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.


 

The Sun-Birds, Vast Numbers and A Blown Mind

Today, ANBAD is going to blow your mind. Straight in, then: do you know how big a billion is? Not that big, right? Banks write them off all the time.

Well, listen: it’s big. It would take 30 years to count to a billion. And while your brow crumples thinking that over, take a second to consider the googol. A googol, by the way, is a 1 followed by 100 zeros.

And here’s how big it is: a googol isn’t just more than the number of atoms in the human body, it’s bigger than the number of atoms in the whole planet Earth.

Wait – that’s not true: it’s bigger than the number of atoms in the observable universe. And get this: a googolplex (10 to the power of googol) is such a big number, there’s not enough fucking universe to write it down.

So what’s the point? Now there’s a question which has just taken on a whole  new meaning – but in terms of new bands the point is this: if you’re worried that there are too many bands in your way for you to emerge from, stop. There’s practically none.

Here’s a story about how I found The Sun-Birds. A separate band called the Sunbirds got in touch by email. By the time I visited their Myspace page, it had disappeared. I googled “The Sunbirds band” and found today’s new band instead. From such coincidences, happiness reveals itself.

The Sun-Birds – Drag Me Down

The Sun-Birds‘ particular strain of happiness is soft and fizzing, like the taste and sound of dispersible aspirin in a glass.

Their music soothes and batters simultaneously: order in disorder, pins and needles, ice-pop brain freeze. The pain of being hit in the face with a pillow. Counting to a Googol.

It’s all here. Start now: one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight….

www.myspace.com/thesunbirds

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 2nd March 2011

Hate them or simply loathe them, Liam Gallagher’s Beady Eye can’t help but gain plaudits for their fully committed attempt to recreate every element of the Beatles’ career.

Well, everything except the music, obviously. Every single Beady Eye song is exactly the kind of plodding pub-rock you’d write if  a gun was held to your head and were told that you had two minutes to write a three-minute rock song.

One of their songs is called Beatles and Stones. I mean, really. Perhaps, as Louis Barabbas of The Bedlam Six suggested, they ought to be called Lazy Eye.

Drebin looks as confused as I am by all of this, so before he gives the album a spin, get stuck into this Mixtape, sharpish:

FIRST! Jordan Bolton makes the kind of music that makes me feel directly connected to his cerebral cortex, because his sweetly building songs like Lull sound like they’re being recorded live in the next room. Winsome and warm. Good stuff.

SECOND! Left Step Band are impossible to dislike. How’s that for an opening line? Of course, it doesn’t mean you’ll like them, just not dislike them. But their songs are so bouncy, up-front and full of life that you’ll probably be won over pretty much instantly.

THIRD! A Clean Kitchen Is A Happy Kitchen are living, breathing lifestyle advice as much as they are deliberately obtuse noise-rock craftsmen. That said, try doing a little light cleaning to the sound of this happy racket:

FOURTH! Cornelia has managed to perform the rarest of tricks: making the radio-friendly pop song clearly designed to be sung by hyper 12-year old girls and yet is still quirky enough to entertain the more choosy types who would faint at the idea of humming along to Miley Cyrus. Smart.

FINALLY! Funnily enough, Raised By Tigers were actually brought up by an altruistic pride of lions. But that didn’t stop them from making clobbering, widescreen Indie songs, presumably whilst stalking zebras and gorging on raw meat.

Miró Belle: Throwaway Bubble-Hop

Every time I bemoan the decline in the art of sampling, someone always informs me that, actually, everything is sampled these days, and so I’m wrong.

Well, I don’t deny that I’m often misinformed. It’s the raison, if you will, of ANBAD’s être.

However. If you listen to the dazzling sample-driven achievements of early Public Enemy, Ill Communication-era Beastie Boys, early ‘joints’ from A Tribe Called Quest, and the like, it’s hard to ignore that the simple delights of finding good samples and chopping them to will may have been overlooked recently.

I don’t really know how Miró Belle makes his music, but I do recognise the playfulness of those sampling pioneers in throwaway bubble-hop songs like With Philice Glass.


To these ears, this song, like others Miró Belle has made, is a cluster of golden sound-slivers, all squeezed together until something especially lively emerges. Thus, compressed funk sax stabs rub shoulders with blues guitar ker-chunk  noises, ear-splitting snares and hissing bass noise.

And that’s pretty much what a sampled song should sound like – a blizzard of bits and bobs, that perhaps oughtn’t work, but do. Simple, complex, silly.

MORE: mirobelle.bandcamp.com

>Today’s New Band – Pre

>Anyone fancy taking part in a small scientific experiment? Great. Follow these instructions to the letter, please. First, bash your head against the table in front of you. No, go on – it’ll be fun, I promise. Assuming your initial attempt was slightly cautious, now do it again, but harder. And repeatedly. But not so much that you lose consciousness. That would be bad.

Finally, write down your findings. I’m guessing they might be along these lines: “Arrrrgh, confusion and pain.” And this, of course, is the point of the experiment, as Today’s New Band will have a similar, if less bloody effect. It’s Pre, and they’re the sound of a manic, sweaty moshpit storming the stage, hijacking the instruments and making NOISE. Listen to Dudefuk as an example: a sub-two minute guitar-spazz, replete with screamy yelping and thrashed instruments. The music screams, literally and otherwise, with a real base desire to go crazy, make a racket and get drunk, which, assuming I didn’t miss any lyrics about them being Straight-Edge Christians, is probably true.

It’s not tuneless wailing though – there’s satisfying coherency to the distorted brain-drilling of And Prolapse, a song title that deserves to be elevated to the pantheon of greats that have previously featured on A.N.B.A.D. Ride Ride Ride, thankfully, is not a celebration of the eponymous Shoegaze bore-droners, but actually a 30-second buzz along the Autobahn to Hell.

So: Pre – like banging your head against a table, except enjoyable. Listen to their noize here!

Cake Teeth: Lo-Fi Stripped To The Bone; and Coldplay’s Humour Anomaly

Today, the rarest of treats: the chance to find enjoyment in the actions of Coldplay. Brace yourself.

No, I wouldn’t normally believe it either. But here it is, as plain as day, on their otherwise po-faced website – a joke! From Coldplay! Fetch the (Fair Trade) smelling salts, quick!

As far as April fools’ day jokes go, this was a good one: self-effacing, fun and – by using the classic indie no-hoper’s ‘We just do what we do and if anyone else likes it, that’s a bonus’ line of doom –  razor sharp.

Begrudging respect now earnt, perhaps they could perform a double-whammy by retiring and allowing bands like Cake Teeth to edge into that vast band-void which they occupy.

Cake Teeth // Mouthful Of Television Stars

Cake Teeth‘s modus operandi sounds too simple to work effectively – the set-up involves a man called Steve on a laptop and a man called Sam on the guitar, and ragged, skewed music is the result.

Maybe in the long run this simplicity will prove too limiting, but right now such strict perimeters are paying dividends in the shape of wonky and clattering ultra-lo-fi rock that sounds so alive, it could be being played in the next room. Vocals disappear into one elongated squelch, and drumbeats are as crisp and skinny as fresh celery.

If anything, the bare guitar sounds out of place in such strange and unrefined environs, but I get the feeling that Cake Teeth make music for themselves alone. I also imagine that if anyone else likes it, they’d consider it a bonus. Make their day.

www.myspace.com/caketeeth

Subburbia: Yes/No

Having just experienced my first Superbowl, I can exclusively confirm exactly three important facts about the performer of this year’s half-time show, the weirdly pillow-faced Madonna.

Firstly, her music still leaves me as cold as a polar bear’s lollipop: a career that no amount of tedious forced controversy can redeem.

Secondly, her composition is now 70% sinew, 20% gristle and a remarkable 10% human; and thirdly, when your biggest gig in years is upstaged by not only a bored-looking MIA but also a man bouncing up and down on a rope, it might be time to consider finally giving up.

Subburbia have yet to be upstaged by a circus performer, but surely it’s only a matter of time (and, in all honesty, I feel that this is reasonably true for most of the human race).

 

Apparently Subburbia are annoyed that the Brazilian press keep comapring them to CSS, which is understandable, as they sound virtually nothing like Lovefoxx and co.

You’re Not Getting Younger is one of those songs that I spend too long flip-flopping over: do I really like it, or just, you know, a bit? In the place of a firm decision, it has ended up on ANBAD, and in an almighty cop-out, you are now invited to be the judge.

What’s unavoidable is that Subburbia‘s knack of throwing a hefty quasi-metal choruses into twinkly, buzzy pop songs is a crafty trick – one which some will find jarring (possibly me) and others will see as an arresting musical punch (also possibly me), and the fact that I’m agonising over their merit at all is almost certainly a good sign.

MORE: soundcloud.com/subburbia

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 11th January 2012

Now that the ANBAD Midweek Mixtape is merely a conduit for another picture of Alex James pouring molten cheese onto something, the pressure is well and truly on.

Sometimes it’s a struggle to find a suitable, current, timely cheese victim. And sometimes, Justin Bieber dresses up like Gary Glitter, and it all seems just a bit too easy. Thanks Justin.

And so, on with the first Mixtape of 2012.

FIRST! Since being named Britain’s Best New Band by, er, ANBAD this time two years ago, Egyptian Hip Hop have been relatively quiet. And now we know why. It’s because they’ve been making this stupendously droning, otherworldly remix of a Regal Safari track.

 

SECOND! Little Jungles have made a song by more conventional means that touches the same ethereal qualities. It’s a surprisingly glossy, fairly gorgeous swoop through rock’s rainbow. Mmmm.


 THIRD! Norwegian creep-popsters Philco Fiction have made a song that fools you into thinking that it is covering conventional ground, when it’s actually zooming off into the stratosphere. Smart.

 

FOURTH! File Under Fiction know the benefits of a deep, twanging bass sound. It pops the whole song, the whole band into a specific RAWK place. This is fine, just fine.

>Today’s New Band – We All Inherit The Moon

>How big a role does luck have in the formation of bands? Imagine you’re a guitarist who wants to make liltingly uncommon, unstructured non-regimented music. What are the chances of finding the the three or so band members who think like you, and aren’t determined to clank out the same old Killers/Kooks/Los Campesinos-lite that most fledgling bands prefer?

I’m no statistician, but you’d have to leave a lot of idiosyncratic adverts in a lot of guitar shops before you found the like-minded souls you needed.

This trawl for understanding band members may well have played a part in the nascent life of Today’s New Band, We All Inherit The Moon. The idea of a long, careful search to find exactly the right person for each role would ring true, mirrored in the carefully constructed, close and delicate songs.

Equally, a slow, organic musical growth spurt – the band forming slowly over time, like tinklingly melodic stalagmites – is suggested in their creeping, wandering sound. However it happened, in songs like Part I, We All Inherit The Moon craft weaving, homeless songs that filter slowly into your brain, and then, just as you realise how comforting its presence is, dissolve into nothing again. Part III is icy but pulsing with warmth. You’ll wait for Part IV to really get going, and then find yourself glad that it never did.

Zen, calm, relaxo-therapy – call it what you want. We All Inherit The Moon‘s music is balm for your mind, soothing like a big hug. Like vines crawling over an old building, their songs will slowly grab you, and you won’t want to be freed. Yum. Listen here!

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

All Cannibals, Musical Flatulence and Fighting For Windmills

There’s a certain boldness – bravery, even – in releasing a single that has not a single lyric for the first two minutes or so. Well, boldness or insanity.

Hey – it worked on Blue Monday, although that song was such a nailed-on classic from the moment it was born that Bernard Sumner could have farted semi-rhythmically throughout and it would still have sold enough copies to bankrupt Factory Records forever.

Musical flatulence is not the shared link to All Cannibals, though the predilection for long intros and outros is what they and New Order have in common.

The danger with long introductions is that you may lose interest, waiting for the lyrics to start, and then over-scrutinise them when they eventually appear.

Fortunately, All Cannibals are a fiendish lot, allowing gentle, wistful words to slip out just at the precise moment your mind threatens to wander and then all, suddenly, is well again.

“Give me a windmill to fight for,” is a plaintive cry of sorts, albeit one from the 17th century. Polar Mist is an atypically French song that will resonate with those who like their pop music curious, coiling and cracked.

All Cannibals have managed to create songs that seem almost too lightweight and raw, and then embellish them with the density of pop hooks and rock curios that will banish any negative thoughts. Yum.

MORE: www.myspace.com/allcannibals

TODAY’S BONUS BAND The Babies // FIVE WORD SUMMARY: Lo-fi, High-Concept, happy jangle pop.