Fri 3/11 @ 9PM
One of the signature bands of Cleveland’s 90s underground scene was the mighty Craw. The racket-making quintet, working within a hardcore-influenced genre that was often dubbed “math rock,” produced its own distinctive, dense, squalling tower of sound that cowed listeners into submission. But that wall of sound contained complex crosscurrents — off-kilter guitar parts, runic lyrics, rhythmic patterns that defied toe-tapping — that rewarded careful listening.
Formed in the late ’80s at Case Western Reserve University and peaking in the mid ’90s, the band was a mainstay at the Euclid Tavern on its famous ’90s Monday night concert nights, where they often shared a bill with touring bands like the Jesus Lizard and Dazzling Killmen who had a similar approach and attitude (though none had a similar sound). Guitarists Rockie Brockway and Dave McClelland, vocalist Joe McTighe, bassist Chris Apanius and later Zak Dieringer, and first and second drummers Neil Chastain and Will Scharf (who both remained active in the area music scene, Chastain in the jazz/electronica scene and Scharf with post-hardcore rockers Keelhaul) became well known to regulars there.
Craw released three classic, unsettling albums during that time — their self-titled 1993 debut, 1994’s Lost Nation Road, and Map, Monitor, Surge in 1997. By the time they released their fourth and final album, Bodies for Strontium 90 in 2002, the band and their scene had lost steam, and they packed it in.
Recently, New York’s Northern Spy Records released a six-album box set that includes those first three albums and a 200-page book featuring everything you could possibly want to know about the band. The band was scheduled to reunite to do a record release show at the Grog last December, but it was postponed until this week. It’s happening now and the walls will shake. All of the band’s members will appear. Murderedman and the Great Iron Snake open. Tickets are $12 in advance, $15 at the door.