Formed from the ashes of Government Issue in 1989 by singer/guitarist J. Robbins, Jawbox broke away from the sound of their Dischord labelmates by creating dynamically diverse music that relied on start and stop bursts of music and poetic verse. Their first two full-length releases, Grippe and Novelty, would set the standard for the band's songcraft: a dual dissonant guitar attack, pounding bass and jittery drum patterns that supply the soundtrack for Robbins' disjointed, enigmatic lyrics. In 1994, the band shocked the D.C. Indie scene by leaving their independent label for major label Atlantic. The subsequent Savory+3 EP saw Robbins turn up the intensity, using a combination of low volume passages with explosive displays of emotional intensity. The full-length follow-up that same year, For Your Own Special Sweetheart, displayed the band at their diverse best, but also challenged the listener. The band was at their pinnacle, often mixing Power Pop melodies with noise band sensibilities. The group disbanded in 1997.