Part of the Chicago underground scene of the late '80s and early '90s, Tar played a fierce blend of abrasive noise rock and post-hardcore punk, drawing from local touchstones like Big Black and Naked Raygun. However, they were also influenced by vintage punk bands like the Sex Pistols, Stooges, and New York Dolls; plus, as they evolved, they were often compared to more metallic noisemakers like Helmet and the Jesus Lizard. Tar's thick, heavy guitar textures and pitch-dark dissonance were an accurate reflection of their moniker, and their disdain for accessibility or major-label exposure was just as accurate a reflection of the scene from which they'd arisen. After several albums for uncompromising indies Touch & Go and Amphetamine Reptile, the band elected to call it quits following what many deemed its best work.

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