A New Band A Day 2008-2018

Welcome to ANBAD, which is celebrating ten years online in April 2018, and is now “resting.” (I’m still jabbering on about new bands like, oh, I dunno, The Chats, on Twitter.)

However, ANBAD also has over 1200 posts featuring about 1500 artists. Most are buried deep in the blog, rarely seen by human eyes. This seemed a bit unfair, so I randomised the posts and the ones you see below are yanked arbitrarily from the archive for you to explore.

As with anything this old on the internet, some of the music players, hyperlinks, images, formatting – and, frankly, the writing itself – are broken. But even I will begrudgingly admit that randomly looking at ten years of once-new bands is a fascinating glimpse into a very specific time capsule.

I’m as surprised as anyone that this ridiculous and utterly niche music blog has stumbled around online for a decade, surviving all of my attempts to break it, render it defunct, or let it wither on the vine. I’ll post something longer soon, probably around the Official ANBAD 10th Birthday in April; but for now, scroll down and read on – and maybe you’ll find some long-forgotten band from 2009 that you’ll love.


 

Sick Friend: A License To Ill

For the last few days, ANBAD’s internet connection has been madly spluttering like a Daily Mail reader at a Gay Pride  parade. Thus this post nearly didn’t get online at all, even in this wildly curtailed form.

This is fortunate, because Sick Friend are the kind of band you want to discover sooner rather than later.

There haven’t been many Canadian bands on ANBAD of late – not because Canada is lacking in good new bands (it’s positively teeming with them) – but because, well, them’s the breaks sometimes.

 

The Draft Dodger is lolloping and lazy, staggering like a happy drunk with a belly full of good, boozy tunes. And before we leave that terrible metaphor behind, how about this: here’s a song that makes musical decisions as drunkenly as the rhythm sounds.

Instruments sidle woozily in and then quickly out again, lyrics stumble and bump into one another, and the whole thing starts in a manner that suggests the real beginning has slipped the band’s memory.

These are all terrific positives in the cock-eyed world of rock ‘n’ roll of course, and Sick Friend make the sounds to accompany the most pleasant hangover you could ever imagine.

MORE: sickfriend.bandcamp.com

>Today’s New Band – My Tiger My Timing PLUS! "I wanna be a d-o-o-o-g"

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When I was in my mid-teens, oily of skin and squeaky of voice, I listened to The Stone Roses’ eponymous debut album twice a day, every day for about a year. How did this frightening set of circumstances come about?

Well, a young world-view, musical or otherwise, was mainly to blame. This meant that some bands of that time (Pavement et al) were a lot lower on the radar than they should have been, and bands from the near past (Joy Division and friends) may as well have been, to my teenage ears, my grandparent’s very choicest of 78″ acetate discs.

At that age you seem to get – no, actually, actively, subconsciously want to get – amorously attached to one band. Teens want a band that means something to them and them alone, regardless of how many copies of their favourite album have been sold, and so listen religiously, looking for and finding extra meaning that fair weather fans have missed.
I migrated from The Stone Roses after a while. Actually, I can pinpoint the moment of the shattering realisation that they weren’t that good after all to the day when my six-year old sister asked me why, on the first track, ‘the man is singing, “I wanna be a dog”?’
Clinging onto one band is not a bad thing per se, but it does legitimise the careers of awful bands who scraped the bottom of the rock barrel a long time ago. There is a reason why Ocean Colour Scene are still touring.

This is also the reason why listening to Today’s New Band, My Tiger My Timing, is the right thing to do. They’re a band that have found how to be arty and not jarring – one of rock’s holy grails. Thus, the least we can do is point our ears in their direction.

This Is Not The Fire quickly unfolds into one of the jerkiest, warmest pop songs of its unusual ilk this side of Born Under Punches by Talking Heads. It rambles freely in its self-imposed sonic limitations, eager to seek out every cranny of possibility. Conversation Starter, full of gentle punches of pulsating sounds, steely guitar shimmers and careful chanting, dreams of shiny space-pop and aims high enough to get there.

My Tiger My Timing are an example of a band Doing The Right Thing. Not only are they NEW! in spirit and sound, but have delicacy, urgency and the desire to make sounds that you haven’t quite heard before. Ace! Listen here!

2013: Guitar Music’s (In)Glorious Return

***This article was brought to you by MyVoucherCodes***

2013 is the Year That Guitar Music Rises From Its Grave In A Blaze Of Jangly Indie Glory. It’s going to happen whether you want it to or not, simply because a whole host of respected media outlets – all entirely coincidentally, of course – have announced that that’s what will happen in 2013.

(The crafty among you may find this to be an appropriate time to use free voucher codes to get discounts on instruments at Amazon,then to form your own band and capitalise on such temperate musical climes.)

ANBAD would never sanction such ruthless, lucre-centric behaviour, but couldn’t blame anyone who did. If the predicted rise of any musical movement seems so carefully predetermined, why stick to your guns when cynicism forms the start, middle and end points of the alternative?

There is, unusually, an important point here, and it all boils down to artistic value, personal fulfilment, and – ha! – money. Moreover, it all has to do with which order you rank these closely connected (and yet seemingly aeon-distant) facets.

So, while the rise of guitar bands this year might mean a glut of gigs, allowing you to find great deals on gig tickets, you may also ask: at what wider cost?

Guitar bands are potentially hugely lucrative to muzik bizniz people. The Arctic Monkeys et al have historically made shedloads of cash for all involved. It’s easy to see why the music biz, wizened and dazed, is keen to make guitar bands the focus again.

But it does smack of falsehood, of minor desperation and of one last roll of a battered dice: it’s harder to monetise, on a grand scale, the brilliant music that is flowing forth out of laptops all over the world – and straight onto Soundlcoud and Bandcamp, as opposed to the old label-distributer-high street system.

Guitar bands fit that system – however broken or archaic – better.

Now, guitar bands aren’t going to vanish simply because a few pasty music bloggers have mooted the feeling that everything new that can be done with a guitar has now been done, yeah?

People still love guitar bands and demonstrate this love via their wallets (dig out Paramore’s gig ticket receipts from 2012 and prepare to set your mind to ‘boggle’).

So, caution should be exercised by all, but especially from new artists tempted to put down the laptop, pick up a knock-off Gibson SG and join in, just because there’s a nagging feeling it’ll make them more likely to appear on Radio 1.

And here’s that cautionary tale you were waiting for, in the form of 2010’s most unknown band, Wu Lyf – a guitar band who had hype galore, tours, limited edition vinyl, expensive merch and appearances on Letterman, for God’s sake – and then who fell apart at the seams before they even released a second album.

They appeared to be a group for whom being a guitar band was just part of the package. And why not? But the facade – their look, their hype – was front and centre. Where would they be if they’d followed their hearts? Or did they?

Bermuda Bonnie; and Piña Coladas, Elvis Impersonators

It’s rare to find a band that manages to wholly inhabit a different plane to the majority, and even rarer to find one that makes music in that place that’s palatable. Bermuda Bonnie has hula-hooped past these markers with flying colours.

Stepping into Bermuda Bonnie‘s world is to open the door of a musty pop charity-shop, a bewildered plunge into retirement-home kitsch. Normal rules do not apply here.

After ten minutes of listening to songs like Houseboat, an evening of piña coladas, Elvis impersonators and leafing through well-thumbed copies of National Geographic sounds just peachy.

Bermuda Bonnie // Houseboat

If we could listen to the reminiscent dreams of an old lady with senile dementia, we’d hear these lingering, pristine moments of life suddenly bubbling to the surface.

Or they could be the wild, naive dreams of a seven year-old. Such are the inherent quandaries of Bermuda Bonnie‘s songs. These thoughts are cute, longing, lusty and, in a way, as deeply sad as they are intensely happy.

You could be fooled into thinking that Bermuda Bonnie‘s songs are simply an exercise in retro-indulgence. You couldn’t be much further from the truth. Excellent, excellent, excellent.

www.myspace.com/bermudabonnie

Deadbear: A Desiccated Meringue

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If the laptop is now the ubiquitous instrument of choice, and the remix the starting point of preference, does it mean that pop music has eaten itself whole?

Certainly, the above laptop+remix methodology is the jumping-off point for a whole host of average and below-average music which has, over time, formed an online musical tidal sewage-wave of jittery-glitchy-“multi-layered”-pitch-shifted meh.

This may or may not have influenced the decision by The Hype Machine to include a “No Remixes” tickbox.

The Hype Machine, of course, also includes a “Remixes Only” tickbox. And it’s because when a remix is good, they’re usually very good.

This is simply because remixes must stand bold in comparison to the original – whether you consciously acknowledge the comparison or not. We’re all aware that at some point the talented remixer has thought, “I’m going to have to make a song out of another song, so I better do a decent job of it,” and this really does count for something.

Anyway. With this previous blah blah, I’m either building Deadbear‘s remix of Barbarossa‘s Turbine up quite a bit, or setting him up for a mighty fall. Guess which one it is!

 

Yes, it’s the former, because even if you don’t listen to the original song first (and I recommend you don’t listen to it quite yet, simply because it might colour expectations), it’s clear that whatever knob-twiddling and cutting-and-pasting and such-and-such that has gone on behind the scenes has crafted a song of delicacy, deftness and desiccation.

That’s right, desiccation: this song is extra dry – the sound of sugar tumbling onto aluminium, or a fingernail running along the top of a meringue – except, of course, with all the tasty bass wobble and washes of silver sound you’d hope for in a song like this.

The Deadbear treatment has resulted in a wholly new song; only scant echoes of the original remain. And that’s almost exactly how it should be. Mmmm, delicious.

MORE: deadbear.co.uk

Calories – Note: Review Contains No Dreadful Food Energy Value Analogies. Sorry.

Sometimes I wonder why bands even bother.

I look at my bulging inbox, filled with suggestions of new bands, and I wonder this, because it’s almost impossible to conceive how any band can be heard through the white noise of ten thousand new, hungry bands all playing their buzz-saw guitars at once.

And then a band comes along that makes me realise: “Ah – that’s why.” The thought pings into my subconscious as one band peeks stridently through the weeds like a stubborn dandelion.

Bands do it because the rewards are so great – the feeling that you and your friends are on the cusp of something new, something pleasurable to all and sundry is like nothing else on earth.

Calories have discovered this, have grabbed it lustily, and on the strength of songs like FFWD are running away with it.

The old days were better…” they muse, yelpily, and I find myself both agreeing and disagreeing before realising that I’m right either way.

Calories ‘FFWD’ from Calories Band on Vimeo.

FFWD is a rollicking romp of lung-bursting, tongue-twisting proportions. More is crammed into the first verse and chorus than Oasis managed in two albums.

The bassline is so bouncy that whoever drew the short straw of playing it must now be suffering from exotically-named illnesses like Carpel Tunnel Syndrome or Vibration White Finger.

As far as ridiculously enjoyable songs go, FFWD can be ranked alongside all of your guilty-pleasure songs that you might not tell others about for fear of embarrassment. Except Calories are so good that you’ll want to share them with everyone. That’s why they do it.

www.myspace.com/caloriesband

>Today’s New Band – Magpied

>A New Band A Day is a fairly broad church with regards to our personal philosophy on what we like bands to sound like, but if we were to nail our colours to one mast, the ‘made-in-our-bedroom’ sound would probably be it. While some bands pride themselves on sounding slicker than a seagull the day after Exxon-Valdez decided to pop a rivet, others shun ‘production values’ and just get on with making great songs. Rough-and-ready bands sound like they could be playing on your sofa next to you, and usually are all the better for it.

So, with that in mind, here’s Today’s New Band, Magpied, a band who relish the challenges put to them by Bontempi Keyboards and £69.99 guitar & amp deals from Argos. And meet those challenges they did, by cobbling together a bunch of songs which leap uncontrollably between “slightly bonkers” and “deliriously happy”. Downloadable-for-free song SCRAPS nightstatcher REMIXXX is a lost 1970’s kid’s TV show theme tune, tinkling, bouncing and vaguely promising edu-tainment; whilst It Hibernated sounds like one of the instrumental tracks off David Bowie’s Low played as a demo function on a child’s keyboard, crunchy drums and all. There’s also a super cover of Los Campesinos’ You Me Dancing, as if you needed another reason to listen.

Magpied are small, in gestation and from Norwich. All of these are good things. They say they are ‘wanting gigs’, and frankly they deserve them. A duo this crazily delightful deserve a wider audience. Go nuts, and get your ears around their ace tunes here.

Hookworms – Complicated Combinations

Imagine if a gritty, grey city like Leeds was always bathed in Lisbon’s bright sunlight. How would it affect the look of the place, the attitude of the people?

Or what if the bands Leeds produced – typically gritty rock bands – were actually schooled in the exoticisms of Krautrock, and jammed their way to swirling aural excess?

Hookworms are the latter, of course. Krautrock – misnomer it may be – is such a winningly hypnotic brand of music that Hookworms’ specific charms may be missed on the first listen of the momentum-fuelled Teen Dreams.

So listen again, try to resist that deliriously fulfilling drum groove for a moment – and let Hookworms‘ optimistic and obscure world-view scratch through.

Teen Dreams may be founded on a rigid sonic template, but this framework allows the billowing psych-pop, stadium rock and muddy swamp-blues to spring forth and intermingle.

Pop songs that clock in over six minutes rarely justify their length, but this is no normal pop song: heavy, orange and misty. Hookworms prove to be both unusual and addictive – a complicated combination.

MORE: hookworms.bandcamp.com

Moustache of Insanity – No Extraneous Headlines Needed

Now here’s a band whose headlines write themselves. It’s kind of them to help out us embattled writers like that.

In all honesty, they have little need to supply any more promotional material beyond their songs and their name, because really, what else is there to say once a band chooses to attach the moniker Moustache of Insanity to their endeavours?

LOL-tastic band names might cause you to involuntarily shrink away, fearing a combination of krrrrayzeee! joke songs and knock-around goofy ‘fun’, but suspend your inner taste compass for a moment, because Moustache of Insanity are surprisingly sweet and – yes – normal.

Moustache of Insanity / Talk Along

Talk Along is as touching and sweet love song as you’ll hear all week – heck – all month. Like the band, there’s little else that needs adding – it’s an addictively lovely song.

Moustache of Insanity have featured in the EasyJet in-flight magazine. Now that’s a sign you’ve made it.

MORE: moustacheofinsanity.com

THE MUSIC BIZ PENDULUM, AND HOW IT MUST KEEP SWINGING IN THE FAVOUR OF INDEPENDENT ARTISTS

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ANBAD has, as you may well have noticed, been pushing the grammatical-correctness of its moniker in the latter half of last year.

There’s a full post here, but in short, the whittling-down of regular posts has been due to work constraints (boring/inevitable) and the fact that the new music dam has well and truly burst (a wider problem), and sifting through the vast amount of actually new stuff has become more time consuming than ever.

The inevitable thinkpiece on The Future Of ANBAD is to follow shortly – and – SPOILER – it’ll probably be me musing on the creeping feeling that music blogging and/or the music industry needs to change to keep moving forwards.

If the liberating democracy of the internet has open the floodgates, well, great – but the danger is that this vast increase in noise is frightening off bloggers/radio producers/’tastemakers’/etc because the size of the gate-keeping task is so great.

My fear is that this overload means these grass-roots filters find it impossible to resist the temptation of drifting back to the safe simplicity of the old industry; where a quasi-old boy network chooses bands, packages them, informs tastemakers that they are the Next Big Thing, and waits for these apparently independant, ‘new industry’ tastmakers to give them their seal of approval.

This would be bad for a few reasons: it would erase some of the progress of the new independent/DIY music industry model and hand some power back to the old music industry model for one final hurrah; and it would shackle the influence of the people at the new grassroots, who try to highlight new musicians free of external influence.

After all, what is the point of an open and liberated music business model if the people who are writing about new music are effectively just doing as they are told by the old business model?

How does this help showcase artists that are looking to the future, doing it for themselves and ploughing their own furrow? We will all lose – big – if these voices are snuffed out, or restricted to niche coverage.

Maybe now that we’re reaching the inevitable input/output overload of music tastemakers, the Hype Machine is about to cement its position as the only independent, online new-music resource of real use.

Maybe now is the time that the indexing, aggregation and smart sorting of that individual human filtration becomes essential as opposed to merely really useful. (NB: Insert standard ‘I am affiliated with hypem.com disclaimer here.)

My wish for 2014 is that the music business pendulum keeps swinging in the beneficial direction of the independant, the individual and the intruiged. In the meantime – happy new year, pop-pickers.