the Very Small
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the Very Small

Washington, Iowa, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2007 | SELF

Washington, Iowa, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2007
Band Rock Alternative


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Zoomed Way Out - Album Review"

From Washington D.C. comes The Very Small, a brand new rock band with a cool 90’s vibe, a unique bubbly sound and the kind of creativity that’s sorely needed on the indie rock scene at the moment. Through a healthy mix of heavy guitar work, skilfully layered vocals and fun, instantly likeable and memorable melodies, The Very Small (Robin Smith, Aaron Mann, Zack Berman) are on their way up.
These guys have something special so it’s definitely worth checking ‘em out.

Case and point: their new album Zoomed Way Out, which follows their first self-titled effortThe Very Small, released back in 2008. While first albums bear the pressure of introducing us to a band, second albums usually face the struggle of either matching the first album’s fresh burst of “new” or solidifying an, as yet, not quite polished sound.

Have The Very Small managed to bypass the curse of the second album?

The first song, dramatically titled “URGENT!”, is packed with energy, catchy riffs, defiant lyrics and vocals almost reminiscent of some of Big Audio Dynamite‘s work: there’s a punky Mick Jones-esque tone to parts of the song. Having said that, this first track does give you a decent idea of what a rockier, U.S. version of Blur would have sounded like back in the day.

The new single, “Said And Done”, is next and was definitely the right choice to representZoomed Way Out since it boasts one of the catchiest melodies on the album, a hook that quickly gets in your head and never leaves. Which isn’t a bad thing, especially since said hook is given space to breathe among a fast-paced beat and booming riffs, never allowing it ot get repetitive.

The following track, “Timers”, is a softer, more heartfelt track with a futher emphasis on mood. The varying, electric structure of the song taking you different places emotionally as the drums cleverly suggest a “timer”-style beat.

“Don’t Forget The Lie” follows and that one starts with ominous chants and a chilled-out beat, it’s another softer track with a haunting quality to it. It does pick up quickly, though, adding in the odd dose of anger and bitterness every now and then. “Unsaid” then tricks you into believing you’re listening to another slower track before plugging in and mixing it up playfully. There’s some great guitar riffs underlining the verses in this one and the drums, which get increasingly inventive, support the catchy vocals perfectly.

Title track “Zoomed Way Out” is next and seems to know it’s a title track and therefore has to be particularly good and particularly different right off the bat as it builds up slowly but surely with a blend of purposeful simplicity and an atmospheric, head-infesting melody. It’s easily one of the best tracks on the album and it lives up to its self-titled status. Do look out for some unexpected instruments making a cameo appearance and one of the coolest and best-timed breaks I’ve heard in a while near the end.

Next up is “PB & J”, a much more experimental track with some spacey, layered vocals, an eclectic beat and a mysterious feel. You might not know what to make of this one at first but, trust me, by the end of it (it’s a short one) it should have grown on you nicely. “Thinking Out Loud” is a sharp turn into heavier, Foo Fighters-esque territory and that proves to be yet another surprising direction for The Very Small to go into and, against all odds, completely nail. It’s this reviewer’s personal favourite on the album: its always evolving structure, screaming vocals and non-stop energy are simply irresistible.

“Sonidos Lupinos” brings with it more cowbell (gotta have more cowbell!), funky bass-lines and a dancier, more latino beat. It’s a thoroughly entertaining and playful track you’ll want to hear all the way through as, once again, it goes interesting, unpredictable places. Song number 10 is “At Her Sight”, a folk-style ballad in which the vocals choir around the chorus, turning it into a pretty, nostalgic refrain.

Finally, we have “The Worst Form Of Violence”, which starts with a simple-ish, regular piano rhythm before those uniquely layered vocals which would make The Proclaimersjealous show up, prompting another experimental track but one that tops off the album with a nifty mix of everything the band does best. You never know where the song will take you but wherever it goes, you’re more than happy to trust it and let it work its magic.

So there you have it, The Very Small’s second album and it’s one accomplished, remarkably well put-together piece of early 2000’s grungy angst, retro-friendly alternative melodies and vibrant, up-to-date freshness packed full of terrific ideas and songs you’ll want to discover and rediscover. There’s an effortless versatility to this band that’s undeniably promising and I, for one, look forward to what The Very Small has in store next!

In the meantime, be sure to listen to Zoomed Way Out and their previous album, including the new single “Said And Done”. You can find The Very Small on Twitter (@TheVerySmall), on Facebook, Bandcamp and

That’s 4 Red Hot Chili Fellas out of 5 from us for Zoomed Way Out.
Deserved. - Feedback Theatre

"American Bands: The Very Small"

I am minded of Gilbert & Sullivan Operetta as The Very Small cram and expand lyric inside stanza – there the similarity falls off the cliff-edge as the trio sheer far away from the theatrical to the shorn of adornment. The scantily robed sounds flicker of the elements, which for its very open spaces, gives the material a raw energy that draws in the audience.

Of particular remark are the understated keys, which far from adding sympathy are deployed to create fragility, sitting in syncopation with percussion, the notes act more as an frozen wrap for the bass. That isn’t to say that The Very Small are unable to generate melodic texture, as the guitar shimmers like an electrode betwixt the pillars of ice and it is this very coldness that makes the music so appealing. The voices combine to add a warming candle which serves to add melt water to the contexts.

The listener is left with a sense of absolute pleasure, for the very chill that rattles through the spine. There is a mysterious and icy beauty to the music of The Very Small that finds the brain wanting more.
-Tim Whale (Emerging Indie Bands) - Emerging Indie Bands

"The Very Small record release show, Friday, 4/4, at Rock and Roll Hotel"

It’s been a while since we’ve heard from DC’s The Very Small. Finally, after a long hiatus (surviving “real life” stuff like grad school and lineup chaos), The Very Small is back, with a new album to be released at a record release show at the Rock and Roll Hotel on April 4th. The new album, Zoomed Way Out, is unsurprisingly their most mature effort to date. It’s an ambitious take on melodic 90’s post-hardcore/indie sounds (bands that come to mind include Jets to Brazil, Piebald, Superchunk, Built to Spill, Archers of Loaf, The Get Up Kids, The Wedding Present, etc.), combining walls of guitar with skillfully layered vocals and mathy changes, into epic rollercoaster journeys around sound within tight songs. The entire thing is supremely entertaining and over far too soon. Hopefully, we won’t have to wait long for a follow up this time. Keep them busy; go to the show and pick up the album. --Natan Press - The Deli Magazine

"It's All a Matter of Perspective"

In 1977, NASA launched Voyager 1, the robotic space probe destined to visit Jupiter and Saturn (the largest of planets in our solar system). Thirteen years after its launch, Voyager 1 completed its mission and was now headed out into the far reaches of the solar system. At the request of famed astronomer and NASA advisor, Carl Sagan, Voyager 1 turned around for one last look at home. The subsequent photo that the small probe took was named the “Pale Blue Dot,” showing Earth as a tiny blue speck surrounded by a dark endless vastness. Of all the telescopes and missions all dedicated to exploring outward, this one photo turned the perspective back on us. It showed our little planet in this “great enveloping cosmic dark.” Take a second to think about that and it can change your perspective on a lot of things.

With that in mind, let’s talk about a band… it’s after all what we usually do here at DoS. We look at bands around the capital of one nation, that rests in the corner of that tiny “Pale Blue Dot.” Some bands are inspired by Dylan or Morrissey, or sunsets or baby smiles, or whatever. But this is a different story–a story of a band that is inspired by the likes of Carl Sagan and Richard Dawkins. They’re three friends who’ve known each other for almost 15 years and they call themselves The Very Small. “The name ‘the Very Small’ is a tribute to the idea of keeping things in perspective-from the world of the very large (nebulae and galaxies light years across) to the very small (the quarks, leptons, and fundamental forces that act as a foundation for existence)… understanding how precious and beautiful all of this really is,” says bassist Will McHenry.

So what sort of music does a band make when you’re inspired by scientists, astronomers and astrophysicists? Funky, toe-tapping, infectious rock music–that’s what. It’s what all the nerds dance to. These guys have been doing it for some time and have been playing together in some form or another since middle school. Jazz bands (!), pit orchestras, marching bands, choirs and school productions–you name it, they’ve played together in it. Will is joined by percussionist Aaron Mann and vocalist/guitarist Robin Smith. The three of them have been playing together in so many environments that when The Very Small started to take shape, their sound took a little longer to develop. Aaron’s take, “It’s definitely been a challenge sometimes to identify our own distinct sound… We didn’t create the band with any particular sound in mind, other than the vague ‘rock music with funk and indie influence’. At this point though, we’ve started to figure out how we want to sound and started to develop our own style. I think this will definitely come through on our next release. This first album was more just getting out the material we had generated as we really became a band.”

That first self-titled, self-released album came out last year and is not too shabby of a starting place. There’s funk found in the opening tracks, “Don’t” and “Guardians”–think Incubus in the S.C.I.E.N.C.E. days. On the other end of the spectrum is “In America,” a piano driven song that shows versatility. There are also two songs that are either partially or completely written in Spanish–”Ánimo” and “Uno Día”–inspired by time Aaron spent in Spain and Argentina. “Ánimo” is one of their standout tracks, a song about dancing with a sexy girl, full of “flamenco-esque” stylings like the trumpet and hand claps–a showcase for some of their innovative thinking.

This band is just full of surprises and tricks hidden up their collective sleeves. Their Web presence is another angle from which they attack. They have recently started releasing what they’re dubbing as “TVS Sketches,” which range from unreleased songs/covers to promo and practice videos. Their films are actually quite entertaining and sometimes quite hilarious. Will on the TVS Sketches: “Our original idea was to create some kind of ‘thing’ that gives fans new content to keep/increase interest without wearing them out… Often we find that people who are fans of our music also share other common interests – so being able to relate on that extra level makes our relationship with them much more special. The ability to be ourselves, to be ‘undressed’ (sometimes literally) in front of our audience is much more honest, comfortable and attractive-to us and our fans.”

The idea of keeping things in perspective is in the background of everything The Very Small does, from the big to the mundane. It’s clear that that they love what they do and that shines through in the funk rock that they make, but they don’t take themselves too seriously at the same time. In fact, they’re one of the more exciting, fun bands we’ve seen in DC for some time. They always seem to remember they’re just a group of guys doing what they love on that “Pale Blue Dot” Voyager 1 looked at from 4 billion miles away. Will explains, “Carl Sagan said something alo - District of Sound (March 22, 2010)

"MoueMusic DEMOlition: the Very Small"

the Very Small, a rock funk band hitting the stages in the DC area, has the ability to evoke vastly different musical references (sometimes )within the course of one song) without sounding discordant. The track “Bad Enough” begins sounding like a sleepy tribute to The Shins then moves into a chorus that harkens mainstream alt-rockers like Foo Fighters. “Needs and Wants” could have been a cover of a lo-fi Beck b-side in another life. The ties that bind the tracks together are the layered instrumentals and strong vocals.

The band consists of Robin Smith (vocals, guitar, trumpet, piano), Will McHenry (bass, vocals, piano) and Aaron Mann (vocals, percussion). Their debut album is forthcoming but their Myspace page has demo tracks if you’d like to get a sample taste of their sound.

-Brandy Betz - Moue Magazine (Aug 12, 2008)

"the Very Small in the studio at eRadio WMCR"

These guys put on a great show on stage AND on the air. We can't wait to have them back.

-Adam Weinstein
- eRadio WMCR (February 12, 2009)

"Music Reviews"

First word that came to mind after listening: eclectic. The second word: ambitious. Genres include, but are not limited to: driving rock, pop rock, bass-driven 311-inspired funk rock, Ben Folds-like piano rock and what could be considered Latin-dance cumbias. It is like three or four bands in one, and all are very well done.

-Robert Fulton - OnTap Magazine (March 1, 2009)

"OnTapOnline Music Picks"

One of the hardest working bands around, this rock group infuses multiple genres into one unique and dynamic sound. Equal parts rock, blues, Latin and pop, this trio constantly surprises you with their next sound. With an amazing stage performance, catch them when they stop by.

-Ashley Estill - OnTap Online (April 2, 2010)


Due to an unfortunate bus mishap in Chinatown, I was a little bit late to Rock and Roll Hotel on Friday night, where The Very Small was having their album release party. Sadly, this meant that I only caught the last two songs of Cartoon Weapons’ set. What I heard was awesome, though: wild guitar riffs, looped and layered over one another with a sampler; multifaceted drum beats that switched up the tempo every couple of measures; and jangly bass lines that seemed to tie the whole package together with an ornate bow. Plus, the band’s energy was off the charts. I was left inspired, wanting to know more – and I’m sure that I’ll go out of my way to catch another Cartoon Weapons set soon.

Bearshark, the second opening act of the evening, featured some of the cleanest drumming I had heard in a while. The group played together like they had been doing it since middle school. And while I’m slightly inclined to deduct a couple points for any band that bypasses the vocal element, Bearshark played through their instrumental set with grace. Simultaneously technical and approachable, their style was at times reminiscent of ’60s psychedelic rock as well as the modern “jam” genre that’s gained such popularity on the summer festival circuit. The band was easily able to get the crowd nice and limber for The Very Small. The trio had shown up that night to party – and that’s exactly what they did.

The Very Small had organized the night to celebrate the release of their new album, Zoomed Way Out – the awesome result of nearly two years of the band’s “blood, sweat, tears and brain matter.” Masterfully mixed by the infamous J. Robbins, the album showcases the band’s impressive range-which is firmly rooted in punk rock-but also experimental enough to wander into myriad other genres. It’s the perfect sing-along album for spring in the District: loud, colorful, nuanced and just damned fun.

Guitarist/vocalist Robin Smith plays some pretty complicated guitar riffs while staying precisely in key, which is impressive for anyone who rocks as hard as he does on stage. He and drummer Aaron Mann, along with bassist Zack Berman (who also plays in Cartoon Weapons) played through their entire new album (11 tracks) for a proud and enthusiastic crowd. With a near-flawless mix courtesy of the Rock and Roll Hotel, their set sounded astoundingly like the recordings they captured in the studio. The Very Small had already proven themselves to be serious musicians, but after this weekend’s album release party they should also be considered seasoned cicerones in the local scene. Zoomed Way Out has serious staying power – and so does the band that birthed it.
-Brandon Bryn - DC Music Download

"INTERVIEW: The Very Small"


While many veteran bands from D.C. have either left the area or broken up, The Very Small is the exception. For over six years, the group has built a steady following in the District as one of the best rock acts in the area. This Friday, The Very Small is set to release its most ambitious work yet: an 11-track LP called Zoomed Way Out. The trio, comprised of Robin Smith, Aaron Mann and Zack Berman, will headline Rock and Roll Hotel to celebrate the album’s release. Before the show, I spoke with the band on pretty much every topic imaginable-from their new album to where they see the D.C. music scene headed.

D.C. Music Download: How did the band come together and choose the name “The Very Small”?
Robin Smith: Like any good D.C. band would, we three founding members assembled and took a vote in true democratic fashion. The meaning behind the band’s name can get a little philosophical: hold on to your suspenders while I nerd out for a second.

The Very Small represents two perspectives. One, the theory of the very small with quantum mechanics and the behavior of how subatomic quarks, leptons, electrons and so forth behave. That is, never losing sight of the ‘stuff’ of what connects us all. The other is closer to the cosmic perspective (anyone watching Cosmos? Shout out to our boy, Neil!) which initially leaves us feeling very small and humbled by our place in the known universe.

All of the events about everything we know in history all took place on this pale blue dot, which we now know is certainly not the center of the universe. With these two perspectives, we can be humbled by our insignificance, but also realize how connected we are to each other, our earth and the entire story of our universe.
DCMD: You previously released an LP and EP before Zoomed Way Out. How excited are you guys about this new album and how was the process of recording it?

RS: Yeah, this is our sophomore album! We’re extremely excited. I think both Aaron and I wanted this album to be released a lot sooner, but things like grad school, going through a number of bass players and complications nailing down schedules with producers really dragged out the process. It’s all a learning experience.

This album is the first one where we went into a professional studio to record and spent the money to get it professionally mastered. We even asked for instrumentals of all the songs so we can submit our music for placement in film, TV and so on. After all, a band at our stage needs to find income in every possible avenue including song royalties-no matter how small. Working with Justin [Fogleman] was a lot of fun. I had spent a bit of time with him on tour back when he was in Baltimore’s own Vinny Vegas. I remember talking to him about the role of a producer and how tricky it must be to understand what the musician is trying to accomplish, while keeping in the mind what’s in the best interest of the album.

These two things aren’t always one in the same. Some of the strategies employed as a producer overlap with those of a therapist. The old “Stroke, Kick, Stroke” where you say something positive about what the person is doing, bring their attention to the thing they need to change/focus on, and then give them an overall confidence boost can go a long way in keeping a band on track and making the most of the studio time they’re paying for.

Aaron Mann: In a lot of ways, this is really the first time we’ve had a truly cohesive, focused sound and more established identity. We were kind of still finding that with our first album. We’re extremely excited though-although a lot of that is a relief as well, because it took a lot longer than expected to make.

The process of recording the album was a great experience and one that we learned a lot from, of course. In the studio, Robin and I quickly developed a good collaborative relationship with both Justin and later J. Robbins, who mixed the album. While we pretty much knew what we wanted to do- we had mapped out most of the songs ahead of time on garage band, and some were four to five years old. They were both pretty essential to shaping and refining the sound.

But it was a very strange recording experience in a lot of ways as well. For one, we recorded it in four different locations: the old Magpie Cage studio in Baltimore, Robin’s house in College Park, Clean Cuts studio in D.C. and the new Magpie Cage studio in Baltimore- in that order. Another reason was that we went through a couple different bassists during the recording (continuing our Spinal Tap-like bassist roulette from when our original bassist left until now). We had one guy just disappear-luckily before we recorded any tracks with him. Then we had a great bassist named Marc Frankel who played all the tracks on the album- and who wrote or improved a number of them as well- but had to leave the band for “life” reasons. But it all worked out in the end.
DCMD: The Very Small has a very eclectic sound; it seems to be a little bit of everything. Was it a challenge to harness all that direction into an album, or was it easier because you didn’t get as segued in one direction?

RS: This was one of the challenges with our first album. It received a lot of high praise, but it was also clearly all over the place genre-wise too. Zoomed Way Out as a whole feels, to me at least, has a more cohesive sound.

AM: I think that, once we realized exactly what sound we were going for as a band, it fell into place pretty easily. Our previous album is evidence that we were still figuring that out at the time. Of course, some of that is just the product of how eclectic everyone’s tastes are these days, and how so many genres of music have been merged in so many different ways. I think what we did establish was a kind of ’90s indie rock base. It’s the music we grew up with and started playing together in middle school that’s infused with some of the more psychedelic /experimental sounds we came to be influenced by later. Acts like Bjork, Radiohead and Animal Collective are examples with a heavy emphasis on vocals and harmony. Of course, that still allows for a varied sound. I think we sound like one band now instead of four.
DCMD: What other local venues do you enjoy performing at?

RS: Each venue in D.C. has its own feel and its pros and cons. Like Comet Ping Pong, when it comes to taking care of the musicians, Comet does it right. But then again, it’s also a pizza joint.
9:30 Club was an amazing experience too, and definitely the biggest venue we’ve ever played. Smaller venues like DC9 and Velvet Lounge have intimate feels to them and they’re much easier to pack full.

AM: Obviously 9:30 Club is amazing to play. DC9 and Jammin’ Java are great too on a bit lower level-and also Ottobar in Baltimore. We still have yet to play Black Cat or Howard Theatre, but would love to at some point of course.

Zack Berman: Honestly, the best places to play are the tiny places with leaky roofs. What better proving ground is there for your new music projects? You get your friends and fans out, you make them walk up tight stairwells to small rooms with stages a half-foot off the ground and buzzy PAs, and then you make the walls sweat. You look at the wood and you can see every scrape and chip where great, not-so-great and downright terrible acts have tripped, kicked and stage-dived. You can see where they also etched their ridiculous names in hard-angle font and you just soak it all in, because now you’re a part of it. Who really forgets that sense of accomplishment you get on a deserted Tuesday night in D.C., when no one knows you, but you’ve got 10 listeners in a barroom and you’re just playing your heart out? You don’t feel like a rock-star -far from it . But those places make you feel something.

 DCMD: Can you tell us about how being creative musically in D.C. is important to your identity here? Do you consider performing as you putting on an ‘alter-ego’ outside of your profession?

RS: I’m a school-based therapist by day, so I meet with high school kids who are experiencing a number of different challenges in their lives. At night, I am a licensed couple and family therapist. No matter how busy I am helping my fiancé wedding plan or supervising students, there is always that musical bug that keeps biting. As you can imagine, being a therapist can be a heavy profession at times, so having a musical outlet helps to channel and discharge a lot of those difficult emotions that come with the job.

AM: I work for a non-profit called Americans for Peace Now that promotes a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I’m not sure that being a musician/entertainer necessarily creates an alter-ego, although I can see why it comes off that way in this town. I mean, D.C. is just part of my identity- you might say that it fuels the music, or some element of it. I was born here-lived in Maryland for most of my life-and I feel very plugged into the city through that as well as my professional connections to it.

But identity is a multi-layered and often contradictory thing. I’ve got these two big aspects of it- public policy degrees and a political job on the one hand, and on the other hand, being a drummer since I was 11 and music-lover since I can remember. I’ve never really thought of them as informing one another. It’s something more deeply rooted that informs both.

ZB: I don’t think of playing music and being creative as my “alter-ego.” When I’m playing music, that’s where I want to be. If anything, work is where I’d put on a mask, to act like a “professional.” Playing music is raw though; it’s letting everything you want to say about yourself and your surroundings come out in an aural polyphonic gut-punch. You don’t have to be trying to please anyone but yourself when you’re being creative, and yet, that honesty ends up being what connects with other people the most.

The platitudes and expected social norms of the office place are rules and guidelines that often turn your work into a kind of game. You have to try and hide the parts of who you want to be so that no one is offended and everyone can work faster or “more efficiently.” I work as a life skills coach at a mental health non-profit agency, and I’ve found time and again that when I rip away the mask and bring my creativity into work, more gets done and greater achievements are made. In the end, it really is about just letting it all hang out there – to a certain degree, everyone’s level of creative energy (in whatever field: art, law, medicine, all together) is what defines them. It’s certainly what gets me up in the morning.

DCMD: What’s up next for you fellows, after the album release party?

AM: We’re currently booking some shows up and down the East Coast, and of course always thinking about our next D.C. show. I’m also looking forward to writing new music, which has been far too long on the backburner, while we’ve been finishing the album.
DCMD: How have you seen the music scene here shift and adapt? Is there a direction you predict it’ll head?

AM: We’re actually all from Montgomery County. I think the D.C. rock scene seems to be coming up in the world a bit, with bands like Deleted Scenes, Dismemberment Plan and other veteran bands returning. I would think that it’ll continue in that direction, considering how young the city has become, and the growth of areas like H Street and Columbia Heights. That can only lead to more venues and more music generally.

ZB: The thing about the D.C. music scene is that some people really, really want to have a scene that’s as notable, chic and trendsetting as NY, LA, Tokyo or London (and hey, Manchester). It comes from a place of love and connection with D.C., but from that blind desire you get a lot of people who put their support behind music that either isn’t sustainable (re: hipster gimmickry) or doesn’t represent anything about what’s really going on in D.C.

What D.C. has is deeply seeded individuality – we have numerous legendary, amazing venues which kind of do their own thing in terms of look and branding. As for the bands, D.C. has loads of talent, but the one defining factor I’ve noted between all of them is that they also do their own thing. People like to reminisce about the bygone days of D.C. hardcore or wish that Wale had turned D.C. hip hop into something richer, but you can’t force a scene. If you look around D.C. now, all the best groups are all following their own flag.

It’s kind of hard to have a stable of artists in a traditional set of genre-locked “scenes” when all the groups worth talking about are operating in completely individualized realms. I guess that’s what we have and I don’t know why people take that for granted. Looking ahead, it’s impossible to say when a city will become enthralled with a particular sound that will give rise to a major, recognized scene. It takes a perfect storm of social, creative, and economic elements for such a thing to happen.

In the meantime, instead of complaining about all the “sucky D.C. bands” not doing their best to make a scene for scenesters to revel in, I’d like to see a D.C. where we pride ourselves on all the amazing individuals the city has to offer. That’s a story the world might be interested in.
-llana Ostrin - DC Music Download


the Very Small - Jan 23, 2009 (US) - Random Nothingness Records
Zoomed Way Out - April 4, 2014 (US) - Self-released



90's rock kids who fell in love with harmony and got weird, the VERY SMALL offers "an ambitious take on melodic 90s post-hardcore/indie sounds (bands that come to mind include Jets to Brazil, Piebald, Superchunk, Built to Spill, Archers of Loaf, The Get Up Kids, The Wedding Present, etc.), combining walls of guitar with skillfully layered vocals and mathy changes, into epic rollercoaster journeys around sound within tight songs" (The Deli Magazine). Robin Smith (guitar/vocals) and Aaron Mann (drums) started playing music together at 13, fueled by a dangerous Metallica obsession. Post-college, they formed the Very Small- with original bassist Will McHenry - and carried on the jam, fueled by a dangerous Animal Collective obsession. Their first album, the Very Small, was released in 2008 and features the single "Animo."

Will left the band in early 2011, and while Aaron and Robin spent the next 2 years in real-lifey grad school, the Very Small was on semi-hiatus. They  began recording their second album in the Fall of 2012 with Justin Fogleman at Magpie Cage studios in Baltimore; working later with J. Robbins, who mixed the album. After a year-long, Spinal Tap-esque bassist roulette, young'n Zack Berman joined the band in late 2013. The Very Small released their second album, Zoomed Way Out, on April 4th, 2014.

In D.C., the Very Small has previously played at the 9:30 Club, The Rock and Roll Hotel, Jammin Java, U Street Music Hall, DC9, Busboys and Poets, Comet Ping Pong, and Velvet Lounge, among other venues. They've also toured in Baltimore, Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Chicago, Nashville, Cleveland, Vienna, Rochester, and Chapel Hill.

Band Members