Pitchfork formed in 1986 in San Diego. The lineup consisted of Rick Froberg on vocals (who would sometimes use the stage name Rick Farr or Rick Fork), John Reis on guitar and piano, Don Ankrom on bass and Joey Piro on drums. Their musical influences included Mission of Burma, Sonic Youth and others. In 1988 they recorded their first and only vinyl 7", Saturn Outhouse, consisting of three songs and released the following year.

In 1989 Ankrom left the band and was replaced by Nick Frederick. They entered Radio Tokyo studios and recorded their only album, Eucalyptus, which was released the following year on local label Nemesis Records. Froberg provided artwork for the album while Reis acted as producer. The band broke up shortly thereafter.

Following the breakup of Pitchfork Reis and Froberg formed Drive Like Jehu, in which they performed until 1995. Reis simultaneously formed Rocket from the Crypt, which he performed in until 2005. During the 1990s he also released a solo effort under the name Back Off Cupids, and from 2000-2007 performed in the Sultans. From 1999-2005 Reis and Froberg again reunited in the Hot Snakes. In 2003 Reis re-released Eucalyptus and Saturn Outhouse as a single CD through his record label Swami Records. Froberg's current band is the Obits, formed in 2006, while Reis formed The Night Marchers in 2007.

Saturn Outhouse (1989)
Eucalyptus (1990)


Arising from the Louisville math rock scene that also spawned Slint and Rodan, Crain's slow, post-hardcore grind bore some resemblance to the likes of Helmet and the Jesus Lizard. However, their intricate compositions and time signature shifts were firmly a product of the Louisville scene, and even influenced some of the local bands that eventually rose to greater prominence. Crain was formed in 1989 after the breakup of the local band Cerebellum, with an initial lineup that featured vocalist Drew Daniel, guitarist Tim Furnish, bassist Jon Cook, and drummer Will Chatham. After recording a song that wound up on a split 7" with Deathwatch, Daniel left for college, and would later go on to form one-half of the experimental techno outfit Matmos. Cook took over lead vocals for a short time, then Kristen Shelor passed through the ranks until guitarist/singer Joey Mudd -- another ex-Cerebellum member -- became the frontman in early 1990. Mudd sang on a second track on the Crain/Deathwatch split, which was released on Slamdek that year; he also performed on the four-song EP Rocket, issued on the band's own Automatic Wreckords label in 1991. This lineup recorded the first Crain LP, which was issued on Automatic Wreckords in 1992; titled Speed, it was produced by the legendary Steve Albini.
Mudd departed after its completion, and Cook took his spot on lead vocals; he also switched to guitar, and a new rhythm section of bassist Jason Hayden and drummer John Causey came on board. Causey stuck around long enough to contribute "Coalmine #666" to a Simple Machines collection called Working Holiday!, but soon departed. When Crain entered the studio with Albini to record its second album, Jon Cook doubled up on guitar and drums; he also moonlighted briefly as the initial drummer for renowned math rockers Rodan. Crain's sophomore album, Heater, was picked up by Restless Records for national release in 1994. Full-time drummer Tony Bailey joined soon after, and when bassist Hayden subsequently left, he was replaced by Todd Cook. In 1995, the group contributed the Heater track "Hey Cops!" to the soundtrack of the cult indie rock film Half Cocked. They also began work on a new album, but it was never completed; Crain disbanded at the end of 1996. Furnish formed Parlour with Bailey, while Todd Cook went on to play with prominent Louisville indie bands like the For Carnation, Retsin, Four Fifty Six, and the Shipping News. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi

Speed (1992)
Heater (1994)

Breaking Circus

Breaking Circus was a postpunk band from the 1980s, based in Chicago and later Minneapolis, led by guitarist and vocalist Steve Bjorklund.

Bjorklund had earlier been a guitarist and vocalist for Strike Under; Breaking Circus was his next project. Breaking Circus signed to Homestead Records for their first release, The Very Long Fuse (1985), which borrowed members of label-mates Big Black, Naked Raygun and Man Sized Action for its drum machine-based production.

In 1986, Bjorklund moved to Minneapolis and began working with Rifle Sport bassist Pete "Flour" Conway and drummer/guitarist Todd Trainer. The band released The Ice Machine LP with the album's credits appearing as a Monopoly-style drinking game insert. Breaking Circus was joined by second guitarist Phil Harder for a national tour before returning to the studio to record another LP that was to feature four songs by Bjorklund, four by Flour, and four by Trainer. When the band arrived in the studio, they received word from Homestead that the label would only pay for six of the twelve songs that they had originally planned to record. All four of Bjorklund's songs and one by each of the other members were released on the EP Smoker's Paradise in 1987.

The band broke up in 1988. Phil Harder went on to form the trio Big Trouble House. Flour recorded four full-length solo albums for Touch and Go Records. Todd Trainer recorded two EPs under the name Brick Layer Cake before joining Shellac. Bjorklund released a final 7" single of solo electro-pop versions of songs by Naked Raygun and the UK Subs under the name Breaking Circus before moving on to work as a producer.

The Very Long Fuse (1985)
The Ice Machine (1986)
Smokers' Paradise (1987)