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 Spills; and Email Template Tips For Great Success!

In a recent online discussion with a new music consultant called Hagop, we discussed the best ways for new bands to get in touch with mp3 bloggers like me.

My first piece of advice was “tape bottle of gin to promo LP sleeve”, but this, and “include naked photos” was removed from the final broadcast, the editing of which made us both sound like intelligent, rational human beings. I know the truth.

Where was I? Oh yes – the point we stumbled up on was that of the emails sent to request a listen of their songs, those which read like the following, against all the odds, often pointed towards the best bands:

from: The Band’s Drummer
to: joe@anewbandaday.com
date: 11 July 2010 01:02
subject: My band, yeah?

Hi ANBAD

Check us out: www.myspace.com/mygenericband

Dave (drummer)

And so it was that when The Spills got in touch, their email template was virtually identical to the one above. This simple act rattled me with the zesty zing of anticipatory thrills, and thankfully these were not misplaced.

There are a thousand bands born every year that sound a bit like The Spills, but very few that elevate these bands above the average, the mediocre or away from well-trodden rock roads.

A Botched Goodbye does nothing drastically different to the bands that became  The Spills’ starting points – Pavement, happily, being one – and yet novelty lurks.

The hardest decisions a band needs to make are the ones that consciously move them away from bands that have been there before them. A lot of bands don’t make them at all, end up sounding just like the rest, and their hard work gets lost in a generic rock fog.

The Spills sound familiar and different. This means that any seasoned rock fan will slip in and settle comfortably with their songs, and yet there are enough rough edges, unexpected quirks and sonic curve-balls to bring a smile to those ears tainted by cynicism.

Good rock is hard to get right. The Spills can do it.

www.myspace.com/bumthespills

Photography by Daniel Easton

Young Mammals, Where Kaleidoscopic Chaos Reigns Supreme

When was the last time a band successfully re-cut an old template?

Bands revisit the past time and again, yet few get beyond creating a mere pastiche. Today, Young Mammals tilt at a moving target, and in the resulting messy pop that they make, wildly succeed.

Confetti is a blustering, billowing forest fire of blissfully looping noise, chirruping guitars and vocals; a song that lands a marshmallow-mallet to the rear of the head – the subsequent gasp for breath and spinning stars are brilliant, dizzying and welcome.

It’s a boiled-down and sticky-sweet Loveless, all in one song – except there’s a brilliantly insistent, flighty quality to its Mobius-coil construction. Confetti is a song borne of love, insanity and a devotion to melding the two together.By the end of the song, normality is abandoned and a free-associating, beautifully kaleidoscopic chaos reigns.

Imagine a traditional children’s chanting nursery song recorded over and over again until lack of sleep causes a simultaneous and sudden burst of manic adrenal energy in all bandmates, and this is what the ensuing edge-of-lunacy song would sound like.

Simultaneously tight in its crafting and loose in execution, in Confetti Young Mammals have a huge, rug-pulling, delightful double-dosing song. Oh, and it’s a free download. Beat that.

youngmammals.bandcamp.com/

>Duzheknew? And other pertinent questions – answered!

>
Duzheknew? Thank you, Adam O’Reilly (for it is he) for creating the band name which writes it’s own headlines.

But past-tense befuddlement aside, Duzheknew seems to have a firm handle on what he’s doing. His songs are… well, just right. They are sharp and acidic and tart. They are focussed and have all the fat cut off. This bodes well.

It Came Out The Other Side, OK trembles with nervous ambition – a jittering, jerky song. It’s a bloodletting, an easing of tension, that shows Duzheknew to be an artist of some ability. The song shines and fades, gives and takes – and we hang on every word, eager to experience the climax.

Duzheknew – It Came Out The Other Side, OK

When it comes, it’s not the explosion anticipated, but a more economically restrained finish. After the building and building, we are buzzing too feverishly to feel let down by such teasing, and too pleased by the preceding sounds to care.

Duzheknew gingerly cribs a snippet of Talking Heads and a sliver of Pavement, but has a swivelling eye scouring everywhere else for ideas too. It’s tough to predict anyone’s path in any instance, but if Duzheknew keeps going, something interesting will happen. Perhaps he knews this already. Sorry, knows. Good stuff indeed.

>Ninjastep, Hyper-Criticism and Dreadful Tightrope Analogies

> I usually pay little heed to a band’s name. Atari Teenage Riot, for example, is truly ridiculous, though frankly, ATR fans were too busy getting mental with the thrash/punk/d’n’b/speed-metal insanity to ponder the minutiae of the band’s moniker.

So if the name ‘Ninjastep’ seems a bit… daft and rubs me up the wrong way, who cares? And if the band members are actual ninjas, then all is wholeheartedly forgiven (and please don’t silently slice me up in my sleep).

Ninjastep have forced a selection of sounds together that are often incompatible, and present to us, the endlessly bewildered listener, with bass-heavy, slow-beat songs that are too tough for ‘chillout’ (yuk) and not fast enough to disappear into the ever-present miasma of mentalist dubstep.

See Blow Me as proof: a song cobbled together from strange found-sound vocals, instrumental segments that normally would be out of place, and throbbing bass to shatter earwax.

Ninjastep – Blow Me

Production Line is a song that transmogrifies a muted trumpet and forces it into a echo-drenched dub-tinged stomper with a bowel-loosening bassline. Songs like this are notoriously difficult to pull off with aplomb, and always flirt with the dangers of sounding like a school choir trying something ‘edgy’.

Ninjastep have got it just about right, tip-toeing down that tightrope that has idiocy on one side, depressing normality on the other, and a baying audience all around. Unusual and new.

Tunabunny: Clank, Howl and FIBS

As someone who complains vociferously about the various bluster and guff that often accompanies the submission of music from PR agencies, I find myself in a quandary. “It’s best if we know nothing about the band at all,” I jabber, “the music should say everything.”

So, having just received an email from the PR pushing Tunabunny, I’m suddenly in dire need of information. Real information, that is – this email is full of fibs of the most corrosive kind; “Inspired by such cult artists as The Beatles and Norah Jones,” it blabs, and, wired with the heady throb brought on by the power of deceit, “M.I.A. is already questioning their authenticity.

Tunabunny – Flowers On The Stage (No Intro)

This kind of blatant smokescreen has, bizarrely, had the desired effect. I need to know more. Sad isn’t it? Still, when presented with bottom-of-the-well dirt-rock that echoes with a tinnitus rattle and squeals with the intensity of a recently-pealed bell, I suppose a little more info is an expected and constituent part of the transaction.

Maybe Flowers On The Stage, howling through a dark misamic fug, is a big fib in itself. Maybe Tunabunny actually make Christian MOR-Rock for mid-western radio stations. Maybe they don’t know themselves. Thus, under a cloud of suspicion, all judgements must be made on the music itself, yeah?

Shucks. Getting what you want isn’t always a good thing. Flowers On The Stage, though, is definitely a good thing – wailing quasi-coherently has never sounded so persuasive and adroit. There is definitely a song in there – it’s just a question of carefully picking it apart from the feedback. But don’t listen too hard – the truth is never as fulfilling as the legend.

Challenging, troubling, liberating. Nice.

myspace.com/tunabunnybunny

Poland: Plentiful, Simple, Niche

Perhaps the question today is no longer Why are you making music, but, Why aren’t you?

Think: the computer you’re reading this on will have a rudimentary sound editing program powerful enough to snip sounds from God’s Sample Crate – AKA Youtube – and quickly form a song of your own making.

Sure, the results won’t be to everyone’s tastes, but who do you want to be, Bon Jovi?

Poland doesn’t even aim to be Richie Sambora, and her music is febrile, spasmodic and odd. Note the ‘her’, by the way – almost all electronic music is make by men, so the fact this artist is called Holly is a true rarity.

But that’s the point – Sandy may well be chiefly of interest to its maker, but then almost all forms of art are. Just as blogging is really a writer’s stab at immortality through words, electronic music is perhaps its musical equivalent: plentiful, simple, niche.

Sandy is a formed from beautiful snippets of of other bits of sounds, other bits of songs. Listening to it is like accessing Poland’s mind for the briefest of seconds, and it seems a dizzyingly hectic, winningly bright place.

Bizarre and hypnotic.

MOREpocketclock.org/poland/

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 30th June 2010

In the last few exciting World Cup-themed editions of the Midweek Mixtape, the ANBAD Donkey has mocked, variously, zany no-catch goalkeeper Rob Green, wacky no-goals grump Wayne Rooney, and, inevitably, Carlos Valderrama’s hair.

This week, the donkey has an even easier job: he can simply use his natural form to adequately describe England’s performance against Germany. And so, with the usual tortuously tenuous connections to recent media events absent, we can just get on with this week’s mixtape:

FIRST! Josephine was described, rather self-grandly, by her PR people as a protegé. She seems more like a prodigy to me. A subtle but important difference – one is guided by others; the other shoots off ahead – alone, ambitious, precocious.

Josephine // I Think It Was Love

I don’t usually bite when someone offers me a big, old fashioned love song. My heart is far too black and dusty. But Josephine has a rare, lovely, woman‘s voice: not faux-soul bullshit like Duffy, not patronising hysterical-female crud like Florence Welch. Instead her voice is classic, clean, controlled and gorgeous. What a find. And from Manchester, too. So enjoy her soulful songs while you can, before they’re replaced by paeans to rain and gloom. Brilliant.

SECOND! Cerulean Crayons Mmm, crayons. A newly opened tin of pencil crayons is pretty much my favourite sight and smell in the world. Well, after this, anyway. Soft and calm, dense and flighty: if you like your music unfocussed and dreamy, Cerulean crayons are your best bet in this mixtape, mister.

THIRD! Burn Before Reading? Those crazy guys! How is that going to work? Still, it’s not for me to worry about the literary quirks of a bunch that make music that screams an inside-out knowledge of how rock songs should work: it doesn’t mean that you will necessarily like them, but plenty will, and that’s the point. If you are a band that pleases everyone, then – SURPRISE! – you are actually Coldplay; and if you are Coldplay, your definition of ‘everyone’ equates to ‘middle aged Guardian readers.’ So by virtue of a a few power-pop/rock/scuzz songs and a desire not to be Coldplay, BBR are keeping the spirit of rock alive. Easy.

FOURTH! Little Chestnuts –  the Italian music scene continues to surprise me, but perhaps that’s because I know so little about it. However, if Little Chestnuts came from Hoxton in London as opposed to the beautiful town of Genova, then I’m fairly sure that zippy, hooky and urgent songs like Nice Crash would have put them on the front of the NME by now. Read into that what you will – but the point is that Little Chestnuts are a good band.

DONE! Yup, done. Back to the World Cup…

Soft Priest – Rearranging The Furniture

One of the oddest repercussions of the widespread availability sampling and mixing software is not the massive explosion in the production of electronic music, but the massive explosion in the production of very similar-sounding electronic music.

Much of the electronic music I receive does indeed sound different – but only in that the sonic elements have been tweaked. The templates are almost always the same. Shuffling the furniture around in your living room doesn’t suddenly create a new home.

It’s strange that, when presented with a limitless array of options for making music, people still follow the herd. A quirk of humanity perhaps. And speaking of quirks, here’s Soft Priest.

Soft Priest // In The Bosom

If the majority of new electronic bands have been rearranging the three-piece suite, then Soft Priest has shaken the whole house like a snow-globe. In The Bosom is – and here’s a word I don’t use often – a masterfully executed dalliance with electronica; a song that retains vestiges of humanity, clarity and fun whilst remaining firmly positioned in the ‘defiantly weird’ camp.

In effect, this song is a six minute, soft-play smokescreen behind which Soft Priest is hiding. We learn nothing and sense everything. Why would you want to want to know anything else? Excellent.

www.myspace.com/softpriest

Ghetto Ghetto: A Two-Piece That Suits

There’s something undeniably appealing about two-piece rock bands.

It’s the limitations, of course. There’s always an innate admiration that two people can tease enough variety out of the smattering of instruments that their limbs can accommodate, and partly because such an arrangement almost always results in music that is unequivocally primal in its  make-up.

So can you guess what Ghetto Ghetto sound like? You’d be close, of course – as Ghetto Ghetto are a two-piece rock band, and thus fulfil the criteria outlined above.

They’re from Melbourne, are called appropriately basic rock names (Rob, Kent)  and have the kind of hair that bands used to have in the 90’s, before bands decided to get stylists and sponsored by fashion labels. This is all looking rather good, isn’t it?

And so it proves: You’re One Of Us is primary-coloured in every respect: teak-tough riffs, stolid, solid drums and lyrics music on the classic combination of love and alienation.

Yet – there’s a droning, lazy, warped quality to the noise itself, elevating the song above the drudgery of the sum of its parts.

This band could have sounded like Jet. Instead, they’ve found a way to worm something more interesting into the furniture. Nice.

MORE: ghettoghetto.wordpress.com

Koloto: In The Chromo-zone

koloto

Here’s something dreadful: I listened to Koloto‘s music, liked it; and then saw that it was made by a woman, and then I made a judgement.

I couldn’t even help it. It wasn’t a negative judgement, just that I suddenly looked at the music in a whole new way, merely because I found out that this producer of electronic music, unusually, was not a man.

Sigh.

But just to clarify: there is nothing ‘female’ about Kill Screen, just as there is nothing ‘masculine’ about, say, Underworld’s Skyscraper, I Love You. (Well, unless you subscribe to the skyscraper/phallus imagery theory, but I digress).

But my automatic response is quite odd, and probably says a lot; although about what, I’m not sure.

Anyway – Koloto is extremely talented when it comes to assembling a collage of noises and making them into a happy, jittering mess. see what you can pick out: I’m sure at one point there is a quick sample of coins being dropped onto a table.

 

Kill Screen is a game of two halves, and whilst the second, madly jabbering half is a perfect juxtaposition, I prefer the first half, which builds lazily, with odd sounds punctuating it; teasing the inevitable heaviness to follow.

And if we have to return to the thorny issue of gender for a second, isn’t it wonderful that the internet effectively rules out any prejudice and that a song can be appreciated for exactly what it is? No wonder so many artists hide under anonymity. Smart cookies.

MORE: soundcloud.com/koloto