Essentially born of the Washington-based twee pop scene that earlier spawned the influential Beat Happening, Crayon was actually a bit more punk than twee. Featuring Brad Roberts (guitar/vocals), Sean Tollefson (bass/vocals) and Jeff Fell (drums), Crayon sounded something like a mini-Nirvana minus the anger. They were cute, but they weren't cutesy.
Enigmatically listed as Brad on the band's releases, Roberts' voice may have sounded like the Peanuts character Linus, but his fuzzy, distorted guitar had the urgency of punk rock and the melodicism of pop. In that sense, albums like Crayon's superb 1992 Moominland EP and their 1994 full-length Harriet Records debut Brick Factory (check out the AMG review here) seem like missing links between UK indie pop bands like the Pastels or the Vaselines and American indie bands like Tsunami and the more abrasive Unwound. Unfortunately, Roberts left the band in 1994 and Tollefson and Fell went on to form the equally twee, but less punk-influenced Tullycraft.
There are rumors of a possible anthology in the works, but as of now, Crayon's music, truly a lost classic of '90s indie rock, is sadly out-of-print and virtually impossible to track down.
Check out Crayon's Myspace.
Listen to some Crayon:
"Penny Lock" off Julep: Another Yoyo Studio Compilation
"All the Stars" off One Last Kiss
"Forever Nearly True" off Yo-Yo a Go-Go