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.


 

>Today’s New Band – Dinosaur Pile-Up: DINOSAUR WEEK CONTINUES!

>Gimmick, Schmimmick. This dinosaur-theme is a goer, I tell you. The eagle-eyed of you will sport that this is the third consecutive dino-related band in a row, and while some may accuse us here at A.N.B.A.D. of mild idiocy, it turns out that there is method behind this Bronto-Madness. (NB: See previous posts, below, for the previous excursion into Dino-sounds)

That’s because the search for dino-bands – archeology, maybe – has unearthed yet another great band: Today’s New Band, Dinosaur Pile-Up. Firstly, let’s childishly focus again on how super the name is – anything that causes you to imagine a huge collision of freaking dinosaurs and the resulting pile-up is surely enough to make you as giddy as a 10 year old girl watching Hannah Montana – The 3D Movie.

Happily, Dinosaur Pile-up‘s music is great too. My Rock And Roll is a chunky, Pavement-y, Pixies-ish blast, singer Matt mumble-yelling “Since I was young, I always felt some sort of trouble.” It seems that writing great rock songs is outside of this trouble-sphere, as rock ‘n’ roll is a tough thing to get right, but Dinosaur Pile-Up can do it, seemingly without effort. My Rock and Roll is a fantastic song from a great-sounding band, who don’t seem to be slavishly following current musical trends. Fantastic – and apparently, unsigned. Crazy.

Check out their music at their Myspace page, here!

*No new band on Monday – it’s a Bank Holiday! So we’ll be sitting inside, sheltering from the rain, as usual.*

Theoish: Whale Music

There’s a thin line between the music found on, say, your average Boards Of Canada track, and those CDs of calming Whale Song music you can buy at petrol stations.

Maybe it’s worth noting that I say this as an enormous fan of Boards of Canada – albeit one who is puzzled by the possibility that music of that ilk works on a fundamentally different level to your bog-standard buzzy guitar-pop song.

There is nothing to prove that Theoish is a whale, but – intriguingly – nothing saying that he isn’t, and so we must remain in taxonomic limbo whilst enjoying the slovenly charms of his down-tempo music.

Roobios is so brazenly calm, it’s almost a shock when the delicate and persistant drums begin: and then the song threatens to break out into something a lot more frenetic.

It doesn’t of course, and that’s exactly how it should be – a carefully waxing and waning musical hinterland of soft sounds, organic wobbles and plush bass pulses. Lovely, sleepy, calm.

MORE: soundcloud.com/theoish

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 13th July 2011

 Lt. Drebin needs distracting this week, as his exterior revenue stream – wads of non-sequential banknotes stuffed into brown envelopes in return for some piffling celeb’s private information – has dried up in the wake of some minor newspaper kerfuffle.

Fortunately, he can put those niggling thoughts of his impending arrest by his colleagues whilst he listens to this excellent Midweek Mixtape:

FIRST! Blood Sport surely take their moniker from the excellent/nonsense Jean-Claude Van Damme movie of the same name. It’s fitting in many senses: not that their music is ludicrously violent, but that their noisy songs like HSFM are a whirlwind of visceral, guiltily enjoyable action. Great.

SECOND! I get the feeling that Be Not Idle In Preparation Of Thy Doom aren’t so concerned with punchy brevity. I’m not sure exactly what gave me that feeling first: the hour-long static buzz of Die Elektrischen Vorspiele or the… wait, it was just that. Like Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music played at half-speed: excellent.

 

THIRD! Timothy Monger‘s The New Britton Sound is almost too pleasant after Be Not Idle…’s electric excess, but, Timothy’s soaring songs are tempered from hitting the heights/lows of MOR via some tasty trumpeteering and delightful harmonies, as in The Lark. Nice, in every way.

 

FOURTH! The Dirty Nil sound like the kind of band who’d write a song called Fuckin’ Up Young, don’t they? And so it goes: it’s a crashingly grubby conflation of ragged vocal chords, spazzed-out guitars and clumpy drums. But you probably guessed that. Nice.

Sharing Is Caring… New Band Tips For Autumn, From Bloggers, For YOU

The Crown Paints Get-Your-Band’s-Music-On-A-TVAd competition has been running for less than two weeks, and has already been flooded with entries.

Trawling though the entries has had a happy secondary effect, in that a whole raft of hitherto-unknown new bands have been discovered.

So, excited – and slightly overwhelmed – by this New Band Glut, ANBAD threw caution to the wind, and decided to ask some of the UK’s tip-top and most influential music blogs – namely the thrice-brilliant Von Pip Musical Express, Bowlegs and The Devil Has The Best Tuna – to suggest their tips for the latter half of 2010.

The question was simple: which new bands’ music have you loved recently? And guess what? They kindly suggested a shed-load of great new bands, and none of them were suggested twice by any two bloggers. To reiterate: there’s lots of great new bands out there…

Andy from the excellent, interview-laden Von Pip Musical Express suggested these bands, all of whom are from the delightfully tuneful end of the musical spectrum:

Allo Darlin’ – “Chiming with an infectious youthful exuberance.”

Run Toto Run – “Shimmering understated beauty.”

The Good Natured – “Brilliant, brooding electro pop.”

Paul from The Devil Has The Best Tuna has crowbarred a pun into the title of his blog, an act which instantly endeared him to me. I love puns. I also love these bands he suggested:

What Would Jesus Drive? “…have produced a contender for track of the year.”

Boycotts“Shimmering, jangly brit-pop of the kind that seems to have been unfairly judged as passe.”

Paperfangs – “It’s up to the music to speak for itself and boy does it speak for itself.”

And finally, Gavin from the perceptive, super and perceptively super Bowlegs, whelped this duo in our direction, before stepping back to admire the results:

Various Cruelties“Songs that dig that little bit deeper. Various Cruelties are, without doubt, a step ahead of most.”

Sweet Lights – “A warm embrace of sweet voices, jangled guitars and a safe-haven for welcoming melody.”

A huge thanks to all the bloggers who graciously contributed such excellent suggestions.

And remember – if you’re in a band, and fancy having your band’s song on a huuuuge TV advert, win a recording session and a whole host of other career/profile/ego-boosting stuff, enter the competition here.

Plastic Flowers: Mud-Free

plastic flowersApparently, I haven’t been to Glastonbury festival since I started ANBAD, which may or may not be a coincidence (it’s not).

I miss Glastonbury a lot, but I feel that what I miss was Glastonbury used to be: the place that felt (mainly) like alternative cultures colliding in a safe and friendly place, whereas last time I schlepped through the mud there, it felt (partly) like a box-ticking requirement on the bucket lists of a hundred thousand Home Counties trustafarians.

Still, I wholeheartedly wish I was there right now. *Sigh*

Instead, I’m listening to Plastic Flowers, whose Fog Song is a lovely lethargic lollop.

 

This is such a dreamily slo-mo song that it’s an altogether reasonable swap for wandering through a Witshire field. Plastic Flowers are an exercise in smart pop-song construction.

They released something through the endlessly reliable Bad Panda records, so you may as well click “play”, because you know it’ll be good if they stuck their name on it.

MORE: soundcloud.com/plastic_flowers

Evan Voytas, and A Scenester-Baiting Jibe At The XX

Comparing one band with another is a mindless, but pretty much necessary, evil.

As a hack keyboard-basher, I try to avoid it as much as I can, but sometimes you’re left with no other option: how else to describe bande du jour The XX as anything other than ‘drab Zero Seven copyists‘?*

So when I heard Evan Voytas described as ‘the American M83’ by both those who have read his PR company’s press release and those who haven’t, my interest was piqued and repulsed at the same time. This is usually a good sign.

The ingredients are there in the song title alone – vaguely mystical, quasi-pastiche, the whiff of uncool: it’s all there in “I Run With You, Spirit Animal”.

Evan Voytas // I Run With You, Spirit Animal

More importantly though, the song is a stormer. It sounds cheap – by which I mean it is the delicious sound of a young man who has time, talent and no external monetary influences.

Yes, there’s a hint of M83 in there, but any music maker with any sense will have looped their copy of Saturdays = Youth until there was no possibility of the dreamy lusciousness not appearing in their own songs.

Evan Voytas has made songs that are all-revealing, all-enveloping and altogether sharper, and more direct, than a thousand other sonic scrabblers. Or The XX. Wonderful.

www.myspace.com/evanvoytas

*Note: this may or may not be a joke

Photography by Shayne Eastin

Bear Grass; Tomorrow, Today and Yesterday

beargrassI bumped into my old mucker Louis Barabbas the other night, and whilst I wrestled with the world’s wiggliest puppy, we sank a couple of pints and talked, as usual, about Music These Days.

After getting thoroughly bored of re-hashing the Spotify/payment/oh-do-give-it-a-rest-Thom debate, we moved on to a proposition that sounds as if it was lifted straight from the mind of the fuddiest of duddies: Guitar Music Nowadays.

Here’s the crux of our shonky suggestion, based on a slighty-sweeping idea: that the vast bulk of guitar bands seem to be plundering the ever-nearer past.

Will, we wondered, future generations look back to today’s guitar bands for inspiration, or will they skip straight past and go to the same influencers that this lot are cribbing from?

My hunch is that they’ll do the latter. Will bands from 2023 really settle on Chvrches and Savages and The 1975 as jumping-off points, or will they just take one step further and go directly to the source?

And what does this say about the guitar bands of now, and us, who are consuming their music?

Well, at this point, I was tired and emotional, and so we hugged for a couple of seconds too long and departed. Yet, I think the above question bears a bit more thought. Answers and thoughts, please.

Bear Grass also, like any band ever, grab a handful of influences form the past, and shape something of their own. I suppose some genres, like the one Bear Grass occupy, are more forgiving – or accepting – of this practise than others. And anyway, River, is truly lovely, so who cares anyway?


Is that a Theremin hooting away in the background of River? I think so, and hugely welcome it is too, decorating a gorgeous folk song with fragile emotion, and turning a nice folk-pop song into a tremulous lament. This is just lovely.

Will future generations return to it as fuel for whatever post-neo-futurist-proto-Brostep iteration we’re on by that point? Maybe not, but they will marvel at how great this song is, and that’s just as good.

MORE: beargrass.bandcamp.com

>ANBAD Probes… Nic Dawson Kelly

>

ANBAD PROBES… NIC DAWSON KELLY

Some artists have something about them that elevates them above the frothing herd of other, equally enthusiastic artists; something indefinable and latent, but immediately arresting. Something so delicate that it could crumble you try to put your finger on it. A trait that is entirely theirs.

Nic Dawson Kelly doesn’t have this; not like that anyway. He does have that something, and, yes, it’s all his. It’s just that his something is so blindingly obvious, it’s like being poked repeatedly in the eye. It’s his voice. When I reviewed him a week or so ago, I was in faintly humiliating raptures.

I had to hear from the man himself. He answered my series of puerile questions eloquently. Nic had mentioned that he’d had terrible jobs in the past, and, having once worked as a lawn-mower on a sewage plant, wanted to hear how his own horror stories compared.

“In Brighton, I once had three jobs at once. I’d wake with the seagulls and go and work for a cold calling company trying to sell photography sessions to pregnant women of their “to be due” babies. Surprisingly it was the last thing they wanted to worry about.

In the afternoon, I would clean all the workmen and staff toilets, then evening struck and I’d find myself behind the bar until it was time to go home. There’s only so much of this daily routine you can put on repeat before you’ve had enough. I found three months was my maximum. Living on the coast made things easier. “

Surely, I asked, these jobs were part of the motivation behind his nascent musical career?

“I was playing beforehand and during this work when I had chance. Sometimes, I suppose, you have to be ground down a bit by these things in order to realize what you enjoy doing. In that respect, it probably did push me to work harder to get to somewhere where I looked forward to waking up. “

He’s now escaped and is gigging to promote his debut album, Old Valentine (out today!). The album was recorded in a bohemian-sounding way – casually, with eclectic input and miles removed from toilet-scrubbing. He told me about the effect recording this way had on the sound of the record.

“Before heading in to recording I was pretty sure this would be an out and out folk record. It wasn’t until I went in and the guys around the studio and the producer got involved that I realized it could be, if anything, a more enjoyable experience if we tried to cram in as many musicians as we could into a small live room and just see what attitudes they brought to the songs.

I think it’s a room full of strangers, immediacy and time constraint that brought in that sound. Nothing was too set in stone about it and that’s what I like. “

Feeling fruity, I asked him when he sold his soul in exchange for his super-deluxe voice. He called my bluff – “March 13th, 1997. ” The mystery deepened. I tried a more reasonable tack. Did his voice develop organically over a long period of singing and writing or has it just always been there?

I’d say it was a bit of both. I moved about a lot when I was growing up so I took to hearing a lot of ways of singing… I use to sing choir when I was a great deal younger. There was an old man there who had the strangest approach to singing. He sounded almost like a sheep howling. As much as he destroyed the impact of a heavenly ensemble, he seemed to make this tiresome drone a bit more interesting.

Sometimes words need to be tilted a little so that they can truly stand up. I always kept that in mind. As I started writing myself and singing I always sung with a lot of vibrato. It’s an instrument as any other and each song it tends to approach differently.”

Suitably sated by his answer, I asked if he could meet any musical hero, who would it be, what one question would he ask them, and what drink would he buy them?

To Dr John: “Where do you buy such wonderful and preposterous outfits?” I’d buy him a tequila for the trouble of answering.

Nic then vanished, possibly to clean a toilet, possibly to hassle pregnant women, but most probably to fulfil ambition. We’ll be hearing a lot more of him, and this is a good thing. Nic’s alum is out now. It’s very good, and is in all good record shops, and probably some bad ones too, if there are any left.

>Today’s New Band – Standard Fare

>Turkish take-away food, eaten by a canal. Beer in the Student’s Union. Another. Chat to the guitarist and drummer at the merchandise stall. Catch the end of the support band (The Kraus Robocop). Marvel at the drummer’s party piece of playing a drum in the crowd.

Back to the Union, more beer. Cheaper there than the venue bar upstairs. Guess the setlist. Push to the front of the crowd, in line with one of the speakers (not the middle). Get sweaty in the mosh. Dismay that most of the sweat on my T-shirt isn’t mine. Chant for the encore. Chant for the encore.

Find moshpit treasure as the crowd disperses. Use moshpit treasure to buy another beer. Home, kicking an empty beer can all the way. Shower to remove sweat that isn’t mine. Bed. Post-gig morning tinnitus.

These are generic gig-going rituals. You’ve probably done exactly this, to the band of your choice. Last night, my choice was Art Brut (see yesterday and ad nauseum), and it was life-affirmingly brilliant.

If Today’s New Band, Standard Fare, keep producing songs as kind and gorgeous as Dancing, then many will have that same gig experience with them as the focal point. Dancing, a lackadaisical lament, could be the song that sparks your night out into life just as much as it could be the song to round it off perfectly.

“There’s always going to come a time when we don’t know the answers/ Always going to come a time when we should just go dancing,” singer Emma philosophises, entirely rightly.

Standard Fare‘s other songs are good too. It’s just that Dancing is wonderful – soaring stratospherically, moping glumly, sunnily alive; economical, bright, true. Lovely. If this doesn’t put a fire under your dopey synapses, nothing will. Listen here!

Joseph Grand – Fear, Loathing, and Pet Shop Boys

It’s there, settled deep in one of the recesses of my mind. It’s a fear and a hope, all rolled into one confused bundle. It drives me as much as it instils dread.

It’s this – what if, one day, I run out of new bands? The fear: What do I write about?; the hope: Thank God for a legitimate reason for a day off!

Fact is that it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen any time soon – hell, I’m chucking in a bonus band every day at the moment, because there’s so many swilling around in ANBAD’s New Bands Bin.

Thoughts like this usually crop up when I hear a song I’m just not sure about. One that usually comes after hearing half an hour of songs that I’m definitely sure I don’t like, and an hour after I swore I’d go and do something more constructive than listen to lots of new pop songs.

Joseph Grand fell into the former category, and it was him that set off the spiral of doubts. Gee, thanks, Joseph.

Yet, in Adventure, manifests the beauty of perseverance, because after a couple of listens, I’m as positive that it’s a fine song as I was initially unsure. Icy, sparse and careful, this is a pop song with the fluff de-fuzzed, the syrup drained, but the appeal still intact.

Imagine a half-speed Pet Shop Boys song but with fewer arched eyebrows, and you might be somewhere near the cool detachment of Adventure. Deadly serious, but not po-faced, Joseph Grand tip-toes between all the potential pitfalls. Smart, sharp pop.

MORE: josephgrand.tumblr.com

TODAY’S BONUS BAND: Lizard Kisses / FIVE WORD REVIEW: Sing me to sleep, sweetly.