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.