Animals that Swim.....

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Anyone know what happened to Animals that Swim??? They seemed to make one or two vageuly interesting albums and then disappear off the face of the earth.....?

Paul B (paul_b), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 08:21 (fifteen years ago) link

I've no idea, but I saw them once in a poky little pub somewhere in London playing with S*M*A*S*H and Elastica IIRC and they were head and shoulders above the others.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 08:36 (fifteen years ago) link

I found a couple of S*M*A*S*H CD singles under my bed the other night...they've dated very, very badly....

Paul B (paul_b), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 08:39 (fifteen years ago) link

Please don't tell anyone, but I always rather liked These Animal Men.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 08:44 (fifteen years ago) link

Can we talk about Animals That Swim some more please?

"New Boots" is one of my favourite songs, hugely influential on, well, me.

They're now signed to Snowstorm - also home of former ILM regular Chris T-T, Kathryn Williams and The Broken Family Band - although they've only released one album (called Happiness From A Distant Star for them. It was alright, but not a patch on Workshy (which is AMAZING) or I Was The King, I Really Was The King which was damn fine too.

CharlieNo4 (Charlie), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 09:23 (fifteen years ago) link

i'm not 100% sure if Snowstorm are still around - BFB are on Track & Field now and Candidate seem to be MIA..

the surface noise (electricsound), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 10:15 (fifteen years ago) link

S*M*A*S*H were "Smash the Blue" in a previous scene...

These animal men, I remember.

Animals that swim, I don't.

mark grout (mark grout), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 10:17 (fifteen years ago) link

i have "i was the king..." plus a couple of their singles, should crack them out again one of these days.

these animal men still sound shite. "speeed king" reminds me of the strokes

the surface noise (electricsound), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 10:19 (fifteen years ago) link

"the sound of the youth" reminded me of Sham 69, at the time.

mark grout (mark grout), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 10:19 (fifteen years ago) link

They had some great moments and seeing them as headliners in the new bands tent at Phoenix 96 was, I still think, a very wise decision by my standards. That song about the old guy growing weed in his greenhouse, I particularly liked that.

DJ Mencap (DJ Mencap), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 10:53 (fifteen years ago) link

I've always said that ATS certainly the most under-rated band going, although this has not been an opinion shared by anyone I actually know.

As a result I wrote an article about Animals Tha Swim on our web site a while back which attracted a bit of interest (including the band themselves). Snowstorm are apparently doing a best of/rarities compilation which should be out in a month or so we are told:

The article is here

The url is

jim, Tuesday, 30 March 2004 11:23 (fifteen years ago) link

i'm not 100% sure if Snowstorm are still around

Snowstorm are SO still around! Witness:

(see how I slipped in a plug there? clever's TONIGHT btw)

CharlieNo4 (Charlie), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 11:25 (fifteen years ago) link

ahhh that's right, they put out a magoo record recently (which i bought too), silly me.

the surface noise (electricsound), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 11:28 (fifteen years ago) link

and hooold up there - Paul B? Shurely not the same Paul B who will recognise the below name pretty easily? How the devil are you sir?

CharlieNo4 (Charlie), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 11:32 (fifteen years ago) link


Yes it's me. Bizarre coincidence, six degrees of separation....etc etc..

Just mailed you anyway about another spooky coincidence...


Paul B (paul_b), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 13:47 (fifteen years ago) link

Hurrah camaraderie! And hurrah Animals that Swim, whose first two albums I reviewed for the AMG...

Ned Raggett (Ned), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 14:17 (fifteen years ago) link

Well there is obviously an underbelly of ATS fans...and I thought I was the only one....

Paul B (paul_b), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 14:36 (fifteen years ago) link

i was so happy to stumble across a copy of Happiness... - had no idea that ATS were still kicking. not a bad album at all - though the accompanying CD5 for "The Moon and the Mothership" is a complete waste of time, space and money. never understood why the Blue Aeroplanes were granted their 15 minutes, but the same never came to the talented, likable ATS. hope they stick it out for a 4th LP and that the world eventually comes 'round.

Snowstorm's a spiffy label. loved the Magoo and Candidate, both semi-lost classics sure to be discussed with hushed reverence a few years from now - and Wolf, Clive Painter's solo ambient rock thing, is also quite nice. what are Fonda500, Chris T-T and Punish the Atom like?

echoinggrove (echoinggrove), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 14:45 (fifteen years ago) link

Well there is obviously an underbelly of ATS fans...and I thought I was the only one...

and there's every chance we both discovered ATS thanks to this man:

(Chris Ingham, editor of Metal Hammer)

CharlieNo4 (Charlie), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 15:02 (fifteen years ago) link

I LOVE this band, and they have yet to fail me. I wish they had a big enough audience to continue putting out releases on a smaller scale, but I'm doubtful of that. On a trip to the UK in the summer of '99, I found this bin with about 10 copies of the second album for a I Was the King, I Really Was the King. As I already owned it, I bought 5 copies for friends. I love love LOVE "East St O'Neill".

CharlieNo4, can you give us any info on the above mentioned best-of/rarities disc? Is it in the works?

Jonathan (Jonathan), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 16:39 (fifteen years ago) link

Snowstorm's a spiffy label.

no argument here. their true lost classic is however the stunning LP by Dukes of Hang-gliding. one of the most underappreciated albums of all time.

the surface noise (electricsound), Tuesday, 30 March 2004 22:45 (fifteen years ago) link

CharlieNo4, can you give us any info on the above mentioned best-of/rarities disc? Is it in the works?

No idea I'm afraid, but I bet it'll be bloody good in any case.

CharlieNo4 (Charlie), Wednesday, 31 March 2004 13:35 (fifteen years ago) link

three months pass... has the following in the future releases section:

Faded Glamour (Best) (+14)
A long deserved retrospective CD spanning their 12 year existence. Initial copies come with a bonus 14 track CD of unreleased tracks, rarities and remixes.
Country: UK
Format: 2xCD
Expected Release Date: 26-Jul-04


Jonathan (Jonathan), Thursday, 1 July 2004 15:00 (fifteen years ago) link has a promo of the album, with the following tracklisting (for the first disc):

1. Faded Glamour
2. Pink Carnations
3. The Longest Road
4. Roy
5. All Your Stars Are Out
6. Dirt
7. Smooth Steps
8. The Moon And The Mothership
9. East St. O'Neill
10. Madame Yevonde
11. 50 Dresses
12. Mackie's Wake
13. King Beer
14. 7 Days

Odd that "The Greenhouse" didn't make it onto the album, since it was a single (and a great one at that!).

Jonathan (Jonathan), Thursday, 1 July 2004 15:10 (fifteen years ago) link

one year passes...
As ever too late for the party. Love this band. East St O'Neill is my favourite. I also think These Animal Men were a bit hard done by, Accident and Emergency was a great album. But then they cocked it up by becoming Mo Solid Gold.

ciaran murtagh, Thursday, 13 October 2005 09:40 (thirteen years ago) link

one year passes...

If anyone can persuade Animals That Swim to reform and play in London, I am willing to buy them many, many pints.

braveclub, Monday, 30 July 2007 09:10 (twelve years ago) link

If only I could join you in that effort. Only two albums (and a third if you collect their b-sides) but one of my all-time favorites. The horns - sometimes mournful, sometimes joyous - make this band sound so different. There's a Blue Aeroplanes vibe with the speak-sing delivery sometimes. I wish there was someone else operating in this territory. "7 Days", recounting the 10th, 20th, etc birthdays of one man never fails to bring a tear to my eye.

Mr. Odd, Monday, 30 July 2007 11:21 (twelve years ago) link

No wait! 3 albums - _Workshy_, their debut, was a used bin regular for years. _I Was The King_ came out in 97 and I thought that was the end but _Happiness From A Distant Star_ came out of nowhere 4 years later. If you can still find it, the best-of that came out a few years ago initially came with a bonus disc of non-lp stuff.

Mr. Odd, Monday, 30 July 2007 11:25 (twelve years ago) link

two years pass...

Anybody else remember?

They just shot right into my head. A blast from the past.

When I was all wrapped up in Yank knows best, all we in the UK was, Animals That Swim, MBV, lush, Wolfhounds , Swervedriver. And that was about it...

Fer Jessie the Drunk Dutch Mountain Ark (Mobbed Up Ping Pong Psychos), Friday, 14 May 2010 20:54 (nine years ago) link

ten months pass...

Animals that Swim have new material out in March 2011 - see

FadedGlamour, Wednesday, 16 March 2011 15:44 (eight years ago) link

Good news. Hopefully

Jessie Fer Ark (Mobbed Up Ping Pong Psychos), Wednesday, 16 March 2011 20:16 (eight years ago) link

Holy crap, who knew they still existed?!

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 16 March 2011 20:27 (eight years ago) link

one month passes...

Finally hearing Happiness From A Distant Star, nice little album. New interview from a couple of weeks back:

Ned Raggett, Tuesday, 10 May 2011 22:34 (eight years ago) link

Still very surprised they're still active!

Wacky Way Lounge (Evan), Wednesday, 11 May 2011 00:06 (eight years ago) link

five years pass...

"Workshy" just got reissued with a bonus disc containing the demos of an aborted album and two b-sides including "Impossible", the flip of their debut single.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Monday, 27 February 2017 22:52 (two years ago) link

Thanks for mentioning that, I just ordered it and wouldn't have known about it otherwise.

svend, Wednesday, 1 March 2017 01:44 (two years ago) link

one year passes...

The best of just sound-tracked an hour or so's Sunday afternoon ironing ... and sounded beautiful.

djh, Sunday, 10 February 2019 17:26 (six months ago) link

Right? They tap into some off-kilter beauty that is darkly joyous. Such a unique band.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Sunday, 10 February 2019 19:24 (six months ago) link

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