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Artist of the Month, August 1996


Crumb, a quartet from the San Francisco Bay Area with a sound that sets its own standard, has just released Romance Is A Slowdance, their major label debut on Qwest Records.

Neatly sidestepping such ready-made musical descriptions as grunge, garage, punk and post-modern, crumb's emotional, high-energy pop sound uses dynamics, structure and momentum to take music back to the basics to discover something fresh and totally original.

That something is found on Romance Is A Slowdance, which features twelve crumb originals, produced by Tim O'Heir of Dinosaur Jr and Sebadoh fame. The group counts among its influences Dinosaur Jr, The Smiths and The Pixies, but there is no doubt, from the evidence of Romance Is A Slowdance, that what they have come up with is a sound all their own.

Of course, nothing's ever as simple as it seems. Crumb is actually a lifelong work-in progress by its two founding members, guitarist Mark Weinberg and vocalist/lyricist Robby Cronholm. Now in their early twenties, the pair have been friends since kindergarten. They grew up in San Francisco, where they still live and began to write and play together as high school sophomores.

In 1993, they formed Crumb as a duo, playing acoustic shows on college campuses before adding a bassist and drummer and returning to the wall sockets for a welcome jolt of electricity.

What followed was the regulation round of bars, coffee houses and local college radio play, but the group remained virtually unknown outside a small circle of friends.

That situation didn't last long. Borrowing funds from their parents, Crumb recorded an independent album titled Happy Blah in 1994, which was sold at gigs and local record stores. Shortly thereafter, they recruited bassist Matt Powell, a friend of the band's original drummer, after their first bassist left the group. The new line-up began playing shows in L.A. clubs like The Whisky, Hell's Gate and The Viper Room, practicing all day and writing new material at night.

In early 1995, the group signed to Qwest Records and began work on their debut album for the label, with drummers Joey Waronker (formerly with Beck) and Josh Freese of The Vandals. Shortly after the album was completed, permanent drummer Bobby Alt joined the band.

H.E.A.R. is happy to honor Crumb as the HEARNET Artist of the Month. All the members of Crumb have come into the H.E.A.R. center and had musician's earplugs made and recently played a dynamite show at the H.E.A.R. benefit. We think that Crumb are great guys and are a band on their way to the top!


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