Two layers of groups can be found in every musical movement: the groups that receive the most attention and generally go into the history books as predominant examples of their particular sound, and the other groups that remain stratified as history buries them beneath the surface. Thankfully, the reissue culture enables listeners to act as archaeologists and perhaps even mad scientists, digging up and resuscitating releases that may not have received proper attention the first time around. Such is the case with Crain's only release, Speed. Buried beneath the success of colleagues Slint and Rodan in the Kentucky soil, Crain had local fame but remained hidden to all but those who diligently sought them out, until Temporary Residence had the good sense to reissue Speed in 2005. Beneath the history is an unadulterated session of brutal post-rock and math rock that laid the blueprint for so many bands (for better and worse) that would come later in the decade and beyond. The reissue features two of post-punk's most revered producers behind the boards: Big Black/Shellac producer and softball guru Steve Albini for the proper album tracks and D.C. figurehead Don Zientara for the album's bonus tracks, initially slated for a future release. In Albini's case, it seems as if time spent with Crain would later rub off with his Shellac project, creatively and sonically. "Monkey Wrench" is eerily similar to Jawbox (especially if Jawbox were fronted by Rollins), while "Proposed Production" could have easily rivaled anything Drive Like Jehu issued on their first record. Sometimes things just fall through the cracks, but for post-rock and experimental rock fans, this is the equivalent of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
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AllMusic Review by Rob Theakston