Ditch Croaker played the kind of muddy, noisy rock that has brought fame to a lot of other bands from their hometown of Hoboken, NJ. The trio, consisting of Tim Newman on vocals and guitar, Tim Floyd on bass, vocals and keyboards, and Tim Barnes on drums, vocal and percussion, formed in 1992 and released their first album, Chimpfactor, on their own label, Fine Corinthian in 1995. Their major label debut, Secrets of the Mule followed on Reprise in 1997, shortly after they self-published a second album, Shortwave. The band kept its DIY aesthetic and did a lot of work to keep high standards in the face of corporate control, including issuing the lp version of Secrets of the Mule themselves so that they could control the quality and the packaging. Vital Cog issued their next release, Tranquil Waters, in 1999, which showed off even more experimentation than previous recordings, combined with more mature songwriting.