Formed in 1992 by guitarist and vocalist, Marissa Martinez, and bassist, Matt Widener, Cretin was the Santa Cruz Mountains' answer to the wave of death metal and grind that was infesting the scene. They spent two years with a multitude of different drummers and ultimately put the band on hold to focus on other things.
Cretin laid dormant while Widener joined gore metal band, Exhumed, in 1994 where he met drummer, Col Jones. In 1996, Widener went insane and left the band to enlist in the Marines, while Martinez pursued a career in video game production. Like a deformed fetus, pickled in a jar, Cretin slept—stunted—in the glory era of late '80s and early '90s grindcore. And when it woke, it was angry.
Cretin was resurrected in 2003 when Col Jones quit Exhumed and the three decided that the underground needed a dose of old school grind. The trio recorded a demo in 2004, titled Cretanic Grind Ambush, that Relapse Records released as an Underground Series 7". Relapse Records then signed the band in 2005.
"We're very proud to be part of the Relapse roster," Martinez says, "a label that has represented grind and death metal for over ten years. We hope to make everyone proud." Widener, who also fronts political grindcore band, Liberteer, says, "Relapse is the perfect home for Cretin; really, the only one I can imagine. I'm glad that they're giving us this chance." Jones, who has also played drums for thrash metal band, Dekapitator, and grindcore legends, Repulsion admits, "I've been with Relapse for years, and I know Cretin can deliver the goods."
In late 2005 Cretin recorded their first full-length album, Freakery, which was released in 2006. Senses were debauched. Eardrums, assaulted. And the cretanic grind invasion gimped onto the scene with live appearances in San Francisco, Balitmore, and Los Angeles, before being placed on hold once again.
After suppressing a lifelong gender identity conflict, Martinez came out as a transsexual woman and pursued the steps necessary to blossom into womanhood. The band took another hiatus reemerging six years later with Martinez reprising her role on guitar and vocals, and enlisting the talents of lead guitarist Elizabeth Schall (Dreaming Dead.)
The band is at it once again, preparing the release of their highly anticipated sophomore album entitled 'Stranger'. Self-recorded in early 2014, 'Stranger' is a perverted homage to the glory days of proto-grind and raw, depraved death metal that is more sick and twisted than anything they have recorded before. With 'Stranger' Cretin have perfected the lo-fi stylings of Repulsion, Pungent Stench and early Napalm Death while furthering their own unique brand of utterly deviant extreme metal.