The content: Considered minimalism: illustrations and text in silver rest on a deep, flat blue. Emblematic of the time. The Message: Enigmatic but strong, with an artiness rarely found in more mainstream releases. The Picture: Magic Hour. Not that I necessarily maximized it, but it's a start. As always, click for larger versions.
The Crownhate Ruin were born from the ashes of Hoover, one of the most impressive and influential of the early-nineties Dischord acts. This kind of thing happened a lot in that era. It was a special time for independent music, as a raft of really talented people caught their second and third creative waves. And in many cases, it wasn't just the music. Most of the folks involved in these bands were (are) good at something else, as well. Often, "something else" was design.
This particular cover is by Jeff Mueller, who also played music in Rodan, June of 44, and the Shipping News, among others. It's a nice example of the kind of high-level minimalism that was popular at the time. Strong, simple ideas were paired up with quality materials to create a stylistic backdrop that, looking back, defines that era almost as much as the music. It's hard to say how far the influence stretched, but the body of work is impressive.