Not Enough Rope

18 March 2012 | 4:50 pm | Brendan Telford

Noisy trio No Anchor ratcheted up the tension last year with the release of their Brutal double album. And now, as they tell Brendan Telford, they’re not pussyfootin’ around.

The two bass/one drummer assault that is No Anchor have spent the last 12 months constructing a world of visceral, brooding tension, yet when the three-piece found themselves with some time to kill they threw themselves in a new direction. The result is the seven-inch double single Rope/Pussyfootin', a four-song, ten-minute slab of aural brutality that is at odds with the majority of the tracks from their grinding double album of last year, Real Pain Supernova. The band – Ian Rogers, Donnie Miller and Alex Gillies – maintain there were numerous factors that contributed to such a change of pace.

“There isn't a creative paradigm,” Gillies asserts. “We don't go, 'Right, now we're gonna do these songs'. I think it's more of a pendulum. After several months of playing 15-minute songs, you come to the practice room thinking whether you want to play 15-minute songs again, or fuck it, let's bash out a one-minute song. You can play that one-minute song 15 times, but the 15-minute songs are only gonna go so far before it's time to go home…and no one wants that. We don't want that, anyway.”

“The first song we wrote (the B-side Uninvited) we deliberately wrote under a minute,” Miller continues. “We put it forth for a compilation for this I Heart Noise thing that has never surfaced to date. So there is another recording out there in the ether, but we don't know where it is! So we put it on the 7” because we thought it deserved to be heard.”

Another aspect on this new musical outlook has been the success of 2011 itself. After making waves  with Real Pain Supernova, the band found themselves touring and pinning down some impressive support slots, which all culminated in a seven day residence at West End's The Waiting Room.

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“We intended to play a different set every night,” Rogers recalls. “One night we decided to do covers, so we all chose a cover that we wanted to play. But we left it too short, with only two weeks to try to work out these intricate songs. The ones that Alex and I chose were too hard to learn in that time, so only one came together (Big Black's Jordan, Minnesota). It's things like this that pushed us towards trying other things.'

Most bands have different viewpoints and ideas when approaching any one project. No Anchor are the same, as their ideas behind what the new release represents for the band differ wildly.

“I feel that the record is lighter in tone than what we've done before,” Rogers states. “It's more angry than bummed. It's true of my songs on the record that they are more defeated. And the shorter songs serve that anger notion better. It's hard to be depressed quickly! That said it can be really light-hearted. Pussyfootin' is light, short, has a silly name, it has organ on it…”

“That's the singalong song,” Miller smirks. “The chorus is totally anthemic.”

“It sounds more like desert rock too,” Rogers enthuses. “It's our Kyuss song.”

“See? This is great, how all three of us can have totally different outlooks on this song!” Gillies muses. “I don't hear any of that in it, at all! For me it's just a great, hard song for me to play. If I nail it, it's great, but if I fuck it up I monumentally fuck it up. That's the tension there, all the time – lucky I don't mess up very often.'

'It's far more aggressive, above all,' Miller opines. 'The stuff we've done before has had more of a pensive nature. Real Pain Supernova can be pretty depressing. This one is more…angry.It's basically these songs we wrote in response to the album, so it's nothing like what our album is like, and it's removed from what we'll do next.”