, a thrilling work redefining what Live Skull means and what they stand for: no longer a group with a past, but one with a future.
‘Party Zero’ marks the arrival of guitarist Dave Hollinghurst, an electrifying presence helping to push the band in a fresh, new direction. It’s a fiercely political album, in keeping with this politically fierce age. Mark C exclaims: “Desperation inspires us to make art and music. There’s a lot of birth and rebirth, looking for pathways of resistance and promoting the good and trying to fight against evil. I once said we had to start Live Skull because Reagan became president. And we had to restart Live Skull because Trump became president.”
‘Party Zero’ is big in sound, brash in dynamics. But the sophistication that was always the group’s calling card remains an essential element. It’s the sound of Live Skull in the 21st Century, a desperate time that needs heroes like these. They are back from the past and still holding the post-punk sceptre. This is timely music, essential, impassioned, angry, intriguing and beautiful.
“We’ve been pushed to the edge – how do we claw our way back?” asks Mark. “That’s been a common theme in Live Skull since the beginning, and so it is now. We’re trying to provoke thought.”