A New Band A Day 2008-2018

Welcome to ANBAD, which celebrated ten years online in April 2018, and is now “resting.” (I’m still jabbering on about music on my radio show and discussing new bands like, oh, I dunno, The Chats, on Twitter.)

However, ANBAD also has over 1200 posts featuring about 1500 artists. Most are buried deeeeep 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 music plugins, hyperlinks, images, formatting – and, frankly, the writing itself – is 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.  So scroll down and read on – and maybe you’ll find some long-forgotten band from 2009 that you’ll love.


 

>Today’s New Band – Cruiser Chimps

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Just imagine chimps cruising. Hopefully you’re thinking of the hairy fellas on a boat in the Med, playing crazy golf whilst waiting for an awesome buffet lunch, as opposed to the homo erectus version of Richard Gere in Pretty Woman. Either way, Cruiser Chimps is a great name for a great band. Check their myspace page www.myspace.com/cruiserchimps for a burst of punky goodness.

The songs sound a bit like someone copied a great punk single from 1977 onto a C90 tape, then took another copy off that, and then another, and then yelped some bonkers lyrics over it. That good. Listen, enjoy, and jump around appropriately.

—Don’t forget, ANBAD is running a reduced service this week, due to being on holiday and eating a lot of dried cod in Portugal. That’s why this post is a bit short. Full service as per usual next week—

Moscow Youth Cult; Poly-this, Poly-that, Poly-Want-A-Cracker?

I’d love to be a polyorchid. Wait – I mean polymath. A polyorchid is a totally different thing entirely, though perhaps both involve having a lot of balls.

Some bands are muso-polymathic, producing all sorts of sounds without, apparently, effort or complication. They zip hither and thither, tweaking this genre and that noise, producing something new, something old, and something in between. Think of these bands as the Anti-Oasis.

Moscow Youth Cult make all sorts of music –  here, a fun-to-the-max throwaway Mario Kart Koopa beach level-esque hula-pop, there a mentalist electro stomper – but inevitably, ANBAD will choose to focus on the most fun and stupid of them all: the Commodore 64 bleep-fest.

8-Bit City, like all 8-bit songs, plays it determinedly for laughs. Even if you have no recollection of 80’s video games, who could fail to smile at the ‘BLOOOOOOOOOO’ noises, the demented twittering and the crackly bass-substitute noises?

The inherent beauty of 8-Bit music is that it just doesn’t matter. By adhering to such rigid and daft boundaries, all emotional possibility except FUNNNN!!!!! are erased in a swathe of candy-floss-coloured glee.

Moscow Youth Cult knows this – hell, when it comes to musical styles, they know their onions – and they run with the frantic happiness induced by one too many listens to Lust For Life. Huzzah!

www.myspace.com/moscowyouthcult

CloZee: Air Apparant

It’s interesting to observe labels’ releases from afar, and even more interesting to see them select their artists as they move forward.

The posterchild for the new breed of sprightly, nimble and tasteful (urgh) labels is, of course, Bad Panda, but  Neuroplastic is another label who appears to be selecting a string of snappy music makers: Stereo Silence‘s deliciously now music has appeared on these pages before, and other artists like How Green aren’t half bad either.

CloZee is another Neuroplastic signing, and, inevitably, she makes music that is enticingly de rigueur – in the best possible way, of course.

I suppose that the surging, bright and choppy synth-driven music that characterises Jafump T is not shattering too many boundaries – but why should it?

But as a song that actually emotes without words; builds, drops and repeats with consummate ease, this is as sharp as you’d wish for. Soothing in the same way Air’s debut was, and that’s high praise.

MORE: neuroplasticrecords.com/music/clozee-jafump-t-eyes-in-eyes

Says She’s Ms. Blat – Lusty For Whisky & Facepaint

Vaudeville pop is tough.

One mis-step and you sound like a tedious Edinburgh Fringe comedy troupe – the kind that does Clash songs in the style of Gilbert and Sullivan.

When it’s done right – as in the case of Friends Of ANBAD, Louis Barabbas and the Bedlam Six – it’s entirely enticing: simply because, deep down in every human heart, lies a desire for debauched theatricality.

I will understand if Says She’s Ms. Blat are offended by being lumped into the Debauched Vaudeville camp, but it fits. The band also manages to eradicate any whiff of tweeness by marrying – somehow – the knockabout fun of a stage show with punkish, hip-hop pacing.

Violent Nudity is a superb name for a song which is, in turn, lusty, creepy, loving and dangerous.

It’s almost tiresome to label singer Lottie Leymarie as fiesty – but she is, and deftly treads that razor thin line between music hall nodding-and-winking and endearing fuck-you attitude.

Says She’s Ms. Blat are spinning convention until it is dizzy – and while you may not think their music is directed at you, your gut – lusty for whisky and facepaint – will know otherwise.

MOREsaysshesmsblat1.bandcamp.com

ANBAD’s SCATTER-GUN REVIEW OF 2012

ANBAD doesn’t exist in a vacuum, you know.

I mean, yes, it kind of does, as evidenced by all the thrusting up-and-comers that make up ANBAD’s Bands Of The Year.

But the point I’m making is that ANBAD has to be aware of the outside world to sniff out the new bands – so here’s ANBAD’s look back at 2012: chiefly the bands, albums and news too big to feature on ANBAD but ultimately too big to ignore.

THE DEATH OF ADAM YAUCH

The Beastie Boys, in the mainstream UK viewpoint at least, are still regarded as goofy pop-rap pranksters, and whilst there is an essential element of truth in this, the B-Boys are/were so much more than that.

At heart, the Beasties were driven by the desire to innovate (see their remarkable run of four genre-bending albums from Paul’s Boutique to Hello Nasty) but also their belief in doing the right thing.

Much of the latter was driven by MCA, a man who incorporated peace, Buddhism and gender equality into hip-hop – ideas which are still mainly absent in hip hop even now.

Couple this with a crazily rare determination to retain a sense of humour about music – whilst being deadly serious in the manner of making it – and it’s easy to see that his criminally early death is a monumental, terribly sad loss on a thousand important levels.

MMOTHS

An artist too young to drink at his Hype Hotel gig at SXSW, but with an enviable depth of lush sounds at his agile fingertips, and a deft feel for song structure that marked Mmoths out as one of the figureheads of the new breed of young musician that plugs away quietly in his bedroom and then amazes the world with his close, warm, personal music.

NEW YORK CITY

ANBAD spent the first few months of 2012 in NYC, causing trouble for the kind souls at the Hype Machine. It took me until now to fully digest what NYC is, even though it’s actually blindingly obvious: NYC is the centre of the world/universe/your ego.

This is simultaneously as good and as bad as it sounds; or, to put it another way, as good you want it make it. Here, capitalism is made steel, concrete and taut flesh, all thrusting as high as they possibly can, scratching the clouds, tempting you to climb (and maybe fall).

Beyond this portentious musing, I finally achieved a long-held ambition and stood on the intersection of Ludlow and Rivington, as featured on the cover of Paul’s Boutique. It felt great. But, despite what the young ‘n’ moneyed will tell you, gentrification does not add character, and it looks better on the LP cover. Such is life.

TWIN SHADOW’S CONFESS LP

Glancing back over the Beastie Boys’ career, it was noticeable how much goofing around and – whoah – having fun was a legitimate way to behave in the headier days of 80’s/90’s pop culture. Now, a New Seriousness has descended over music, and fun is for losers.

This would be fine if bands played it straight, but most hide behind a thick veneer of irony, clutching their influences like a pastiche-plastered shield, getting their excuses in first, not daring to keep their faces straight for real.

But Twin Shadow is the real deal: in turn agonisingly talented, handsome, gifted and aware. His new-wave-tinged songs are not mere impersonations, but meaningful, and are accompanied by accompanying art that veers close to pretentiousness, and just about gets away with it, just as good art ought to do.

SXSW

You’re probably better-off reading my stream-of-consciousness thoughts on “South By” from the time.

MUMFORD AND SONS GO GLOBAL

One wag pointed out to me that Marcus Mumford, aside from having the most upper-middle-class name of all time, is essentially a one-trick-pony: albeit he has one very good trick.

And he’s right: all of Mumford’s songs sound the same: inoffensively MOR, and as rousing as a campfire singalong which stirs up childhood urges. Their music is perfect for soundtracking both first dances and final farewells at nice, middle-class weddings and funerals worldwide.

Truly, we have the first Daily Mail Superband, and the final confirmation that guitar music isn’t dead: it’s just retired and taking it nice and easy from now on, thanks very much.

ALT-J’S APPEARANCE FROM NOWHERE TO ENORMOUSNESS

Regardless of what you think of Alt-J/∆’s music, one thing is almost probably true: you hadn’t heard heard of them in January, and now they’re everywhere. Some consider their familial Music Biz connections to be slightly dubious, but such thinking ignores the fact that Alt-J deserve their rapid rise, simply by producing a collection of songs that dare to step to a slightly different drum.

And, if anyone still doubted the power of music blogs: here’s a band that were supported heavily, early on and along the course to prominence by the same music blogs that experienced pangs of existential crisis at various points during 2012.

FINALLY, SOME THOUGHTS ON GUITAR MUSIC’S CAREFULLY PRE-MEDITATED AND ALREADY-TIRESOME “COMEBACK” IN 2013:

 

Sweeney Straddles The Sun: Psyched Out By Language

There are a few questions that people often ask me. Doesn’t writing about a new band every day make you go a bit crazy? Doesn’t sifting through the bad bands cause Skittles-coloured-vomit migranes? Just where do you find the time/patience/sanity to do it?

The answer to all those questions is the same: Pass me the own-brand gin, hombre, because my head feels like replicating the surprisingly explosive bit in Scanners. (Or you can help out in a less cheap booze-related way, here)

Anyway, a question I would like the answer to is: why does the Welsh language lend itself so well to psychedelic music? The records of two recent Welsh bands – Gorky’s Zygotic Munki, Super Furry Animals – lends a lot of credence to this idea. And remember Welsh Psyche-Hip-Hoppers Genod Droog? It just seems to… work.

Perhaps having a glut of words with an inherently beautiful and intrinsically kooky sound helps. It certainly does, in its own small way, for Sweeney Straddles The Sun, a Glaswegian artist who nabs some lovely Welsh prose in Bwyda Fi Agwedd, then manacles it the chorus of a swift song whose natty melody will bug you to death.

Sweeney Straddles The Sun – Bwyda Fi Agwedd

In some ways Bwyda Fi Agwedd is soft psychedlic poppy-rock, which sounds like the tag you’d see attached to a Creedence Clearwater Revival CD in a small record shop, but it fits. Note to concerned: Sweeney Straddles The Sun doesn’t sound like Creedence. Or, at least, his songs don’t come on 8-Track.

>Today’s New Band – The Very Most

>GIMMICKS! Here at A New Band A Day, we love them – to the point that we aren’t afraid of using cheap, near-moronic devices ourselves in an attempt to crowbar some variety into our shallow lives. Anything like that in the world of rock ‘n’ pop is worth a go, I suppose, and if it works and raises the profile of a good band, all the better. So: Today’s New Band, The Very Most, are giving away a free custom song with every purchase of their new album until the end of August. You tell them what you want the song to be about,and they’ll write it.

This is a good deal, assuming you like their music. There’s no point getting a song written about you and your life-long Roxette obsession if the band doing it is Extreme Noise Terror, for example. So here’s the good news – The Very Most are a good band, with charm and panache to spare. Their songs are as sweet and carefully constructed as a child’s model treehouse made of Lego. “Why don’t you call the cops on me?” they sing, in the similarly-named song, which may or may not explore the banality of children’s playground taunts.

Save the most or your reserves of pleasant surprise for their Custom Songs though – you might hook yourself a minor classic. MP3Hugger is quiet noise-rock, with a soft fuzz leeching through the indie-pop pleasantness just near the end. It’s a delicate delight – a quick, gentle fog of guitar and slightly cryptic lyrics. It’s on their MySpace page here. A whole album of songs written on the suggestions of fans and outsiders would be an interesting proposition. On the strength of MP3Hugger, I hope they consider it.

I suppose the only danger of a gimmick like that is that The Very Most might become ‘that band that writes free songs about you’ – but frankly, if it ropes in a few idiots who can’t look past that and recognise a good band when one is poking them in the ear, then it’s no loss. At very least, they’ll sell more records and have more people hearing their lovely songs, and that’s the most important thing. Good marketing is the new Rock ‘n’ Roll/Stand-Up Comedy/Black/Whatever. Hooray! Listen to their songs and getcha free song here!

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 20th July 2011

Lt. Drebin has been making hugely significant headway in the phone hacking scandal, since last weeks endeavours.

He’s gone straight to the top, and rounded up both Murdochs, and  Rebekah Brooks.  Photographic proof of his glorious success is to the left.

Oh, and amidst all this devastatingly nimble satire, here’s this week’s mixtape:

FIRST! Howth sounds a bit like Nick Drake. There, I said it. Needles and Pins combines melancholy with rousing, crackling rock. Oh, and each CD is deliberately stained with tea. Talk about bang for your buck. Really, impressively, lovely.

 

SECOND! (Hooker) are a band without compromise, and are easy to love. You’ll have to click here to listen to their angular and gutsy femme-rock, but if you like that kind of thing, it’ll be the best quarter-inch movement of your right index finger you’ll make all day. Bold, brash and deserving of much more attention.

THIRD! Thick Shakes – the allure of the fuzz pedal overwhelms every single guitarist at some point in their lives. Fortunately, this Fuzz Hysteria neatly overcame Thick Shakes‘ guitar player just as they were recording a bunch of trashy, straight-up, straight-down rock songs that demanded exactly that kind of grimy noise. Lucky, huh?


FOURTH! The Magic Lantern prove that something as simple as a hand-clap can transform a song from a suggestion of feeling to a rousing and warm folk-stravaganza. And therein is the beauty of all pop music: the seemingly insignificant proving to be the most important. Sweet and invigorating.

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

Mesita: A Dusty Collapse

The ANBAD output, you may have noticed, has ground resolutely to a halt over the last few days.

For once it’s not due to the fabled ANBAD New Band Demo Mountain finally collapsing under its own weight and swamping me neck-deep; but due to my de-camping to Austin, Texas, where I’m helping to throw spanners in the works whilst the Hype Machine’s Hype Hotel gears up for SXSW.

It would follow that this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity would allow me to feature plenty of Austin-bound bands on ANBAD, but that would be almost too simple, right?

Instead, here’s Mesita, who – as far as I’m humanly aware – are not playing

SXSW, but such is the bloated and confused nature of the festival that they may well be here somewhere, sleeping on a dusty floor and facing a punishing schedule of gigs in tiny back-rooms.

If they are indeed here, the throngs of Austin would do well to put down their free Mountain Dew merch, leave the Bikini Bar on 6th Street, and hunt them down.

Because Mesita’s Everything Is Burning is a deceptively contorted, hazy, mescal-pop song, that takes pleasure in its own dusty colourful nature.

As the song builds, deflates and then rummages itself together again, the feeling of deep comfort and happiness within the band becomes clear. A moment of clarity made melodic. Great.

MORE: mesita.bandcamp.com/