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 – Beth Jeans Houghton

>Happy Mondays (of course) had a guitarist who was, variably, called ‘Moose’ or ‘Cowhead’, and Shaun Ryder himself would sometimes only answer to the moniker ‘X’. The Offspring have Noodles. 60’s band Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick and Titch had… well, never mind.

Bands, and their select members-club nature, are a breeding ground for mildly stupid in-joke behaviour. Part endearing trait, part eye-rolling japery, this knack for appellative nonsense is part and parcel of rock ‘n’ roll, whether us punters, with mere human names, like it or not. Even The Beatles had a Ringo.

Today’s New Artist, Beth Jeans Houghton, doesn’t need a krayzee-bonkers name to zip hurriedly past the wheat and the chaff. Her songs are shot through with a bizarre, unnerving and dizzy purity – all wrapped up in near-Gothic splendour.

Sweet Tooth Bird soars appropriately, sucking in swirls of beautiful sound and oozing a glorious, unguent sonic syrup back out. Golden is what synesthesiacs hear when they are bathed in glorious orange sunlight – unnervingly warm, bright and cosy. I naively assumed songs like The Garden to be more traditional, but when did you last hear a trad-folk song with such ethereal and angelic whisperings?

Beth Jeans Houghton is a wonderful discovery. Taking sweet and gentle folk music and skewering it with shards of crackling weirdness, her songs clasp you softly, albeit with a worryingly firm grip. You’ll not want her to let go. Listen here!

>Today’s New Band – Everything Everything

>Last night, I saw Pete And The Pirates* at Moho Live in Manchester. Since I first saw them two years ago, and then again six months ago, they’ve steadily got better – more charming, more interesting, more likely to become the huge success they deserve to be. If their fabulous new songs are anything to go by, their next album will be a corker.

We took a decidedly old-school approach to the gig – blagging our way in for free (“But the band promised we’d be on the guest list”), and smuggling in a hip flask o’ booze for surreptitious topping-up of cola. As we persuasively nudged our way to the front of the crowd (sharp elbows), the difference between a support band and the headliners became a little clearer than before.

Where the support band that we saw (I forget their name, but imagine a swing and a miss at Stone Roses-style Über-confidence and you’re there) tried to fill every moment with noise, P&TP had the confidence to allow ebb and flow, quiet and loud. It lulls the audience in as opposed to battering them with a wall of fudgy noise.

Today’s New Band also have this skill – and it is a skill – so be thankful for Mancunians Everything Everything, whose songs are cute, sharp and unusual.

Suffragette Suffragette is a clicking, polyrhythmic example of their finely-honed approach to songwriting. It weaves and bobs, dashing from choral, harmonising vocal over-indulgence to pared-down calm – which serve to push their superb weirdness to the fore.

Single Photoshop Handsome grabs a wild chorus by the ears and rides it hopefully, wrestling it to fit into their idiosyncratically off-the-wall framework. It yelps, shouts and chirps – but not for the sake of it – and then slips confidently into a huge, pounding, synth finale.

Everything Everything are now getting the radio play they’ve deserved for a while, and this is purely because they’re punchy, innovative and crafty. Lovely. Listen here.

*My amigo Martin said that they sounded like the Strokes had collaborated with 90’s pop-nobodies Eternal, which wins my vote for most ludicrous description of any band, ever.

>Today’s New Band – David Cronenberg’s Wife

>Oasis are in the process of releasing their new album, Dig Out Your Soul, at the moment. This is still Big News in the UK, and especially so here in Manchester, their home town. Seizing on the fact that this new-fangled ‘internet’ thing might be a good promotional tool, they have used a little-known website, MySpace.com, to allow YOU, the public at large, to listen to the whole album in it’s entirety before it’s released, you know, in shops.

So, here’s the brief A New Band A Day review:

  1. It’s a clunker
  2. Noel isn’t even the best songwriter in Oasis any more.

I don’t enjoy criticising Oasis, though it’s fashionable to do so. I was 14 when they released Definitely Maybe, and it was one of those fabulous defining moments that you get now and then in your teenage years.

Oasis list The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Sex Pistols among their influences. Today’s New Band, David Cronenberg’s Wife, list the Germs, Swans and The Birthday Party in the same section. One band is producing interesting and inventive music, and the other the same old cobblers. You guess which one is which.

Runaway Pram is a swirling, organ ‘n’ guitar-led, echoing stomper of a song that seems to have been recorded to deliberately disorientate the listener. At times, it’s so heavily soaked in reverb that I wondered if it had been accidentally remixed by Lee Perry in one of his more bloody-minded moods. It’s equal parts mid 60’s Psych and Garage, Goth and 96 Tears by ? and The Mysterians. Their music swirls around you, teasing and taunting you into having a good, weird, time.

David Cronenberg’s Wife – blurring the line between so many genres you’ll experience the pleasant feeling of been punched in the head with the contents of a Virgin Records bargain bin. Listen to them here!

>Today’s New Band – Q Without U

>

As anyone who has spent time stuck in a caravan on a rainy week in Wales will know, Scrabble is the kind of game that only people with giant intellects can really play. All the rest of us just take part, and grind our teeth with frustration as our opponent beats your last move of “dog” with “onomatopoeic”, or similar.

That said, these insufferable people are directly responsible for the invention of the video game, allowing us mouth-breathers to be victorious at something, so perhaps they can be spared from utter hatred. Either way, Scrabble champs would take a situation where they were faced with the dreaded “Q” tile in their stride. They’ve memorised the list of all words spelt using Q without U, you see. Yes, there are 24 of them. No, you won’t know what they mean, or ever need to use them. Or know how to.

For those of us with social lives, the only instance of Q without U that will be of any importance is Today’s New Band. From Glasgow, like just about every other band of any interest, Q Without U meld super-tuneful guitar rock with whizzy synths into punchy pop songs that, like in ace tune The Deficit Model, tread on the right side of traditional rock without descending into Runrig hell. So, melodic, but not drab, and not taking the easy route. Songs like Our Luck Is A Prostitute are quirky enough, with its soaring chorus, to soar a bit before floating gently back to earth.

Oh, and they say that they’re “Like the shit bits of your favourite band”, which is a good enough starting point for me.

Listen to their songs on their Myspace page here!

>Mike Yes Yes Ersing, and Lunacy – The Spice Of Life!

>
Everyone has a song that, when heard, will whip them up and away to a moment in their past. Mine is the title track of Spiritualized‘s Ladies And Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space, and only the opening space-shuttle bleeps are needed for an involuntarily reliving of heady art college days – the tacky plastic smell of cheap acrylic paint, the groping of strange art concepts and stranger art students.

Now Ladies And Gentlemen… has just been re-released, with the obligatory extra discs of new material, in an exciting black variation of the original’s pill-popping packaging. For once, the extra odds and ends aren’t superfluous, but, through long blasts of a capella gospel choirs and ambient guitar wobbles, fully explain the creative journey of the album.

Similar explanatory evidence might de-tangle the tortured complications of Mike Yes Yes Ersing‘s work. Whether the songs would dreamily evoke days gone by, or simply leave a ribbon of burnt-out synapses is another matter. For Mike Yes Yes Ersing has created a body of work that is nuanced as it is crazed, as utterly creative as it is head-spinning.

His songs are short, razor-sharp and playful in the way that a toddler who’s just found a nailgun is. Some songs, like A Priori Insistence Teething are dreamy, beautiful and ethereal – as angelic as anything you’ll hear all year. Others, like Mood Dependant Retrieval, are close to having been plugged straight into the mind of a schizophrenic.

Mike Yes Yes Ersing – A Priori Insistence Teething

Mike Yes Yes Ersing‘s songs scream to be heard. Menace, lunacy, happiness, desire – it’s all in his waif-like song-slivers. Each delivers a surprise, varying manically from the last. A true, thrilling original.

The View From… Glasgow

James was in a band called Juno, who, being a great new band once, were featured on ANBAD.

Then, just before their name would have been a perfect tie-in with the movie of the same name, they split up. To get over the trauma, James writes an article painting a rosy picture of the music scene in one of the UK’s traditionally most exciting musical cities...

Glasgow as a city speaks pretty loudly for Scotland, and it seems that a few bands seem to speak for the city but with an accent heavily on the morose.

However you don’t have to look very far to see that there are as many bands that add colour and vibrancy to the city as there are new venues opening to accommodate them. In the past year Glasgow has also seen two new festivals in Hinterland and the Stag and Dagger taking over venues such as The Arches, Admiral bar, Classic Grand, and the newly refurbished Captains Rest.

Crowds in Glasgow tend to differ a little depending on the venue, Mono and Stereo very much cater for the cool Indie types and often have classic performers from all over the world who its hip to like that may not be so well known in less well informed venues. The Captains Rest and Admiral are both relatively new as venues (in their current guises) but are both positioning themselves as serious stop offs for touring Indie bands. Recent years have seen the Cribs and Crystal Castles playing there before they went overground.

Pin Ups night at the Flying Duck club is a very interesting club because it is a mixture of local Indie bands and celebrity Dj’s. Aside from the promoters being very friendly the range of DJ’s has been remarkable including hosting NME aftershows and luminaries such as Alex James, Brett Anderson, Friendly Fires in the past couple of years. The nights tend to be great fun and often themed with a fancy dress angle.

Given also that this year also marked King Tuts 20th Birthday celebrations this seems an ideal time to focus on a couple of the new bands that have been making a name for themselves playing at some of these venues:

Futuristic Retro Champs



With virtually every reviewer who sees this band falling over themself to find new ways of describing just how shiny, fizzy and exciting their brand of synthpop is it is difficult to add much that hasn’t already been said. Formed as an art school project to soundtrack a film this band has already supported Kate Nash, Ladyhawke and Glasvegas.

March saw the release of their vinyl-esque ep and there are rumours of collaboration with a well-known Glasgow pop legend in the summer. If you ever find yourself in Glasgow make this band one to catch, I guarantee you will come out smiling.

http://www.myspace.com/retrochamps

Sonny Marvello


Sonny Marvello first made a name for themselves by putting on secret shows where audiences were blindfolded and taken to mystery venues for nights of debauchery and musical performances.

The band went on to win best international band at the renowned New York City Meany Festival and haven’t looked back since. With an accent heavily on the theatrical they know how to work a crowd nearly as well as they know how to write a catchy pop song. Leaning on the jaunty side of The Kinks they are purveyors of witty and infectious hooks and not afraid to dress up if the occasion warrants!

http://www.myspace.com/sonnymarvello

Suplex The Kid

Now this band possibly doesn’t fit the bill for appearing in my catalogue of cheer, as they are entirely instrumental. However their energetic and intense live performances have to be seen to be believed. Combining multiple effects pedals, violin bows and cheeky guitar riffs against an atmospheric backdrop they somehow make their guitars sound like they are speaking to you. I have absolutely no idea how they manage this, some folk just have all the talent!

http://www.myspace.com/suplexthekid

BLACK SEAS: Sold As seen

Even though I always ask bands for some text – even the creation of the briefest three-word sub-genre will do – to ground their music in reality just a little bit, I rarely read band’s accompanying blurb completely.

This is part laziness, and part stubborn stupidity, but it’s an approach that has served reasonably well, and changing at this point would just be a drag.

However. Black Seas sent a near-perfect pitch email, with a short snippet of text, some choice quotes, and – buoyant with the pleasure that comes from an easily-legible email – my eyes snagged on the glinting nugget that read “Our principle influences are Scott walker and Felt.” 

Well. I was sold at this point.

Frankly, Black Seas (the song), is the kind of song that broadsides me occasionally, because, at some point (around 1998) I assumed that melodramatic, overblown and theatrical rock would no longer be made. I thought Suede’s Dog Man Star nixed all that.

I was, thankfully wrong. Black Seas is almost perfect: deep, black, tumultuous, warm: perfect for wallowing in and dicing with an emotional death.

Making songs like this are fraught with risk: ludicrousness is only ever a millimetre away. Black Seas succeed at ever turn. Really, this is very terrific.

NB: Black Seas ignores all convention, by creating an eponymous song. Do they know nothing? The only allowed eponymous material that bands can ever produce are debut albums. Get it together, guys.

MOREsoundcloud.com/seasblack

 

>Today’s New Band – Soft Toy Emergency

>Firstly, please accept A.N.B.A.D.’s huge, sloppy kisses, wilted flowers and drunken apologies for their being no Band of the Day yesterday. It’s never happened before, and it won’t happen again, I promise. In fact, the litany of problems and unforeseen issues that stopped anything being posted was so ridiculously unlikely, It can’t happen again.

As way of further apology, we’ve managed to rustle up a Band Of The Day that is worth the wait. One part electronic mayhem, one part crazy yelping and a billion parts awesomeness, Soft Toy Emergency are the band to reach up your trouser leg, grab you by the balls and then drag you to the dancefloor – and you’d thank them for it.

Colourful, buzzing and twitching, MIX ME is driven by the squelchiest riff you’ve ever heard, and jerks itself around like a hyperactive kid at the school disco.

On I KNO U WANT IT, they channel the bizarro-spirit of the B-52’s and squish it into the shape of an electro-pop HIT. Managing to pull off the tricky challenge of producing a sound that is now and stylish but without any of the awful too-cool-for-school posturing that usually drowns the sound in idiocy.

Soft Toy Emergency sound like they are having the most loosely controlled fun of all time and it sounds a like a blast of monster proportions. You’ll want to put on technicolour spandex and frug yourself stupid, and then post a video of yourself doing it on Youtube – because you just WON’T CARE. Listen to their acey-tunes here!

The Zenobite; Twice Shy

I don’t think I’ve featured much Spanish music on ANBAD in the six years it’s been going – unless you count the endlessly brilliant Seward of course, but they would probably categorise themselves as Catalan or “from the moon” or something like that.

Anyway, I definitely haven’t featured much Spanish slo-mo acid house, which is pretty much what The Zenobite‘s Engranaje Mecanico is, and frankly this is about as much info as you’re getting from me, as it’s all I have to go on.

Still, there’s always time for his kind of thing, even if you think that this kind of thing is the last thing you really want to listen to. Trust me.

This is what people in 1989 thought all music would sound like in the future. If only.

Autosave: Iceberg Wide

It’s no secret that the names a band picks for their various endeavours has a disproportionate influence on the  interpretation of their songs, albums and even the band itself.

So a song called The (Shit-faced) Memoir either has iceberg-esque hidden depths, or is so freakishly outré that it is clearly and wholly nonsense.

Autosave, on this evidence, must simply like to toy with their audience: the title tricks you into expecting fluff, and so dazzles when we learn it is the exact opposite.

 

Because The (Shit-faced) Memoir is dense, broad, complex and sincere.

It’s a song displaying adroit technical ability and an honest connection with humanity. The band uses synths as nature intended: gently, unironically, softly.

The song ebbs, flows, doubles back and rebirths without jarring, and as a whole, it retains the heaviness drawn from its lo-fi roots whilst striving for a delicacy and elegance all of its own. Excellently dense/light.

MORE: soundcloud.com/autosave_music/