How Does This Go?
The year was 1993 and from the ashes of longtime Portland punk band EMPTY TOMB, arose the punk powerhouse that was to be called CRUX. Upon the demise of Empty Tomb (Kevin left to do Sometime Sunday, Steve was having health problems) the remaining guys quickly began to regroup in the shadows, and within 4-5 months emerged onto the scene with a new vocalist, a new sound, and energy unlike any they had before. The coming together of these four guys from their different backgrounds musically just flowed. With precise, yet room for breath drumming of Mike, the punk and thrash metal and chops of Greg, Andy's melodic punk tendencies, and Rich, the classically trained jazz singer together with the prolific and though provoking socio political/ topical lyrics that all the members contributed to (but Andy and right primarily wrote). Crux had something to say and believe me, with a sound like theirs, people listened. Within a short time upon forming the band put together a demo (nicknamed the green tape) and the guitarist Greg and I formed boot to head records, and we released it (though it was more like we put our name on it). The response was nothing more than shocking, they were getting rave reviews from all over, and even impressed Shawn Stern (youth brigade/ better youth organization (BYO)) so much he called them directly and wanted to hear more. Unfortunately nothing happened with BYO (I'm only speculating here, but perhaps they finally understood the bands conservative leaning lyrics upon further listens)... none the less Crux moved on... within a year we released a new split 7' series titled 'Don't spit on me' and the volume one featured two brand new and (I'd say best Crux tracks ever, hard heavy, and ohhh so powerful)... this 7' along with the green tape solidified Crux's place on the roster of the then fledgling label Tooth and Nail records. It wasn't long and Crux went into the studio with Drew Canulette (longtime renown northwest recording engineer) and to record their t&n debut 'failure to Yield', this album, overall is the best Crux release ever, this the album simply put, shined. It included the best tracks from the green tape recorded at a great studio this time, along with a handful of brand new scorchers, including one track sung by Andy (foreshadowing what was to come with shorthanded). After the release of this album Crux embarked on a tour with friends and label mates MxPx that covered a good portion of the states, and they berated people with their melodic (sometimes) but always-catchy punk rock sounds... Shortly after this tour, the bands biggest hit came when original bassist, co-songwriter/ lyricist and longtime friend quit the band to peruse his own thing (which would become shorthanded), this stunted the band in the short term, and changed their sound a bit in the long term. But, they would eventually find a good match and collaborator in the youngin Bob Gossett. There is no doubt this new lineup rocked just as hard as the original, but in the process they lost a bit of their melody and replaced it with thrashier, faster, more balls to the wall crossover influences. And soon they had a whole set of new songs and began to record their sophomore t&n record titled 'Cakewalk'. This time in the studio with Kevin Nettleingham at the helm. Cakewalk turned out to be a great record in it's own right, but as expected Crux got heavier in the process, and thrashier, but thankfully they never lost their punk power, their drive or their knack for writing a good punk song. The band toured a few times on this alum, spreading the love to those so lucky as to catch them. But unfortunately this album didn't take them to the next level they needed, and the label began to loose interest and the band and label parted ways. This was good in that it gave the band back some more freedom to do what they wanted, but it also left them without an immediate outlet to release the next record which they had already started writing. It was early 1999 and soon enough Crux decided to give boot to head the option of putting it out, and we were more than pleased to release 'How Does It Go?' (again recorded by Kevin Nettleingham), and Crux came home. Unfortunately, the band calling it a day shortly after the record came out shortened Crux's stay at Boot to Head. It was just time, their day had come like all good legends and bands alike. So what's the moral to this story...? You tell me!