San Francisco's Donner Party released one self-titled album in 1987 before they were brought to the attention of then-Camper Van Beethoven's David Lowery, who signed them to his Pitch a Tent label for their second and final recording in 1988. The power trio played shrewd pop executed na´vely, mainly because singer Sam Coomes delivered his whimsical lyrics in a strained, nonchalant vocal style. The purposefully childlike approach by the rest of the band (drummer and vocalist Melanie Clarin and Reinhold Johnson) veered from a primitive folk-rock sound to full-tilt, noisy indie rock. Clarin played with the group while simultaneously recording and touring with another San Francisco guitar-based band, the Cat Heads. Clarin continues to record with an array of Bay Area bands, while Coomes relocated to Portland and formed Motorgoat and Quasi.