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.


 

Theme Park: No Talking, No Head

Some day, possibly soon, we’re going to run out of truly new bands.

We’ll have exhausted every new sound, vocal cadence, effects pedal configuration, way to hold the microphone, style of bass playing, every length of guitar strap, every variation of, “We do what we do and if anyone else likes it, that’s a bonus”, every gloomy pose pulled for every tired NME photographer.

It’s already happening: bands are spinning in ever tighter, centrifugally, circling back to ever more-recent source material. Dubstep is only a small stumble away from discombobulating into Trip Hop.

Theme Park sound a lot like Talking Heads. Let’s not beat around the bush. But Elastica sounded like Wire and Oasis sounded like – well, pretty much every band that Noel Gallagher listened to when he was growing up. It never did them any harm.

So the fact that Theme Park’s sound is one you might have heard before is relatively inconsequential in the grand scheme of things. I’m not being glib. Who cares if the song is good? No-one cared that Braque’s paintings were virtually identical to Picasso’s.

Perhaps there is, indeed, a wider issue to address here. An investigation into what drives bands to shape their sound just so would be a worthy one, but why bother when a song as hopelessly, endlessly fun as Milk is skittering and juddering along?

Milk is so precisely assembled that it almost hurts, and maybe we’d feel the pain if it wasn’t for the subsequent delight that such an upbeat, dizzying song delivers to your ears; laser-precise and fluorescent.

Peaking with chiming highs and bouncing along on a tumbling bass, Milk is a small joy. If this is what the future holds, I’m happy.

MORE: themeparkband.com // soundcloud.com/themepark

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 2nd May 2012

As ANBAD continues its plunge into the dizzying depths of John Peel’s record collection, one is reminded that Alex James was once a member of a band who were deemed brilliant enough to actually record a John Peel session at Peel Acres itself.

Blur’s musical output never hinted of days to come when certain band members would be reduced to flogging ASDA cheese – in effect, pouring molten cheese-shame onto the great John Peel himself.

Sigh. At least they both look happy about it.

Mixtape:

FIRST! Red Cosmos may have made one of the most wilfully obtuse, uncool and angular records of the year in St Alban’s Colour Explosion, which begins with Byrds-y psyche, re-routes via folky noodling, and finishes in a throbbing choral swirl-house.

Anarchic, and so crazy it really shouldn’t work, but wholeheartedly does. Great.

 

SECOND! Sirens, Camp Stag‘s new single, is one of those quiet-loud songs that suddenly mutates into a middle eight that you think you already know, but, apparently, don’t. Now that’s a good sign.

 

THIRD! Hot from the “meant to write about this in January” pile are Violas, a Cardiff band with so much  energy, curious noises must come to them  fully formed. Their songs are fun, pop riddles. Wish I’d written about them when I meant to:

 

FOURTH! Andrew Butler has made the kind of star-struck, star-crossed, lush ‘n’ quiet folk music that most guitar pluckers dream of making, but never get close to. Lovely:

>Today’s New Band – Last Tide

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Last week, virtual unknown Speech Debelle won the prestigious-ish Mercury Music Prize, the UK’s annual too-cool-for-school musical bunfight. Mercury prize winners are supposed to be doubly blessed: firstly by winning the £20,000 prize, and secondly by a huge boost in record sales from the positive publicity.

Unfortunately for Speech Debelle, her album got a boost only as far as 65 in the charts, and now it lingers around the high 90s. Poor Speech Debelle. Public rejection is always hard to take. In the early days of the Mercury Prize, winning bands habitually gave the prize money away to charity. I hope Speech Debelle has held onto it.

My vote went to The Horrors, who surprisingly, and boldly, ditched their NME-approved schlock garage rock and became a My Bloody Valentine tribute act, aping their sound, vocals and even the Loveless album cover. In retrospect, that last sentence is quite mean – their new album is actually very good indeed, and they ought to be applauded for their brave sonic leap.

As the years pass, My Bloody Valentine seem to have been more and more ahead of their time. Everyone wants a drop of their woozy sound in their band’s mix these days. Today’s New band, Last Tide, owe a portion of their attractively swooping feel to MBV too.

Take W.Y.C., a rushing, dreamy, rampant splash of from a paintbox full of shades of grey. It’s a great, unexpected, echo-laden song that swirls and drifts madly before extinguishing itself, and even if their other songs can’t quite compete with it for sheer bulk, it’s a lovely mark to leave on a staid rock landscape.

That said, A Traitor In My Mind has plenty of clout, and nearly achieves the same dizzy rushing feel. Last Tide gather together threads of post-rock, shoegaze, psychedelia and weave a concrete-hued cloth. Making drab delightful: Listen here!

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 11th April 2012

This week’s Midweek Mixtape dispenses with the need for a manipulated photo of Alex James (for the desperate, check last week’s gloomy-cheese special), simply because when truly special unedited pictures like the one on the left turn up, why bother to doctor it?

Thanks, as always, to Mr. James, for providing a winning metaphor for ANBAD: a machine endlessly churning out apparently-delicious morsels that often, on closer inspection, turn out to be mostly pig-anus.

MIXTAPE!

FIRST: Hey, who knows if Flow Revere’s music is legit or not? This kind of detail bothers some people, you know. Others, like the artist in question, just get on with making music that is insanely fun, just like Contemporary Street Ragz.

 

SECOND: The Preachers have a delightful typeface on their artwork. It makes the difference, you know. Their shang-a-lang chop-rock is the kind of thing that everyone will find room for.

THIRD: Man Vs Nature – isn’t that a reality TV show? If not, it ought to be – and it ought also be soundtracked by thoughtful and pleasant songs like this one from the slinky, seductively dour Young Believers.

FOURTH: Iris Ation feat. Tropical Fantasy busted into the American Museum of Natural History to sneakily film the video for their deeply bass-o-matic, rumbling bleep-pop song. Nice video, smash hit song.

>A New Band A Day Is In A Tent… Again

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So, after refusing to learn from our last, chastening experience at a music festival in this summer-less country, the intrepid A.N.B.A.D. team is at another one, this time about as far south as you can go in the UK, in the vain hope that the weather’s better there. It won’t be.

We’ll be sheltering from the rain, wind and stupefying frustration of 30,000 damp people at the lovely Bestival, on the Isle of Wight. The line-up might just make the inevitable rain worthwhile, comprising as it does of super-music-types like My Bloody Valentine, George Clinton, Aphex Twin and a whole BUCKET LOAD more.

So, there’ll be a reduced service here at A New Band A Day until Monday, but we promise to return refreshed*, happy** and with a brain full of ace bands to yap excitedly about***.

In the mean time, why not have a good old scroll around the column on the right and see if any of the old bands of the day you might have missed tickle your fancy?

Love,

Joe and the ANBAD gang

*sodden
**desperate for warmth
***this bit’s probably true

>Today’s New Band – Miabeane & The Asthmatic Scene PLUS! Birdwatching!

>Today, I’ve mostly been looking at tits. Great Tits. But also Blue Tits, Robin Red-Breasts and Green Finches. Oh dear. If you subscribe to ANBAD via email, I’m not sure there’s much chance it’ll get through your spam filter.

Still, it’s been an ornithological day, taking a breather from the city, and sitting in a warm conservatory in the countryside. Watching birds zip in and out of your frame of vision to attack a series of nut-distributing cages hanging from a rickety birdtable is so soothing it ought to be available on prescription.

It’s fun to self-diagnose your mood by the choice of music. In the city: albums of in-yer-face noise (Big Black‘s Atomizer) to compliment the pressures of inner city life. In the countryside: stuff that, if not complimenting birdsong, then doesn’t entirely obscure it (Endtroducing by DJ Shadow) to mirror the calm, zen-like inner peace that green hills, old oaks and dribbling streams induces.

By choosing to listen to Today’s New Band, Miabeane & The Asthmatic Scene, then even the most quasi- of philosophers would sum up your mood as ‘cheerful’. The words ‘cutely twee’ and ‘football-obsessives’ don’t often find themselves paired up in describing any band, but then Miabeane & The Asthmatic Scene aren’t any old band.

Their songs bumble and wander, light, free and happy, musing on such uncomplicated issues. Remember Your Shinguards reminisces about childhood football heroes, cut knees and sweet childhood love. Edwin And The Physio is more urgent, but no less cuddly and Jonathan’s Present is short, sweet and the kind of song you’d like your loved one to record for you for Valentine’s day.

La-la-la choruses and guitars that are so carefree that they jangle with palpable happiness punctuate Miabeane & The Asthmatic Scene‘s happy songs. They end this week on such an upbeat note that it must surely mean that Monday will bring a Blackened Doom Metal band, just to restore the cosmic balance. Until then, swoon along with Miabeane & The Asthmatic Scene here!

Photo by Jenny Baker

>Über-Tramps, Emogedden and Today’s New Band – E.K. Wimmer

>I was stopped in the street by a homeless guy at lunchtime. There’s nothing too unusual about that – there are plenty in the park near ANBAD Towers. The park seems to serve as a kind of Tramp Créche, and usually, they potter around happily, drinking Frosty Jack’s cider and worrying the middle classes. Anyway, this particular unsteady guy asked me for money. In fact, what he specifically said was, “Excuse me mate, have you got any spare change? I need eleven pence.” Eleven pence? Specifically eleven? Why?

This was an unusual tactic, and nearly threw me from my usual tactic of gruffly mumbling, “no,” whilst feeling slightly empty inside and walking on, but I held firm and screwed him out of his 11p. Such left-field thinking from our nation’s homeless folk means that surely a new super breed of tramp has arisen, and any time now, will be the taking over. I, for one, welcome our our bearded, surprisingly sportswear-beclothed and befuddled masters.

So while we wait for the Trampocalypse, how about a little light music? Today’s New Band isn’t really a band – he’s a solo artiste – but I’m not changing the name of the website for just anybody, you know. E. K. Wimmer is a songwriter who is recording music solo after a seven year absence, which I think is a long enough time to re-classify him as ‘New’.

His songs linger in that space between simple and complex. At their barest, the songs’ sparseness is enveloping, mournful and close. Simply Call My Name starts as a lovely, intimate voice ‘n’ guitar song which then explodes unexpectedly. A burst of loud, shocking noise could, in other circumstances, have been a cheap trick, but here it actually underlines the lovely lyrical lament.

The Closer We Get is the sound of a hurt man sidling up to you and spilling his story, in a tearfully masculine way. Gentle and harsh; raw and slick; distant and cloying – E.K. Wimmer‘s songs manage to occupy both sides of the same coin.

‘Emotion’ is a dirty word in rock because of the ridiculous posturing and exaggeration of the Emo idiots (Emorons?), but here it is, laid out before you. And not a straightened asymmetrical fringe in sight, which is why you might fancy a listen to E.K. Wimmer right here.

New Rose: Found A… Found A…

Seeing as I’ve been navel-gazing all week (OK, for the last 15 years) about the value – or otherwise – of live music, here’s some clarification on the various points of view I subscribe to.

Live music is clearly wonderful. It just is. It’s better than the recorded version.

Except, it isn’t, always. The above assumes that you’ve bought tickets to a good gig, by a good band, at the height of their powers, and that they happen to have had a good journey to the venue, that the soundcheck went well, and that the guy on the mixing desk is good. And that the bassist hasn’t thrown an almighty strop. Or that the drummer hasn’t choked on vomit.

See, there are a million reasons why a gig might not be great. And that’s kind of my point, I suppose: if you were to buy Stone Roses tickets or indeed, any concert tickets at all, they might possibly be the key to the Best Night Ever, or they might not.

Simply going to a gig does not mean that the event will be a unique moment in time you’ll treasure forever, although I have had a lot of those. I’ve also experienced too many drab ones than I can forget.

Conversely, I’ve had plenty of unique moments in time I will treasure forever via the medium of recorded music too – but few people like to admit this. Experiencing musical bliss on your own, in your bedroom isn’t quite so cool. But it is as valid, and I think it’s important this isn’t forgotten.

Still, my gut instinct tells me that buying tickets to a New Rose gig would be a worthwhile investment. Anyway, since when has going to a gig by a Swedish power-pop group been a gamble?

New Rose // Case Sensitivity

New Rose find ways to make slick 70’s pop-rock footloose and fancy-free again. In fact, it may be the warmest song of all time, all soft, curvy edges and deep, enveloping embraces. You cannot form a frown whilst listening to this song. (Fact.)

And it’s about using Caps Lock. I think. Who cares – it’s a beaut. You’ll be whistling it for the rest of the day.

MORE: facebook.com/pages/New-Rose/80710090558

Young Hunting – Youth and Young Youth-hood

I’m no psychologist, but new bands seem to be suffering a collective existential crisis. Apparently, the skin-crawling realisation that they won’t be around forever has just simultaneously pinged into their mental in-boxes.

It’s gratifying to note that, instead of the bottom dropping out of their worlds, the bands have initiated a surprisingly inventive work-around: to fool themselves – and everyone else – by creating band names that imply juvenility.

Just look at the recent glut: the wonderful Youthless, the recently re-named Youth, Manchester’s Young British Artists, and now, joining in the fun: Los Angeles’ Young Hunting.

Songs like Into Yr Mind imply anything but naivety. If this song was any more misty and billowing, LAX air traffic control would need to be warned. There’s a specific but maddeningly intangible skill in creating a song that seems to be without either beginning or end and yet is so hopelessly engaging.

Indeed, evidence of any structure is thin on the ground, and this is the basis of Into Yr Mind‘s anaesthetised seductiveness. Enveloping, expansive and breathy, time seems to linger whilst the song passes, and by the end, they won’t be the only ones gasping for air.

The spirit of youth with wise heads and hearts. Perhaps Young Hunting are onto something. Delicious.

myspace.com/younghunting

Photo: Stevie Raya

Godzilla Black, and Oh No, More Puns

Arrrghh! Couldn’t… resist… today’s… band… because… of… vague… punning…

It’s a sorry state of affairs. I’ll apologise right now. But why even try to put up any defence any more? I’m loud and proud about it now: I just love rubbish puns, and Godzilla Black have a song called Fear of a Flat Planet.

A frankly crummy half-pun, yes, but also one that conjures images of a world made entirely of still-boxed IKEA furniture, with cardboard cut-outs of Chuck D and Terminator X (Flava Flav is already a cardboard cut-out) shouting angrily at all and sundry.

You can tell that Godzilla Black are grimy and sex-fuelled from the lewdly rumbling basslines alone. Lock up your daughters:

Godzilla Black // Fear Of A Flat Planet

Their lyrics aren’t so much sung as much as they ooze out of their lasciviously gopping mouths. By the time sentiments like,  ‘I’m the kind of girl that makes you wanna get a sex change,’ have reached your ears, you’ll find that your skin crawled into a dark corner a long time ago.

Their music is the kind of offensively crotch-thrusting grind that makes you want to weep, black, bitter tears. Godzilla Black: delicious dirt, condemned to tape.

www.myspace.com/godzillablack