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L.A. trio ANAVAN first appeared in 2004, in the wake of the handful of percussion-centric bands who’d been stirring-up the underground for the previous couple of years. With their drum kit taking center-stage (and their helmet-mics firmly in place), I prematurely assumed at first sight that their sound would owe much to the likes of PINK AND BROWN and LIGHTNING BOLT. I was wrong. ANAVAN’s empassioned, dare I say sexy, postpunk groove bypasses the cerebral yardwork of noise and pummel-rock, by aiming squarely on the listener’s need to shake something. Free your mind and… well, you know the rest.

Birthed from the pregnant stew of downtown’s now legendary all-ages venue, The Smell, ANAVAN cracked their shell alongside groups like ABE VIGODA, HEALTH, and MIKA MIKO. Their sound, however, owes as little to their local peers as it does the aforementioned duos. The most obvious break from convention was (and still is) the conspicuous lack of guitar - an absence one forgets shortly after the first glorious note is struck. You see, any group of haircuts can leave something out. In a city full of 5-, 7-, hell, even 10-piece ensembles, the concept of “less is more” starts becoming something of an emergency. When less equals as much more as ANAVAN delivers, the wheat has already begun showing the chaff where to stick it. “Power trio” hardly does them justice.

Needless to say, I was sold on them, post-haste. Their self-produced, self-titled debut album was released on GSL in 2006, followed by appearances at the label’s showcases for the largely underinformed heads of industry at Austin’s SXSW and New York’s CMJ music festivals.


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