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The Cripples

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Keenly aware that new wave has its roots in ‘60s garage rock, the Cripples fuse proto-punk rawness with synthesized noise. Formed by Greg Heino (vocals, guitar, synthesizer) and Ross Marshall (synthesizer, vocals) in a high school basement in the mid-‘90s. Nearly a decade before resurrecting new wave sounds would be considered cool in the indie-rock world and commercial in the eyes of A&R suits, the Cripples were outcasts, gigging at small Seattle punk clubs in 1996 even though they were clearly not punk rock. Originally relying on samples, the group added drummer Brian Wallace; bassist Jen Hale joined the band as well. A year later, the Cripples released their first 7" single "Breakdown". Influenced by the pioneering electronic work of Devo as well as the chaotic din of the Boredoms, the Cripples occupied a space of their own in the punk underground, completely different and sometimes creatively at odds with the tastes of their peers. In 1998, Wallace and Hale were replaced by Allie Holly-Gottlieb and Erik Stockinger. They performed live regularly in Seattle, opening up for iconic Northwest acts like Mudhoney and Pure Joy. The group issued their second single, "So Tired", in 1999. The Cripples were then signed to the Seattle label Dirtnap Records. Their full-length debut, Dirty Head, appeared in 2002. ~ Michael Sutton