A New Band A Day 2008-2018

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

However, ANBAD also has over 1200 posts featuring about 1500 artists. Most are buried deeeeep 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 music plugins, hyperlinks, images, formatting – and, frankly, the writing itself – is 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.  So scroll down and read on – and maybe you’ll find some long-forgotten band from 2009 that you’ll love.


 

>Today’s New Band – Candythief

>Remember how we went mental over the brilliantThe Battle Is Over” by Paul Hawkins and Thee Awkward Silences a few days back? Remember how we raved about the voice of the guest singer, Candythief? Well, with a shuddering inevitability, Candythief is today’s New Band Of The Day!

There’s a couple of ‘truisms’ when it comes to discussing vocalists. The first one is to point out that sometimes you hear a voice so beautifully penetrating that it speaks to you in a different way to most others. “That sounds wonderfully mindless,” you’re thinking, but it’s true in the case of Candythief. Singer Diana’s voice is the kind that would make you mix your metaphors and make you happy to crawl over hot broken glass, just to ask her to sing you to sleep at night. It’s genuinely lovely – rich, dreamy and innocent enough to sound slightly dangerous.

The second ‘truism’ is to say that a good voice can hide a glut of crappiness, mainly the enriching of average songs. The happy news is that Candythief sing great songs, subtle and entrancing. A Good Day is one of these songs. It’s as light as a feather and yet as powerful as a punch on the nose. “I feel like there’s petrol in my veins, whilst fierce joy’s bursting through my brain” she sings, while guitars and violins meld into a rolling accompaniment.

Junk is similarly ace, a wandering, violin-powered drift through a happy/gloomy folk nursery rhyme. The good news is that she’s just got a record deal and so, hopefully, these fabulous songs can gently slide in to as many people’s ears as possible. There’s honestly no reason not to listen to Candythief’s songs, so do it here! – http://www.myspace.com/candythief

>Today’s New Band – Ivan Campo PLUS! Killing wildlife!

>There have been a few songs that, on the first hearing, the sudden realisation that what I was listening to was so good, so head-spinningly wonderful, so new, that I’ve stopped whatever I’m doing just to listen, in a happy music-coma. Off the top of my head, five of the songs that have lead to this are:

Temptation by New Order
Common People by Pulp
Bigmouth Strikes Again by The Smiths
I Love You ‘Cause I Have To by Dogs Die in Hot Cars
Leg End In His Own Boots by Ned’s Atomic Dustbin

OK, the last one’s a joke. But the rest are about right. When I first heard Temptation, I had to rewind the tape after three minutes because I’d enjoyed it so much, and I couldn’t wait to get to the end to hear it again. I was driving through country lanes when I heard I Love You ‘Cause I Have To, and after almost distractedly running over a pheasant, had to pull over to safely drum along on the steering wheel.

I’m willing to pin the blame for such rank behavioural idiocy onto the dizzying qualities of such stupendously good music. Therefore, perhaps A New Band A Day should have a small yellow and black warning sign, similar to ones in factories that say ‘Do not operate this machinery under the influence of alcohol’.

Today’s New Band, Ivan Campo, might not make your car hurtle towards game birds, but – WARNING – foot tapping may spontaneously occur. They’re named after the impressively-curly-haired footballer who has played for wildly differing teams. There are not many players who have pulled on the shirts of Real Madrid and Bolton Wanderers.

In this respect the band share some similarity with the man, as their songs are sweetly cute one minute (The Curse), and breezily folky the next (The Lotus Eater). Darling Diva is a rambling love song that takes the musical equivalent of a happy stroll down a beach with its loved one, but as the song is punctuated with the bleeping of a digital watch, it occurs that something isn’t quite as rosy as it seemed – “Something just doesn’t quite add up/I smell a rat…”

Ivan Campo‘s band logo is a bastardisation of the one for Malibu rum. Despite coming from dreary Preston, their sound is also summery, warm and intoxicating. Mmmm, easy-going. Listen here!

>Today’s New Band – The Siegfried Sassoon

>At 11 last night, a hoard of zombies, almost entirely consisting of denim, hair and sweat, were creeping towards me, making a terrible noise. I was scared.

It then became apparent that it was actually the bulk of the crowd who’d just left the huge AC/DC gig in the city centre, and the dreadful groaning was actually a terrace-chant mish-mash of Hells Bells, Givin’ The Dog A Bone and Let Me Put My Love Into You. One group of men – they were all men – had had a particularly great time, were dressed like Angus Young, and were, indeed, young enough to be his children.

AC/DC are the musical equivalent of going to the pub with your friends, drinking lager, talking about football and boobs, and then being hit on by a surprising array of big-haired, tight-skirted supermodels. Going to their gigs must be like that but with a more pervasive smell of body odour.

It would make perfect sense for Today’s New Band to be balls-out, four-to-the-floor RAWK merchants, but that would make ANBAD seem too professional. Instead, here’s The Siegfried Sassoon.

They leapt to the top of my list as soon as the POWER OF THE PUN was unleashed in the form of their song The Al Gore Rhythm, a song which is a handy example of the template for their thrilling, weird, veering, ADHD approach to rock.

I Galactico bounces around wildly; from proggy excess to chanty pop to thrash ‘n’ trash guitar rock, and Muscle Beach presses all of the buttons on the keyboard at once, and miraculously, find musical successes abounding.

The Siegfried Sassoon are a bit like a super-polished, synth-prog Art Brut (who have an ace new album out this week) – which sounds like all kinds of wrong, but it works. And no laboured sexual euphemisms whatsoever in their songs. Listen here!

Band Photo by Tom Pratt

REVIEW // Shockwaves NME Awards Tour

Today, a rarity:  an ANBAD live review. It’s one of an interesting gig for those interested in new bands, though: the NME Awards tour, which provides a helpful snapshot of what is deemed to be now in the UK by both the NME and the teens that treat it as the music bible.

The Shockwaves NME Awards gig at Manchester Academy drew curious punters from across the social spectrum, but for the hoards of teens, it was Mecca. Finally, the bands they have only read about, or listened to online, or squinted at garbed videophone footage were playing for them.

They dressed to capture, as best they could, the look of rock ‘n’ roll detrius. The boys were Primark Sid Viciouses – deliberately dazed, stained, and quasi-lairy; the girls dressed in a style that occupied the awkward halfway-house between instinctive prettiness and designated trashiness.

Queuing in rain that was almost too stereotypically Mancunian, we jostled amongst teenage girls with clumsy makeup, candyfloss hair and velour hotpants, and boys wearing T-shirts with necks ripped down to their sternums. Scuffed denim abounded. This crowd was Skins made flesh, with all that that entails.

In front of me, a girl who looked no older than 15 and staggering in drunken befuddlement, was turned away by a weary security guard and a mostly-lighthearted, “not you again.”

We stepped inside, to be greeted by tall models from a local agency, wearing spray-on jeans, huge blonde hair and holding cameras. They stood by the hall doors, collaring excitable male gig goers and taking pictures of them for a hair-product promotion. Most passed them by, but some – the ones with more carefully preened hair – stopped to pout and flirt awkwardly.

The huge, wet queue meant that a lot of people missed a lot of The Vaccines, a band who were very new just six months ago, and are now apparently the future of rock ‘n’ roll, albeit ones that have to take the stage at 7.20 pm.

For all their genericness, The Vaccines do at least give their crowd what they want: sing-along songs by handsome boys, with nice haircuts to go with their nice accents. Every generation needs a band like this, and The Vaccines may be theirs.

By the time Everything Everything took to the stage, the room was packed and musty from drying clothes, a sea of checked shirts and fluffy fringes. It’s hard to find anything to dislike about Everything Everything, and indeed, for the man in front of me who was smoking a joint and gazing deeply into the terrific light show, their songs may well have a transcendental quality.

But to these ears, the band seemed – well – technically perfect, and bands that are technically perfect have an unwitting affinity with Level 42 and 80’s Genesis. The band seemed to be having more fun than the crowd, who sporadically burst into raptures upon hearing the first few chords of a hit song, and then settled down into a more passive sway.

Everything Everything are a nice band. I like them. But weirdly, I was longing for them to break from the one-pace clatter-pop and burst into a something altogether more woozy – a cover of ‘Sway‘ by the Stones would have done it – entirely inappropriate for the crowd, of course, but it might have shaken a few locked-in minds.

Magnetic Man, with the constant rabble-rousing of their MC, quickly had the crowd responsive,  sweaty and pulsing. Once questions like, “why do they need four of them when surely one guy with a laptop would do?”, were put aside, it was impossible not to be drawn in, overwhelmed by the dizzying weight of their near-sub-sonic barrage.

Their sound is like an achingly slowed, dubbed-up Drum ‘n’ Bass, and yet so hyperactive that no song settles into one groove for any reasonable period of time. It was received by a furiously hyped crowd, and only the most curmudgeonly grumpy soul could deny their bowel-worrying excellence.

Crystal Castles’ appearance were prefaced by a slightly suspicious announcement that while doctors had advised singer Alice Glass  not to perform, she was going to anyway! – and lo, she strolled onto the stage leaning on a crutch, to whoops of delight and celebratorily-lobbed plastic beer glasses.

As the most famous of the bunch, Crystal Castles had a lot to live up to – and they largely succeeded, assuming that you can accept that their music is as dumbly one-note and direct as Ramones-esque punk, but with ZX Spectrum bleeps in place of guitar fuzz.

So they reeled off their hits, and Alice Glass wobbled around, yelling into a microphone channelled through so many effects filters she may well have been furiously discussing her holiday plans.

The music continued to spasm and drill, and after a while it became apparent that the room was divided into those who were having the time of their lives, and those who were edging towards the exits. Both parties were rapt/repelled by the consistent chug of the bleeps, beats and endless bass bounce.

This was symptomatic of the night as a whole: music for the ADD generation, for whom you suspect the bands’ constant musical skittering is a necessity in order to retain the attention of their information-rich, time-poor crowd.

There was a marked lack of breadth in the acts’ repertoires: songs we not given time to breathe, and the pace was relentless and sometimes brainless. Brainless is often enormous fun. But sometimes it’s simply brainless. At this gig, that line was crossed repeatedly and without regard. The audience didn’t care, as long as they kept moving.

Bite Marks, Rabbit Stews/Aural Stews

Mancunian photographer/all-round-good-guy Gareth Hacking got in touch to point out that, after discovering a flurry of pop star/cookery cross-over projects (see post and subsequent comments), the joker in the pack has been found in the form of Luke Haines, skewed pop star extraordinaire.

Luke describes the making of his rabbit stew thusly:

“If you we’re making this stew for Hawkwind (underrated), as opposed to just grooving to Hawkwind whilst you heat shit up, then it would be better if you used magic mushrooms.

Cooking for rock stars is a theme restaurant waiting to happen. Read the rest here.

How, then, do Bite Marks fit into all of this? More adroitly than you may think, assuming stews are your starting point. For Bite Marks‘ sound is a stew, or a brew, or – indeed – a mélange; the result of hours of steeping and filtering.

Swarm clings and sloshes like a daytime drunk having too blissful a time to care about his appearance. It’s a song that shoves drowsy skank into drone-pop, angsty, dreamy and distant.

It must be hard to write songs that really do preclude easy description, but Bite Marks has almost pulled it off. If this is what happens when you absorb too many diverse sounds, and then try to squeeze them into one being, then we will all be better off.

MORE: soundcloud.com/bite-marks-1

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 2nd Feb 2011

Sometimes a development in popular culture comes along that is so head-spinningly excellent that everything must be put aside to fully expereince it. Today, witness the fitness of new kids’ TV show Rastamouse.

Sadly Lt. Drebin has got entirely the wrong idea and is about to ‘spin some massive dub platters’ using his collection of Elephant Man nonsense, so once you’ve experienced the world’s most irie rodent, work your way through this ting an’ ting:

FIRST! Lissi Dancefloor Disaster were not only one of my picks of In The city last year, but also one of my favourite bands of 2010. They make brilliant demented pop hits like The Knife used to before they started dabbling in opera – except I’m not sure The Knife made a song as lustily yearning as Glowing Hearts. Excellent, excellent, excellent.

SECOND! The Barettas look like the kind of women who might punch your lights out if you looked at them the wrong way. But photos are misleading. I’m sure they’re lovely. Mind you, their crunchy, pointed, garage-y pop doesn’t do much to dispel this threat either. Good stuff.

THIRD! The Narrows, in comparison, sound like they’d punch their own lights out, in an attempt to escape the gloom. Before they do so, though, they squirrel away coiling, claustrophobic and dense songs like Noir. Nice, if that’s the right word (it isn’t).

FOURTH! Bloody Beach‘s Bonanza starts with screaming white noise and then procedes to dial down the mental, whilst eking out a pop sound that sounds – for all the world – a bit Baggy, of all things. Admirably outré.

FINALLY! The Lovely Eggs have been around for a while, but when you’re presented with the week’s second best songs and video (after Rastamouse, natch), how can I resist? John Shuttleworth, ‘washing-line teeth’ and the catchiest clonk-punk tune this year (so far). Ace.

MRS DADA: Rough ‘n’ Ready, Deft ‘n’ Heavy

mrsdadaAfter the epic Thom Yorke/Spotify blah-piece earlier this week, how about we just plough into a new band?

Yes, thought so – so here’s Mrs Dada, a band I know pleasingly little about simply because I can’t be bothered to engage my schoolboy French and translate their press release.

I mean, I noticed something written about ‘magic notes’ and ‘gold/silver sounds’ in the blurb, and such self-administered purple prose pretty much sealed the deal. Nice job, Mrs Dada.

Here’s Braquage I, with its unishingly broad bass, and clicky mouth-feel beats, and neo-post-analogue synth noises: so far, so now. But a thoughtful construction and a thunderously dense bass-on-top-of-bass that builds forever sets this song apart from its peers.

It’s probably no surprise that  Mrs Dada are French: gross generalisations are, well, gross, but there’s something about French fingers twiddling the knobs that results in electronic songs that are rough ‘n’ ready yet deft ‘n’ heavy, so who am I to deviate? Great stuff.

MORE: soundcloud.com/mrsdada

Sky Between Leaves: Outrock

Well, why not begin clearing the post-SXSW backlog of bands with some Neo-Krautrock?

Wait, actually, can any Krautrock truly be labelled “Neo”?

I guess not, in many respects: the basic ingredients of the Krautrock pie haven’t changed since Can et al rustled it up all those years ago.

And yet – to truly labour this  horrendous pie metaphor – the pastry is still crispy and fresh after all this time.

Sky Between Leaves have shuffled a sort of atmospheric swoon-pop/Krautrock combo together, and it sounds delicious. The danger with making music that is so intensely genre-specific like Krautrock is that the genre’s pre-conceived boundaries override the song itself.

 

No matter on that count in this instance. O.B.E. is a beautifully structured song that revels in its own looseness. The song may well sound like a collection of shapeless sound snippets that have miraculously hung together into a perfect geometric form, but it’s actually an intensely careful sonic contraption.

It ebbs and flows perfectly. The beat is devilishly simple. Great.

MORE: soundcloud.com/skybetweenleaves

The New Lines: Brand New/Brand Old

For better or worse, I discover most of my new bands via the internet, not live gigs.

A lot of people would tell you that this is counter-intuitive, but then a lot of people also buy Nickleback records, so feel free to treat their remarks with as much or little contempt as you like.

However, I’ll never deny that lurking around in the recesses of a murky venue is a great way to discover ace new bands. (It’s also a great way to watch, as I did recently, a terminally average band spend 45 minutes setting up two synthesizers before playing a gig of devastating averageness.)

The New Lines are a band that set up quickly, performed a shambolically riveting set, and then left the stage to mingle with the crowd. That’s the way to do it.

The New Lines were playing a venue called 285 Kent in Brooklyn, a venue so basic in construction that one whole wall is simply a swathe of fabric strung from the ceiling, and where the toilets have no locks, but, unexpectedly, plenty of toilet paper.

In this fittingly shambolic setting, they played a series of focussed, mesmeric and disorientating songs: weird but not outré, formless but practised, sincere but not overly serious.

Their songs, like La Réciproté, were warm, organic and charming, unlike so many of those by their contemporaries.

The last song they played petered out because they “are still working on it.” I applauded louder for this very reason. Great.

Photography by Filmstrip Photography

MORE: facebook.com/thenewlines

The Zookeepers: Gazing Into The Void, Laughing

Imagine the internet – all the insanity, all the zillions of disparate thoughts, all the ridiculous fetishes – condensed into song, and you will have an idea of The Zookeepers. Perhaps they’re among the first bunch of real Internet Bands: shaped not by the content, but its buzzing, ever-altering nature.

The Zookeepers craft a shuffle of too-short songs and spun-out ideas, each a statement of sorts. It’s all held together with love and sticky-tape, and songs like Chicken are blistering examples of exhilarating Pop – albeit Pop that’s been smashed up and reassembled with demented genius.

The ZookeepersChicken

Fat Tax hammer its blunt beliefs home with even blunter riffs. Ballin Outrageous spurts blood, horns and splashing cymbals – all manically, all at once.

Sometimes they sound like generic teen-punk, sometimes they use that ridiculous vocoder-autotune effect, sometimes they croon like the whitest, slickest boyband. Often all these feats are achieved in one song.

None of these songs means nothing, though some manage to touch that blank void, before skipping away laughing. Brilliant, in a very real sense.

The lack of a new band yesterday was due to excess sex ‘n’ drugs ‘n’ rock ‘n’ roll*. Apologies.

*Actually, it was an internet problem. But that sounds dull, in all honesty.