Jangly guitar pop gave way to a harder edged sound for Australian band the Welcome Mat, who released their first single, "Last of the Great Letdowns," in 1990. The six-track EP Fairydust followed in 1991 and led to a deal with Regular Records. The move proved fortuitous and their 1992 EP, Spare, topped the indie charts, leading to support gigs with the Hoodoo Gurus, Died Pretty, and American band Buffalo Tom.
Noted producers Paul Kolderie and Sean Slade (Lemonheads, Buffalo Tom, Dinosaur Jr.) took the reins for the bands full-length debut, Gram, released in 1993. Despite being critically well-received, Gram's impact on the charts was negligible and frontman Wayne Connolly moved into production. With credits for albums by Custard, Underground Lovers, You Am I, and the Fauves, Connolly then formed the band Knievel, who released We Fear Change in 1995 before working with the band Fragile on their 1996 album Airbrushed Perfection. The Welcome Mat re-formed and released Lap of Honour the same year.