Taking the indie and emo rock roots of its members and framing them in the context of sunnier, more mature pop surroundings, The Promise Ring was a successful band formed from the ashes of the influential post-hardcore group, Cap'n Jazz. The Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based group was formed by Cap'n Jazz's lead singer Davey von Bohlen, after he decided to start penning songs that focused more heavily on melodic hooks. Nothing Feels Good, the band's breakout 1997 album on Jade Tree Records, became a hit within a number of music circles, appealing to fans of pop punk, emo and indie rock alike. The group's 1999 followup, Very Emergency, turned some fans off due to its overt pop tendencies and relative lack of faster-paced, more angst-y material. Observant listeners, however, saw von Bohlen's maturation developing all along and embraced it with open arms. In 2002, he experienced a series of life-threatening events related to a brain tumor and the complications suffered after its removal. Luckily, he ultimately came out unscathed, and later that same year, von Bohlen and the rest of The Promise Ring released wood/water, their Stephen Street-produced swan song.