Over the Rhine had already developed a large and intensely loyal following in their native Cincinnati, Ohio before they independently released their first two albums, Till We Have Faces (1991) and Patience (1992). Their music, which they aptly dubbed "post-nuclear, pseudo-alternative, folk-tinged art-pop," is difficult to pigeonhole. They have been compared to 10,000 Maniacs, the Innocence Mission, U2, and Shawn Colvin, but the band's personality seems to owe more to its literary influences (which include Dylan Thomas, C.S. Lewis, and T.S. Eliot). They drew attention to their independent albums with their attractively arty CD packaging, and when IRS signed them in 1992, Patience became the first album in the label's history to be re-released with its original indie cover art.