The Red Scare was formed of four college friends in Knoxville, TN, in August of 1997, bringing together Matt Hall's explosive and unique drumming with Kip Uhlhorn's frantic guitars, Abbie Wintker on bass, and Adam Ewing also on guitar. The Red Scare began playing locally, building a name for themselves with short but propulsive sets likened after those of the Sleepytime Trio and Gravity Records heroes Heroin. By 1998, Jon Asher had replaced Adam Ewing on guitar and the band embarked on their first small tour with Milemarker, Orchid, and Hail Mary. Capillary Lockdown came in November of 1999, an album of apocalyptic visions and propulsive, almost overwhelming rhythms. In June of 2000, they toured again with Orchid for over a month and then went to work on Strangers Die Everyday. Here, they realize the album form by melding explosive songs like "Risking Your Life With a Capital R" and "Smoky Mountain High" with strange metallic collages. The guitars, while still edging on brutal, also emit dreamy segments like that of the title track. This would prove to be their final album together as Uhlhorn moved to New York City, beginning Panthers with former Orchid members Jayson Green, Jeff Salane, and Geoff Garlock. Matt Hall went on to form the New Brutalism in Baltimore, MD.