Fourteen years ago, Crain, an art-punk quartet hailing from Louisville, Kentucky, recorded their debut album in Steve Albini’s basement on an eight track. They released – and quickly sold – 1000 vinyl copies of the results early the following year and went on to release one more album before breaking up in 1996 before their third full-length could be completed.
Temporary Residence Ltd, recognizing the kind of frustration only armies of DIY punk kids convinced they’re missing an essential record can experience, are now releasing Speed, the long lost debut, on CD for the first time, with an additional four tracks of unreleased material thrown in for good measure.
Speed is a record very much of the time, and on first listen you’ll be hard pushed to find anything worth getting particularly excited about. These are songs very much in the early Fugazi/ Sebadoh vein – rough around the edges, brooding, haphazard, abrasive.
A bit of jangly guitar here, a spot of wailing there, some unpredictable time changes and a fair amount of thudding drums and explosive guitar parts later and you’ve got a complete but decidedly disheveled package.
The wonderful thing about Speed though is that it creeps up on you. Put it in the right context and it all makes sense; several listens in and new complexities reveal themselves; the songs open up, taking you to ever greater depths and slowly but surely you learn to love them…possibly not worth waiting over a decade for, but very worthwhile nonetheless.