Northeast Ohio has been home to a dizzying roster of influential punk bands for decades. In the late 70s and into the 80s there was Rocket From the Tombs, Dead Boys, Pere Ubu, Devo, The Cramps, The Mice, and more. In the early 90s it was also known for hardcore bands like Integrity, Confront, Face Value and Splinter. In the mid 90s there was another musical shift happening in the underground community around the country and Northeast Ohio was no exception. Across basements, VFW halls, and other DIY music spaces a new crop of bands was emerging. These new bands, often born from the ashes of more traditional hardcore bands just a few years prior, had broadened their musical influences and their respective sounds were often more polished, dynamic, and lyrically diverse.
Grain were a punishingly loud post-hardcore band who left their mark everywhere they played. Simultaneously angry, urgent, and beautiful in a single 30 minute set, they left hardcore purists confused while others wanted more. They were punk, both philosophically and from a community standpoint, and yet not so easy to pigeonhole musically.
Grain originally formed as a 3-piece in 1993 in Cleveland after the break up of three previous bands; Arm’s Length (Brian Strazek), Blatant Disregard (Dean Eshleman), and Windpipe (Jason “Jay” Kuebler). Shortly thereafter Ryan Rinella joined on vocals and when another local hardcore band State of Mind called it quits, their guitarist Brian Noga, joined Grain on 2nd guitar.
In their short time together Grain released two 7”s, a split 7” with Harriet The Spy, and three songs that appeared on a couple different compilation LPs. Grain played close to 100 shows, completed a short tour of the northeast in 1994, and a month-long US tour in 1995. They shared the stage with bands like Lincoln, Kerosene 454, Ordination of Aaron, Current, Samuel, Harriet The Spy, Thumbnail, Avail, and Archers of Loaf before breaking up in 1995.
FFO: Hoover, Kerosene 454, (early) Jawbreaker