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Self-described as "a loud, heavy, annoying rock band for people with short attention spans," Cleveland, OH, quartet Keelhaul plays a dense, punishing hardcore/metal hybrid that has fittingly led to a home on Hydra Head Records, which has also issued recordings by such roughly like-minded bands as Knut, ISIS, Cattle Press, and Neurosis. Members of Keelhaul's lineup had been playing together since the early '90s but the group didn't officially form until 1998. The quartet consists of bassist/vocalist Aaron Dallison, guitarist Dana Embrose, drummer Will Scharf, and guitarist/vocalist Chris Smith (formerly a member of Cleveland hardcore band Integrity). Their self-titled debut album originally came out in 1998 on the Cleveland-based Cambodia Recordings label before being reissued by Escape Artist Records the following year. Following a 7" on Hydra Head and tours with bands including Eyehategod, Botch, and Cave-In, the band released its second full-length in 2001. Simply entitled II, the CD came out on Hydra Head, with Escape Artist issuing it on vinyl. ~ William York
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