Rainer Maria came together in 1995 in the not-so-sleepy university town of Madison, Wisconsin. Famous in no small part for its long history of social activism, Madison supplied the perfect environment for the members to run a music collective, hosting their own d.i.y. events for seminal Indie/Punk acts such as Bikini Kill, Sleater-Kinney, Make* Up and Promise Ring while these bands were very much in their infancy. Two years later, making time to write and rehearse in between attending college and promoting events, they recorded their first full-length album, Past Worn Searching. Independent outlets across the country immediately embraced this record, much to the band's surprise and elation. In 1999 the second full length, Look Now Look Again placed Rainer Maria among the likes of Eminem, Rage Against the Machine and Beck in Spin magazine's "Top 20 Albums of the Year."
After finishing school and relocating east to Brooklyn, New York in late 1999, the band sat down to write their third album, A Better Version of Me. Released in 2001, the album earned not only accolades from the press but the number one spot on CMJ's College Music charts. In 2003 they released their fourth record, Long Knives Drawn. Its single, "Ears Ring," reached number one on the Alternative Specialty Chart and went into rotation on MTV2.
With the bands latest offering, Catastrophe Keeps Us Together, everything coheres. Beautifully direct and aurally complex throughout, this is easily the most stunning and original work to date by a stunningly original band.