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If the original Sub Pop roster had an also-ran, it likely would have been the Fluid, MC5-inspired monsters from Denver -- which is where the story of Alta May in fact begins. Drummer Garrett Shavlik was still in the Fluid in the early '90s, when he met up with guitarist Erik Roper. The two kept in touch when Shavlik joined Spell, Roper's band Cold Crank playing dates with Spell in Colorado when not going out and having some drinks. The two eventually left Denver for Seattle in 1996, where a couple of years later they began working more seriously on new songs. The final piece of the puzzle was bassist Marcus Piña, who came from Seattle via London in 1991 with his past band, Anodyne. The trio formally debuted in 1999, and after a making a name for themselves gigging around town, released their debut album We As in Us in 2001, showcasing a rough-and-ready post-grunge sound that didn't forget the catchy parts. ~ Ned Raggett