The album was initially released on August 18, 1996 exclusively on CD format through the Los Angeles independent record label/fanzine Flipside after a few of the label's staff members were impressed by the band's performance in a small Los Angeles club. The record was recorded in Los Angeles for only $600 after concluding a U.S. tour. Reflecting upon the aftermath of recording Acrobatic Tenement, vocalist Cedric Bixler stated in 2013: "Before [the album's release], the band had broken up. We did a U.S. tour and we decided to split up. I always needed Jim to be there, but he'd had a falling out with Omar. We'd made a bunch of dumb moves at the time — kicked the drummer [Ryan Sawyer] who was on the record out, and then the other guitar player [Adam Amparan] — but then Tony and Paul came and played. Omar switched to guitar at the time, because he played bass on that album, so when we played live, it was a lot different."