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.


 

Jen Jeniro – More Than Lovely

I occasionally make notes next to the names of forthcoming bands on the ANBAD Big Bands To Do List.

They’re as banal and ludicrous as you can imagine. Recent examples include: “Spazzy gut-scream rawk,” and “Cloudy clatter-technoize”. (Fun Time Ahoy: see if you can match the description with the band.)

So is it insulting or merely half-hearted on my part that Jen Jeniro had the words ‘Lovely Welsh Band’ next to them? I mean, it’s true and all, but come on.

Jen Jeniro push the definition of ‘new’ a bit, but you’ll forgive any discretions as soon as you hear the coruscating Dolphin Pinc a Melyn, a song that, for once, justifies ANBAD’s most over-used word: delightful.

And delightful it is, in  a very real sense – you cannot fail to listen to such wistfully sweet melodies without cracking a smile, and once again, the Welsh language proves that it is ideally suited to dreamily psychadelic, golden pop.

Jen Jeniro are indeed more than a Lovely Welsh Band, but for now, such banalities will suffice. Excellent.

MORE: soundcloud.com/jenjeniro

>Great Scott Marty! The ANBAD Time Machine Is Here Again!

>
Our intrepid trip through space and time – actually, just time – continues with a revisiting of the best bands from July 2008 – a month with, it turned out, some of the best bands we’ve ever had, including the now-monster Pains Of Being Pure At Heart, the beautiful Candythief and a band called AIDS Wolf, for Christ’s sake.

So get your talons into a fabulous month of tunes right here, right now. Or is that ‘right then’?

Peh Per Ghost: Smoke and Mirrors

After the world went slightly bonkers over the Coachella Tupac hologram,  it took a mere matter of hours for spoilsports to point out that, actually the ‘hologram’ was merely the modern implementation of a century-old magic trick called Pepper’s Ghost, using – yes! – smoke and mirrors.

Now. This is by-the-by in many ways.

But here was an old theatre technique, suddenly splashed all over the massed media – and then a couple of weeks later a new artist with the suspiciously similar name Peh Per Ghost crops up in my inbox.

The question is thus: is this artist so new that his or her name was only chosen within the last few weeks? Are we witnessing art feeding off itself at an unprecedentedly fast rate? Do you really care, or would you prefer to  hear this twitchy, punch-drunk slice of electronic dementia-cum-sound?

 

Much like everything nowadays – and you can include the above hypothesis in this – When It’s For You recycles, re-edits and re-aligns its influences, samples and ideas at a prodigious rate. Recognisable slivers of sound come and go, mutating before they are heard again.

Peh Per Ghost is constantly keeping us on our toes, always keeping one step ahead of the predictable. Brilliant and inventive.

This is music now – or a few days ago, when it was made – at least. That’s how fast things change now. We’ll never keep up: embracing old technology might be a smart move after all.

MOREfacebook.com/pages/Peh-Per-Ghost

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

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // May 5th 2010

The Mixtape in which ANBAD is Back, Wack and the Axis Of Mack

Well, that was an extended break wasn’t it? ‘On holiday’,said the tab on the logo, but blistered fingers, aching back and a fried mind bely a misnomer of epic proportions.

In reality, ANBAD was moving flat – which, as, any morono-pop psychologist will tell you, is the second most stressful event in life, after being trapped in a lift with a hungover Mark E. Smith.

So here’s a Midweek Mixtape to soothe a troubled soul. The donkey picture returns, but this time googly eyes are tastefully utilised to convey sadness and shock. And LOLZ. The tape:

FIRST! I Was A Teenage Satan Worshipper have a name that belongs to a sludge metal band, but actually the truth is even more predictable – they’re yet another tuneful, winsome and thrillingly tidy Scandinavian pop-rock band. Finland, to be exact.

I Was A Teenage Satan Worshipper // A Day Like This

Spoken-word lyrics, a driving beat, squeaky synths – A Day Like This is a scrabbling, scuffling thrash-pop nugget of joy. Just as you’d expect. Excellent, inevitably.

SECOND! Daddy Lion must be some kind of rapscallion. The music demands it. Rumbustious songs like Divine are the mark of a scallywag, at least. Rousing dum-dum-bullet (IMPORTANT N.B.: not ‘The Dum Dums’) songs. Nice.

THIRD! Woozy Viper make supremely satisfying and – yes – woozy, stripped-down, sharp, sing-a-long quasi-rock/blues numbers. They are giving their album away for free. I could think of much worse consequences of a few errant social-networking mouse-clicks. Justin Bieber, for one.

FOURTH! 5 Cent Theatre Can you imagine Fiddy Cent doing Shakespeare? “Alas, poor Tupac, I knew him well…” wait – it’s 5 Cent Theatre. Ah – well, imagine Fiddy’s thesp leanings whilst listening to their excellent creep-rock and you’ll have the best of both worlds. Nice. Brrrap!

THATS IT! That’s it. Normal service resumed tomorrow.

PS: This month’s radio show is delayed while ANBAD gets its act together. It’ll be along soon, promise.

Bad Apes: Layers of Layers

Yesterday, for the thousandth time, Kevin Shields confirmed his status as Music’s Biggest Troll, by announcing that My Bloody Valentine‘s follow-up to Loveless will – honestly, no, really, I promise – finally be released before the end of 2012.

Figuring out how to react to such bare-faced (tongue-in-)cheek is tricky, because he has been making the same occasional proclamations for – count them – 21 long, My Bloody Valentine-less years.

Whilst ANBAD appreciates any form of trolling, Kevin’s trolling-is-a-dish-best-served-cold approach is remarkable in its bravery, and ANBAD Towers has been ringin out with appreciative applause all day long.

Kevin Shields also meekly points out that not everyone will be pleased with this long, long, long-awaited album. Oh, Kevin, don’t let me down. Please push it for another 21 years, and then release a posthumous album of Cliff Richard covers. It’s the world’s latent desire.

Until then, I’m more than happy to make do with Bad Apes, who, like a few bands, have figured out Kevin Shields’ spaghetti-like guitar pedal arrangement, and have – indeed – aped the warm, wobbly sound to a tee.

 

The Pacifier Crashes may lean heavily on Loveless‘ drone and depth, but thankfully the band are smart enough to distance themselves from mere pastiche: and cleverly emphasise the oft-overlooked thrash-punk of MBV’s myriad influences.

Thus, vocals are thrust forward, howling, heavy and angered. The contrast between this and the softness of the guitars is almost perfectly balanced. Neither intrudes on the other, and both layers are appreciated simultaneously. Bad Apes are great. Let’s see if they can maintain this for 21 years, though.

MORE: soundcloud.com/badapes

NERVE LEAK: Looming Large

I now have to restrain myself when writing posts that feature songs from Bad Panda Records, because they almost always end up featuring a sentence or three explaining bewilderment at how Bad Panda keeps finding so many good new songs, or a half-witticism on how I always query how Bad Panda keeps finding so many good new songs.

In this post, I realise that I have achieved both, the kind of meta-stupid opening to a post that does nothing to help the great new artist contained within. Oh well.

Nerve Leak is another beautiful Bad Panda discovery: an artist who smudges sound into soft, luxuriant parcels of noise.

 

Atlantic Hold reminds me, in sound, if not in composition, of Goldie’s landmark Inner City Life: a swirl of organic samples and sounds layered and clustered to create the sensation of warmth, love and wide-eyed happiness with the world.

That is a decent achievement. Atlantic Hold is unutterably cosy, and comforting, yet it acknowledges the chaos and insanity of the world at large. It looms large and heavy; it skips lightly and twitches gently. Excellent.

MORE: soundcloud.com/bad-panda-records/badpanda139

Where Will Your Favourite Artist’s Money Come From If They Get Cancer?; Plus: BLUFRANK

blufrankI’ve stumbled on all sorts of good things online last week, which may account for the absence of posts on ANBAD.

These have been namely: The World’s Greatest Rave Video, The Most In-Depth Prècis of Warren G‘s Regulate Ever, and then – most importantly – the trailer to a documentary called Unsound, which spells out the impact of the new music business model on actual artists.

You know: the people who make the music.

I’m taking the rare step of posting a video on ANBAD, because this trailer contains more thought-provoking sentiments than anything else I have seen, heard or read on this topic, and that anyone who cares about music will intuitively feel too.


Perhaps the most important issue here is that we just don’t know where the music industry is going – and is still making up its own rules.

The kicker is that at the moment the status quo is not just as it ever was (big biz making the $$$, artists getting a rough deal) but now, when we have the opportunity to spread the dough around a bit, the realistic options for an artist to make decent money might be slimmer than ever.

Only making money from gigs is simply not enough, assuming we consumers want to enjoy music as we have done for decades.

Yes, you can make money playing live – but it’s just the old model’s final hurrah: it works on exclusivity alone.

The supply of the product is limited (you have to be in a certain place to experience the gig), just as the supply of recorded music used to be limited (you had to buy a CD to listen to it).

Now there are a zillion technological ways of making/distributing cash, or at least potential ways: micro-transactions, crowd-funding, et al are pretty bog-standard ideas now.

Are there other ways that could help make artists money for the amazing music they make?

Ways that are more direct (i.e fewer slices taken out of the money en route to the artist), less heavy on the purchaser (i.e.: no-one is going to pay £15 for an LP any more – what feels right? £5?) and enabling (i.e. the artist is not compelled to live under the fear of what happens if they cannot play live)

Either we change and start coughing up in new, interesting, this-feels-right ways, or less music gets made. Because when the artist you love can’t, for some reason, perform any more, and thus can’t make money, you can bet your/their bottom dollar that they will choose to put food on the table first.

And their music will fall by the wayside. And that third LP that would have been a true artistic revolution won’t get made. And you won’t hear it. And your life will be poorer. And so on.

Oh, here’s BLUFRANK, by the way, who is buried beneath all this, and is here for two reasons.

 

Firstly: because he is making the kind of trashy disco quirk-pop that is unpretentious, fun and can hold your attention in a way that, say, a song by any number of buzz-bands can’t, and secondly, because he is apparently from Egypt – and I haven’t featured a band from Egypt before.

I guess that BLUFRANK doesn’t perform live all that much. I wonder if he makes much money from music?

MORE: soundcloud.com/blufrank

Painting By Numbers

Any seasoned new band listener will tell you that the phrase ‘post-rock’ sets the alarm bells ringing. The phrase ‘experimental post-rock outfit’ will raise anxiety levels to a point where playing a CD of something deeply bland and morbidly inoffensive (Coldplay’s X&Y, twice a day, with meals) is the only cure.

It’s not that post-rock is so bad per se, it’s just that the genre is rarely done justice, and often serves as an outlet for failed jazz musicians – individuals so self indulgent that even a major terrorist incident couldn’t interrupt their 27-minute freeform clarinet solo.

So throwing ‘Improv’ into that mix might cause actual coronary mishap. Faint hearted readers, brace yourselves. But – guess what? – Painting By Numbers have made an EP of Improv-Experimental-Post-Rock and made it enjoyable.

This is a feat in itself, so listen to Conceal Confine Tentative once to just get over the wave of relief that it’s a good song, and then listen again to appreciate the off-kilter rhythms, sneaky poly-handclaps, grubby bass and shonky guitar.

Painting By NumbersConceal Confine Tentative

Post-rock songs always build, almost by definition, so Conceal Confine Tentative is no exception, but it does it in a series of frisky steps, not the long drone that so many lazily plump for. This approach turns the song into a casual, Sunday-morning browse through a series of charming song snippets.

Half way through, it almost trips lightly into a poppy guitar riff. We are experiencing dizzying times in the Post-Rock world, my friends. Painting By Numbers deserve, at least, a raised eyebrow of appreciation.

>June New Bands Roundup!

>Frankly, it was a minor miracle that any new bands got written about during June. A New Band A Day towers was massively preoccupied with Euro 2008, and thus was very busy with the important tasks of watching football all day, drinking beer to accompany the football and filling in the wallchart so that we would know exactly how hard France were tanking.

Still, confounding expectations is always fun, and what actually happened was the most exciting month on A.N.B.A.D….. EVER! Great new bands slopped out of our bucket almost non-stop, and here’s a round up of the great and the good:

Q Without U were an early bright light, and we said this:

Q Without U meld super-tuneful guitar rock with whizzy synths into punchy pop songs”

and we were right. Following soon after was the great ERRORS, and:

If we were mildly cretinous, we’d make a poor joke about how there is nothing erroneous about their music, because it’s fantastic.”

But we didn’t, ‘cos we’re dead clever, like. Then, during an ill-though-out “Roadtrip” gimmick, we got all excited about Envelopes, who are really, really ace, and from Sweden. Or Paris. we weren’t totally sure. But, we said that:

Their fabulous song Sister In Love somehow straddles the late 80’s and early 90’s, whilst luckily missing Shoegaze altogether – no mean feat.”

And guess what, they almost were BAND OF THE MONTH, but were just pipped at the post by the mind-bogglingly good Paul Hawkins and Thee Awkward Silences. We raved like idiots at their song The Battle Is Over, gushing maniacally:

“Make no mistake, this is the best song you’ll have heard for a long, long time – since, frankly, All the Rage by the Royal We. If you only listen to one new song this week, it should be this one – it’s truly, brilliantly, wonderfully fantastic. Song of the year so far, easily.”

Mmmm, nice to see we kept our ‘calm-and-detached’ integrity there. So well done, Paul Hawkins et al, BAND OF THE MONTH. Anyway, check all of these bands out, because they’re the creme de la creme of a really good bunch. Bring on July!