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.


 

>Twinkranes and Discrete Molecules Of Simultaneity

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“Unless a person passes through some Great Experience, that person’s life will have been for naught. Such an experience doesn’t have to be explosive or murderous… often a quiet life of loneliness can be its own Great Experience.” – Douglas Coupland, Girlfriend in a Coma

This rule is applicable to bands too. There are legions of bands who were good enough to make it, but for one reason or another, didn’t. I wonder if they still consider their experience a Great one? Or whether the lack of fame and money fundamentally stunted their trip?

These thoughts will cross Twinkranes‘ mind at some point too. Will Twinkranes‘ experience be Great? Who knows? But their music is far enough outside of normality to rank it as an interesting one. Their music is psychedelic in the truest, most right sense, and songs split, suddenly, with swathes of noise that crawl and slither.

When lyrics do appear – as in The Market Of The Bizarre – they jar gracefully against the sounds, shimmering and scooting like mercury above the music: alien, seductive, there for a reason you can’t quite place.

Twinkranes – The Market Of The Bizarre (Sample)

Twinkranes’ music also brought Keith Tyson’s Bubble Chambers: 2 Discrete Molecules of Simultaneity to mind. Dual universes, chance happenings, the random nature of life. Twinkrane touch on these mind-boggling topics, clever, quiet and calm. Great Experiences for all.

Moustache of Insanity – No Extraneous Headlines Needed

Now here’s a band whose headlines write themselves. It’s kind of them to help out us embattled writers like that.

In all honesty, they have little need to supply any more promotional material beyond their songs and their name, because really, what else is there to say once a band chooses to attach the moniker Moustache of Insanity to their endeavours?

LOL-tastic band names might cause you to involuntarily shrink away, fearing a combination of krrrrayzeee! joke songs and knock-around goofy ‘fun’, but suspend your inner taste compass for a moment, because Moustache of Insanity are surprisingly sweet and – yes – normal.

Moustache of Insanity / Talk Along

Talk Along is as touching and sweet love song as you’ll hear all week – heck – all month. Like the band, there’s little else that needs adding – it’s an addictively lovely song.

Moustache of Insanity have featured in the EasyJet in-flight magazine. Now that’s a sign you’ve made it.

MORE: moustacheofinsanity.com

Brave Mariner: No Reasons

It happens rarely with the songs I turn up in my relentlessly dumb quest for new stuff to listen to, but sometimes, I give a song more than one listen before I press delete (or, occasionally, save).

This is almost certainly because – please avert your eyes, gentle artistic souls – most new music I listen to is cobblers. Decisions are made in seconds, not verse-chorus-verse cycles. So what made Brave Mariner different?

Actually, I’m not totally sure, which made them ideal candidates to be featured.

If a band has something that convinces you to hand over more than 10 seconds of your time, they must be something right. Why worry about reasons?

 

It’s probably to do with the fact that the song Facely Friend is scuffed with gold leaf and jagged glass.

Facely Friend has a pre-chorus/chorus combo to die for; the kind that can serve as a calling card for a whole career. It’s a curiously saccharine adjunct to the rest of the song, which is angular and barren in comparison to the silky beauty in the chorus’ punctuation of the song.

Will this flash of brilliance catapult Brave Mariner heavenwards? Probably not – not these days anyway. But it will make you feel outrageously alive, and, well, that’s good enough.

MORE: bravemariner.bandcamp.com

Son Of Stan: Supermodel or Whippet?

sonofstanWell.

ANBAD took two weeks off to, variously, bask in its own dubious glory at the AIM Awards, where ANBAD got a bewilderingly lovely nomination for “Indie Champion” (Gilles Peterson won, and who better to lose to?); and then I popped across to the brilliant, The Great Escape-threatening Berlin Music Week, and ate my body weight in grilled meat.

Berlin Music Week’s associated new music festival, First We Take Berlin, by the way, is marvellous: highlights included warbly almost-there duo/trio Braids, crunch-pop band du jour Parquet Courts and Asbjørn, who were the surprise best-of-the-bunch.

So back to new bands: Son Of Stan, of course, is another one that got an automatic pass onto the pages of ANBAD simply on the strength of the marvellous pun that is their name. Oh, well, that; and the fact that Corsica (Hatchback Edit) is excellent.

Corsica is gorgeously odd, light and thin, like a supermodel or a whippet. It is understated, but pulses and shoots ahead like bursts of soft light. This is a song that sounds like it may have come together as a happy accident.

I hope so, because they’re often the best kind of songs. Son Of Stan may have a gag in their name, but they’re deadly serious when it comes to making ace tunes, so it all balances out in the end.

MORE: thesonofstan.com

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.

Big Troubles – Lost in Fuzz

“The thing is with your website,” a friend ventured last night, “is that you get so excited about every new band you write about.”

I think her point is that the world continues to spew forth a slightly bewildering number of very good new bands – or at least that’s how I’m interpreting it.

A case in point: Big Troubles are one of these good new bands over which all these superlatives are being spilt, and for good reason (as always).

I’m sure that, for new bands, the temptation of turning up all the knobs on the fuzz pedal is ever-present, and I admire all musicians who resist such base urges.

But when the result of doing exactly that sound as supremely, blissfully stratospheric as Bite Yr Tongue, who could argue against doing so?

 

Smartly, Big Troubles couple the transcendent blizzard of soft fuzz with elasticated, monotone vocals, and any concerns that we’re headed for a bout of hardcore navel-gazing are just about nullified. Nice.

MORE: bigtroubless.angelfire.com/ (Angelfire! Amazing…)

Hillary and the Democrats: Peeling Back The Years

Occasionally unforeseen events pricks your inflated sense of self-worth, and today’s covert prickle arrived in the form of John Peel’s LP archive being released onto an unsuspecting internet.

Anyone with even the vaguest interest in new music will get lost for hours in Peel’s virtual shelving units, and doing so serves as a reminder of the great man’s obsessive dedication to discovering, hoarding and sharing new music in a pre-music blog, pre-Pitchfork, pre-Hype Machine era.

For a long time, John Peel was new music discovery. Now we are all at it, with varying degrees of success – but he was the first, and almost inarguably the best, and an inspiration to anyone who loves music.

Even now, my brass-tacks question when choosing a band to put on ANBAD is “but would John Peel have played them?” Of course, I can only guess if he would’ve played Hillary and the Democrats‘ EP of songs about Sweden, but Let’s Play Kubb! is so outrageously pleasure-inducing, I can think of no reason to assume he wouldn’t.

 

Let’s leave the clichés about Liverpudlian bands being as equally choice purveyors of jangle-pop tunes as the Swedish to one side for the moment, and simply enjoy a band who are – and I mean this in the most wholly encouraging terms – a throwback.

Hillary and the Democrats aren’t a bunch of poseurs – they’re playing good music for the right reasons: to have fun, to share pleasure and with an ethic that prioritises making the best music possible. What more would anyone want? Excellent.

MORE: hillaryandthedemocrats.bandcamp.com

>Today’s New Band – Pooch

>Living out of a rucksack has a myriad of inconveniences – the primary being all those creased clothes – but on the whole, it’s a fairly charmed and streamlined existence. Happiness arrives through lack of possessions; a state of being almost diametrically opposed to usual life.

With the complications stripped away, living an almost care-free existence becomes the norm. It’s a bit like being a child again, except without your mum calling you in for fish fingers and chips at five o’clock.

Perhaps this is why so many people live an on-the-road life – bands, on the whole, love touring (though I bet Bono still wishes his mum would call him and those nice boys The Edge, Adam and The Other One in for tea now and again. Even tiny, monster-ego’d rock superstars need a bit of mothering now and then).

Pooch – Today’s New Band – are a bit egg-and-chips-for-tea in some ways. They’re simple, tasty and satisfying, and their songs go straight for the singin’ and dancin’ jugular.

Killing Me is a grubby disco thrash, and leaves boring stuff, like subtlety, to Radiohead. Pooch want you dancing, now, until you collapse in a happy, sweaty heap.

Spade is a more gravelly, grunting version on this theme, bassily shoving their wares under your nose, but demanding you to move, all the same. They perfect this DANCE, NOW! ideology in Fashionista and French Kiss.

There’s no shame in ‘just’ making music to dance to, though people will tell you it’s a dumb, pointless exercise. Don’t listen to them – if being intelligent and worthy was as much fun, then everyone would be doing it already. The rest of us can have our fun cake and eat it. Listen here!

Photograph by Stephen Edgar

Grasshouse; The Dangers Of Folk and Folk-Related Materials

All this folk music that’s been on ANBAD recently is making me feel decidedly uneasy.

Not that there’s anything inherently wrong with folk, I hasten to add, it’s just that – well… that’s the music my dad listens to, isn’t it? Am I, in the words of Joe Strummer, ‘growing up and calming down’?

Maybe. I do, after all work for Clampdown Industries, Inc. these days. Still, it doesn’t seem too long ago when, for me, a folk song might send me rushing to dig out old Mr. Oizo records.

So maybe it’s that Grasshouse‘s Bottom Of The Sea isn’t a folk record at all – it’s just a nice ‘n’ uneasy rockin’ stroll that just sounds like a folk song.

Grasshouse // Bottom Of The Sea

Actually it’s more blues, isn’t it? Or folk-blues? Or gothic-folk-blues? Whatever – Bottom of The Sea is a minor delight, retaining a strange sense of humanity despite the ludicrous premise.

As the song builds, it explores increasingly weird and uncomfortable cubbyholes, and as the song passed, so did any anxiety I had about listening to it. Blackest of black beauty.

soundcloud.com/grasshouse

NB: It’s a bank holiday for the next few days here in the UK, so normal service will resume on Tuesday – starting with the exciting Best Of March Radio Show Round-Up! Set knees to ‘tremble’.

>New Writers Wanted!

>Calling all writers!

A New Band A Day is a bit of a bedroom operation, run by one slightly exhausted writer! As ANBAD has expanded, so have the writing duties. And shortly, ANBAD will relaunch – mutating, and growing a whole host of new features, and an even bigger and better focus on brand new music than ever before! But: it’s too much for one mortal human mind to manage all alone.

As such, there’s now a great opportunity for aspiring music writers! I’m on the look-out for bright, sharp and exciting writers who have verve, style and a real zeal for new bands, new music and music writing. I really want to hear about local music scenes from all over the world, to help give more new bands a chance to get their music heard.

The one thing I don’t have is money. The ads on ANBAD pay for a small part of my running costs, and that’s it. The site is run for the love of music, that’s all.

Thus, don’t expect monetary compensation – but do expect a leg-up into music writing, occasional free music and gig tickets, writing advice, and – most importantly of all – an outlet for your writing on the bands you love.

So if you’re interested, email contributors@anewbandaday.com for more info…

Joe Sparrow // ANBAD // December 2009