Formed in 1981, the original lineup featured John Brannon on vocals, Rob McCullough on guitar, one Pete Zelewski on bass (soon replaced by Rob's brother Graham), and a drummer known to the general public only as Zuheir (who was also replaced early on, by O.P. Moore). Negative Approach drew their influences from Michigan's punk forefathers, the Stooges, and the English Oi scene, as well as contemporary American hardcore bands such as Black Flag, Minor Threat, and the Necros. The band recorded a track for Process of Elimination, Touch & Go's 1981 compilation EP, and accompanied fellow midwesterners the Necros on an east coast tour to promote the record. In 1982 the band released a 10 song 7" EP, and the following year released the Tied Down LP. Both records are pure expressions of anger and frustration, lead by Brannon's bellicose vocals and backed by tight bursts of hardcore fury. When asked what he wrote his songs about, Brannon replied simply, "People I hate."
Negative Approach broke up in 1984, and Brannon continued on with the explicitly non-hardcore Laughing Hyenas, who put out several albums on Touch & Go. He now has a new band called Easy Action. In the '90s, Touch & Go reissued all the Negative Approach stuff on one CD (plus a bunch of badly recorded live stuff), so people won't have to break the bank to hear these essential records.