Although Cleveland has a long lineage of groundbreaking music, the city experienced something of a lull in the ’90s. It was on this barren landscape that Craw was born. After first forming at Case Western Reserve University in 1988 and recording a series of demo tapes at the start of the next decade, the band released its self-titled debut on the Chicago-based Choke label in 1994. The record revealed a sharply honed mix of noisy aggression, atmospheric dirge, and heady lyrical content. The viscerally charged racket Craw was making was not unlike that being released by Amphetamine Reptile and Touch and Go, and Craw would host those labels’ touring acts at the Euclid Tavern when not on the road themselves with the likes of the Jesus Lizard and Melvins. Several line-up changes and three more full-length releases would transpire before the band called it quits in 2002, leaving a lasting impression on all that heard its music.
In conjunction with an elaborate boxset released by Northern Spy Records, the seven members who played in Craw at various times have reformed for a handful of shows, including one at Saint Vitus tonight. This is very unlikely to ever happen again, so don’t miss it!