British people please discuss: NWONW, the (old) New Wave of New Wave

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Early 1990s: when they didn't have important breaking news about the guy from Therapy? and his funny little beard, NME and Melody Maker went on endlessly about the "New Wave of New Wave" (ahead of their time, those visionaries!), which apparently consisted of S*M*A*S*H and These Animal Men.

The magazines made it to the US, where I read about these bands. The records totally, totally didn't. So I've spent over a decade wondering exactly what these bands actually sounded like, and whether they were as crap as I assumed from the magazine coverage.

Before I use the new wonder of the internet to actually listen to some of this music and probably have a great bit laugh ... tell me about it.

nabisco (nabisco), Wednesday, 12 April 2006 15:10 (fourteen years ago) link

So the New New Wave of New Wave is in fact the New New Wave of New Wave of New Wave?

ESTEBAN BUTTEZ~!!! (ESTEBAN BUTTEZ~!!!), Wednesday, 12 April 2006 15:18 (fourteen years ago) link

The records totally, totally didn't.

Some did. Nicole's legendary sister to thread.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 12 April 2006 15:21 (fourteen years ago) link

Also, this thread for potential edification:

For your edification -- Taylor Parkes interviews S*M*A*S*H, _Melody Maker_, 1994

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 12 April 2006 15:22 (fourteen years ago) link

If These Animal Men had waited another ten years to make their first record, they'd be yooge right now. YOOGE.

Jason Toon (Jason Toon), Wednesday, 12 April 2006 19:05 (fourteen years ago) link

Wasn't ELASTICA part of that whole thing too? They certainly made it here.

As I recall, THESE ANIMAL MEN and S*M*A*S*H were utter rubbish.

A follow-up question - right after the NWONW, the British Music Press launched the next big thing as some kind of Spandau Ballet "New Romantic" revival (this is circa 1995). Does anyone remember those bands? For the life of me, I can't.

Jacobo Rock (jacobo rock), Wednesday, 12 April 2006 19:53 (fourteen years ago) link

Here's just the thread:

what was 'romo'??

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 12 April 2006 19:56 (fourteen years ago) link

I interviewed These Animal Men once. I remember nothing of the interview and less of their music, but I remember thinking they were wildly underachieving.

S*M*A*S*H were just awful.

Dogfight Giggle (noodle vague), Wednesday, 12 April 2006 20:00 (fourteen years ago) link

load of old cock it were.
romo? don't get me started guv.
useless desperate journos eh?

dr lulu (dr lulu), Wednesday, 12 April 2006 20:08 (fourteen years ago) link

As I recall NWONW was the UK music press's first prototype attempt at manufacturing a scene around a handful of bands in order to generate some interest in the indiginous music scene - something which they subsequently succeed in doing with "Britpop". As well as Elastica IIRC Blur, Suede, Manic Street Preachers and I think Menswear and Powder were all associated (by the press) with this alleged scene before being conveniently relabelled a year or two later.

"useless desperate journos" is absolutely OTM.

S*M*A*S*H were supposedly the forerunners of the scene and were being heralded as the new Clash - which they very clearly weren't, although they did have a couple of good tunes. There was an EP which featured both their landmark songs ("Real Surreal" and "Lady Love Your Cunt") which is worth tracking down.

These Animal Men were great live but never quite managed to capture it in the studio, although the EP Taxi For These Animal Men and the albums Come On Join The High Society, and especially Accident & Emergency are all worth a listen. Unfortunately they started believing their own hype, apparently developed some hugely debilitating drug problems, and disappeared up their own arses.

"wildly underachieving" is also OTM.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Wednesday, 12 April 2006 21:06 (fourteen years ago) link

Come to think of it I think Animal That Swim were associated with NWONW too, along with pretty much everone on Frantic Panda.

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Wednesday, 12 April 2006 21:15 (fourteen years ago) link

These Animal Men's "Too Sussed" EP is pretty good. The album less so, but it has a couple of good songs on it. I have one S*M*A*S*H single - "I want to kill somebody" which is OK but nothing special, I don't think their other stuff was much cop really.

Colonel Poo (Colonel Poo), Wednesday, 12 April 2006 21:18 (fourteen years ago) link

Weren't Compulsion lumped in with this for a bit? Even though they sounded more like the Pixies than any New Wave bands I can think of.

Colonel Poo (Colonel Poo), Wednesday, 12 April 2006 21:29 (fourteen years ago) link

Theres a difference. Compulsion were actually quite good.

Brigadier Lethbridge-Pfunkboy (Kerr), Wednesday, 12 April 2006 21:44 (fourteen years ago) link

Compulsion's 1st album was quite good, yeah. Their 2nd album was generic mid-90s pop-punk blandness unfortunately.

Colonel Poo (Colonel Poo), Thursday, 13 April 2006 09:03 (fourteen years ago) link

"As I recall NWONW was the UK music press's first prototype attempt at manufacturing a scene around a handful of bands in order to generate some interest in the indiginous music scene"

let us not forget Grebo - a journo initiated scence/genre if ever there was one

grapple (grapple), Thursday, 13 April 2006 09:11 (fourteen years ago) link

I think Accident & Emergency is actually a pretty good album, FWIW. The single Life Support Machine was very catchy. I'm not sure about the Animals That Swim link- they were much more like Tindersticks, weren't they?

Neil Stewart (Neil Stewart), Thursday, 13 April 2006 09:12 (fourteen years ago) link

stewart otm -- it was a dry run for britpop, in a way, because half the v 1.0 bands, the select magazine bands (st et, auteurs, denim), didn't sell that many records, maybe. so nwonw was britpop 1.5 or something, though it happened simultaneously with blur going really big (early '94).

enrique, pseudonym, Thursday, 13 April 2006 09:18 (fourteen years ago) link

Wasn't grebo (basically crazyhead and pwei IIRC) a label tacked onto something that already existed (UK midlands sub hawkwind pub rock scene)? NWONW and the even worse (amazingly enough) "skunk rock" that got belched up a few years later seemed more like the papers trying to spin something out of thin air.

I thought both the nwonw "big" bands - s.m.a.s.h. and t.a.m. were absolutely dreadful at the time, and I'm sure they still sound shit now.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Thursday, 13 April 2006 09:19 (fourteen years ago) link

I'm sure they still sound shit now.

Haha nwonw now seems like such a non-starter that it feels kinda strange to realise that the records actually still exist!

The Vintner's Lipogram (OleM), Thursday, 13 April 2006 09:30 (fourteen years ago) link

What about 'The Scene That Celebrates Itself' and the 'Mod revival'? They were going hell for leather with scenes at that point. No wonder Brit Pop took off, as they'd had all this time to hone their scene-making skills.

Romo = electroclash v1.0, but with all the wrong technology. I actually own a Plastic Fantastic 7" that I remember as being rather good. I think I only played ot the once, though.

Jamie T Smith (Jamie T Smith), Thursday, 13 April 2006 12:23 (fourteen years ago) link

TSTCI was more sorta shoegazey/baggy 1992ness i think.

mod revival drawing blank, but i do recall some acid jazz-type act getting drawn into that one.

enrique's pseudonym, Thursday, 13 April 2006 12:28 (fourteen years ago) link

Lion Pop, anyone? Separations-era Pulp and, uh, who else?

The Vintner's Lipogram (OleM), Thursday, 13 April 2006 12:30 (fourteen years ago) link

Lets not forget the Melody Makers Yob Rock scene with the 60 ft dolls.

Oh wait, yes, lets please forget it.

Brigadier Lethbridge-Pfunkboy (Kerr), Thursday, 13 April 2006 12:31 (fourteen years ago) link

Cud were Lion Pop, apparently. Menswear were Mod revival, before being NWONW, before being Brit Pop.

I think they nicked the idea from the acronym from the NWOBHM, which Maiden fans will know all about.

Jamie T Smith (Jamie T Smith), Thursday, 13 April 2006 12:46 (fourteen years ago) link

... for the acronym from ...

Sorry.

It's funny how shoegazing has stuck as a descriptor of what records actually sound like, long after Chapterhouse hung up their stripy sweatshirts.

Jamie T Smith (Jamie T Smith), Thursday, 13 April 2006 12:49 (fourteen years ago) link

Were Northern Uproar also part of that "Yob Rock" phase? They were sort of the Arctic Monkeys of their time, innit?

Jacobo Rock (jacobo rock), Thursday, 13 April 2006 12:55 (fourteen years ago) link

without the 'selling records' thing but yeah!

actually weren't supergrass lumped in with the mod revival?

enrique's pseudonym, Thursday, 13 April 2006 12:56 (fourteen years ago) link

They came to prominence about summer 94 I think? So probably

DJ Mencap (DJ Mencap), Thursday, 13 April 2006 13:01 (fourteen years ago) link

Flying Medallions are even less remembered than the other bands in this thread, but they were basically the band that got me into punk rock. They covered the Descendents on their album. So there you are

DJ Mencap (DJ Mencap), Thursday, 13 April 2006 13:03 (fourteen years ago) link

Finally the arctic monkeys/ northern uproar similarity unmasked!

Pandas At War (pandas at war), Thursday, 13 April 2006 13:08 (fourteen years ago) link

Lady love your c*nt* was probably the high point of the 90s for me.

Real Surreal was up there too.

paulhw (paulhw), Thursday, 13 April 2006 13:46 (fourteen years ago) link

that sounds like a pretty weak decade for you, bro.

enrique's pseudonym, Thursday, 13 April 2006 13:48 (fourteen years ago) link

this thread will not be a success until it ends with Gay Dad.

Jacobo Rock (jacobo rock), Thursday, 13 April 2006 14:15 (fourteen years ago) link

Currently, the UK and US are right in the middle of the SNWONW (Second New Wave Of New Wave)

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Thursday, 13 April 2006 23:10 (fourteen years ago) link

When will the Gay Dad revival start?

Brigadier Lethbridge-Pfunkboy (Kerr), Thursday, 13 April 2006 23:12 (fourteen years ago) link

c*nt*

cunto?

electric sound of jim (and why not) (electricsound), Friday, 14 April 2006 02:27 (fourteen years ago) link

S*M*A*S*H's album, Self Abused, is still the worst, the very worst album I have ever heard. Tinny, thin, slap-dash Clash-a-like pub band.

There were many, many micro, one-issue-of-NME/MM-lasting invented genres in late 80s early 90s: remember Camden Lurch, invented by Steve Lamacq which consisted of about three bands that were of no consequence whatsoever? It was always just a journalistic in-joke/hobby I thought.

David Orton (scarlet), Friday, 14 April 2006 08:42 (fourteen years ago) link

seven years pass...

fuck the hate.
i listen to all these bands way more than anything from the so called britpop era.

mark e, Friday, 12 July 2013 16:17 (six years ago) link

two years pass...

and so the inevitable happens :

http://www.theguardian.com/music/musicblog/2015/jul/28/cult-heroes-smash-and-these-animal-men-should-have-changed-peoples-lives

looking forward to seeing this film.

totally agree re the comment that the S*M*A*S*H album needed at least a level entry degree of production, but hey, i guess thats what the band wanted.

mark e, Tuesday, 28 July 2015 19:10 (four years ago) link

i saw S*M*A*S*H play in nyc! my friend talked to the lead guy after.

skateboards are the new combover (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 28 July 2015 19:40 (four years ago) link

Oh, how I wish Romo had grown wings.

it became electroclash

Cosmic Slop, Tuesday, 28 July 2015 19:49 (four years ago) link

just listened to the S*M*A*S*H album for first time in years.

yes its seriously lo-fi, but fuck, i still find it a lot more enjoyable than any of the guitar based bands from the britpop era.

mark e, Tuesday, 28 July 2015 19:50 (four years ago) link

wouldnt be hard

Cosmic Slop, Tuesday, 28 July 2015 19:51 (four years ago) link

it became electroclash

― Cosmic Slop, Tuesday, July 28, 2015 7:49 PM (30 minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Not good enough!

can't really think of any significant shared personnel between the two scenes so 'became' seems inaccurate. also Romo had nothing to do with actual dance culture

Hector Ringtone (DJ Mencap), Tuesday, 28 July 2015 21:22 (four years ago) link

that S*M*A*S*H song about the Tory cabinet is honestly one of the worst things I've ever heard

Hector Ringtone (DJ Mencap), Tuesday, 28 July 2015 21:22 (four years ago) link

weren't Elastica called NWONW at first?

Cosmic Slop, Tuesday, 28 July 2015 21:25 (four years ago) link

S*M*A*S*H were from my hometown. I know their drummer quite well.

(no offence to people) (dog latin), Tuesday, 28 July 2015 23:10 (four years ago) link

dog latin : bring him to bristol with you !

cosmic : yes

dj mencap : which song ?

mark e, Tuesday, 28 July 2015 23:14 (four years ago) link


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