Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Anastasia Screamed - Laughing Down the Limehouse (1990, Roughneck)

Just as much of an acquired taste now as they were when they first surfaced in the late '80s, Boston's Anastasia Screamed nevertheless made a relatively immediate impression on me with "Searcher no. 9 (Song 16)" a cut from this very album that I was exposed to by the grace of college radio. Even by obscuro standards, this Beantown quartet (who ironically didn't boast any females in their lineup) were sheer unknowns nationally, despite distribution through Dutch East India Trading. Well, I suppose you want to know what they sound like before taking the plunge. Mouthpiece/focal point Chick Graning possess the same worn-in, raspy timbre Peter Searcy of Squirrel Bait became legendary for. Though his guttural croon is nearly impossible to forget, Graning's cohorts are a much looser, ramshackle bunch, flailing about like so many flannel-flyers from points due Northwest. Glorious feedback squalls, not to mention extra enthusiastic percussion, put them right up there with Dino Jr at times, and to a lesser extent the demi-psych meanderings of SST-era Screaming Trees. By today's standards however, new schoolers would likely deem Anastasia Screamed a really sloppy "emo" band, due in no small part to Graning's maudlin vocal theatrics. A/S delivered a second album, Moontime, along with several eps and singles. They also contributed a Television cover to the Pipeline! WMBR radio comp I posted this March.

Graning would go onto the higher profile Scarce (and have a near-death-experience to serve as that band's compelling back story, which you can read about here). Click the A/S hyperlink above to learn about what pursuits the other band members followed.

01. Beautiful
02. Lime
03. Disintegration, Yesterday
04. The Skidder
05. Violet
06. Searcher No.9 (Song 16)
07. Tide
08. Parts of Us
09. Tricked Into Feel
10. Shade
11. Samantha Black
12. Notown



WhatTS said...

Still have a spot in my heart for their debut track (later a B-side of 'Samantha Black' from this)- "What Kind of Truth is This"

Michael said...

A fine record. Chick Graning is a talented guy who's just never seemd to catch a break.

choumylostworld said...

I'm looking for "moontime" , I can't find it anywhere...I have the 2 vinyl lp's but my player is out of order ... if one day ... pardon my english and thanks for this wonderful blog.

choumy , lost in france .

Unknown said...

any chance of a repost on this one please?

Damian Stachelski said...

can you re up this please? Thanks!