Tumbling out of the same late-'80s post-punk Boston music scene that produced the Lemonheads, Dinosaur Jr., and the Pixies, geography was the only thing that Anastasia Screamed had in common with their contemporaries. With a dark, discordant hard rock sound that owed as much to sonic assassins like Hüsker Dü and Led Zeppelin as to the pop-oriented college radio rock popular at the time, Anastasia Screamed earned a loyal audience up and down the Northeastern coast with their unpredictable live performances. Formed in 1987 by guitarist Chris Cugini and drummer Chris Burdett, the band went through a number of roster changes until the pair met songwriter/guitarist Chick Graning on the subway one day. The musical interests of the three were similar and, enlisting the help of bassist Michael Lord, they recorded the self-released five-song Electric Liz EP in Boston's Fort Apache studios. Produced by Sean Slade, the 1988 EP came to the attention of London's Fire Records, which signed Anastasia Screamed to their Roughneck imprint. Tiring of the competitive Boston music scene (and high living expenses), the band picked up and moved to Nashville at the suggestion of Tennessee native Graning. Bassist Charlie Bock replaced Lord for the recording of Laughing Down the Limehouse, the band's 1990 debut album. Well received by the British music press, Laughing Down the Limehouse produced a minor U.K. hit in "Samantha Black." The five-song EP 15 Seconds or 5 Days followed in 1991. Distribution problems stateside, coupled with label problems overseas, prompted the band to break up in 1992, with Graning going on to form the band Scarce.