King Snake Roost's debut EP, From Barbarism to Christian Manhood (1987), exemplified their heavy, guitar-driven style of garage music. Soon after its release, David Quinn replaced bassist Michael Raymond and the band moved from Adelaide to Sydney where they released three singles: "Top End Killer"/"A Storm Brewin'" (May 1988), Alice Cooper's "School's Out" and "More Than Love."
Their second album, Things That Play Themselves, was released in March 1989. Later that year, King Snake Roost toured the U.S. with Babes in Toyland, Helmet, and the Hard-Ons. During the two-month tour, they recorded their third album with producer Butch Vig. During this time, Tolnay also worked with the Dead Kennedys' lead singer Jello Biafra and members of U.S. band Steel Pole Bathtub under the banner Tumor Circus. Ground Into the Dirt was released in 1990 on the Amphetamine Reptile label in the U.S. and Megadisc in Europe. Quinn and Bostle then left the band and were replaced by Paul Kitten and Craig Rossi, respectively. King Snake Roost broke up by the end of the year, and although they re-formed for a brief time in 1990, no recordings resulted.