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 – Baby Long Legs PLUS! U2-mageddon!

>Hooray! U2 have got a new single out! It’s so great that I’m going to buy the album on the day it comes out! They totally rock, and Boneo is, like, a genuine rock star, yeah?

OK – that bit was for all the estate agents who were reading A New Band A Day by mistake. It’s safe to assume that they’ve jumped into their Audi TTs and are heading off to their local record store* to wait to buy a copy. Anyway, guess what? The new single sucks and blows at the same time. Steel yourself and listen to it here. (Done? Feeling dirty? Here’s something brilliant to compensate.)

*the supermarket

So, in yet another land-grab of public consciousness, U2 have managed to rip off not only Subterranean Homesick Blues by His Bobliness but also (say it ain’t so!) Dirty Boots by Sonic Freaking Youth. The horror, the horror.

Before, they’d at least stuck to the tried-and-tested routine of just using delay pedals, being dreadfully bland and knuckle-bitingly over-earnest. But here, in their most audacious, crafty, awful move yet, they’ve gone for the credible jugular.

Fortunately, for those of us who can actually hear normally, it’s obviously a clunker of epic proportions. Expect to hear it on drab local radio, everywhere soon. Don’t expect to hear Today’s New Band, Baby Long Legs, on AOR FM any time soon, because life just isn’t fair like that.

Just like Sweden (see yesterday’s new band), Sheffield seems to be squeezing out good new bands, one after the other, like sausages from a machine. Except that Baby Long Legs are filled with quality ingredients, with no pig anus, eyelid or ear in sight.

Floor Turtle, mixes the hitherto unexplored combination of a huge – no, epic – howling riff and the swanny whistle to create a touching song about the shelliest of reptiles. There are too few songs about turtles, and this goes some of the way to redress the balance.

Today, the only experience most people have of the true, life-affirming squeal of a rock solo is while playing Guitar Hero on the Xbox. Hopefully No-One’s Around will have those pasty teenage boys dispatching their plastic guitar-shaped controllers in favour of the real thing, combining bitchin’ guitar wandering with disconcertingly familiar musings on love’s quirks to be a suspiciously true-sounding love song.

Baby Long Legs remind us that all of the world’s mystery, joys and – GASP! – even life itself are contained in one shuddering Les Paul screech. That their songs are throwaway, catchy and straight faced only seals the deal. Supremely fun, serious and silly all at once. Rock out here!

>Today’s New Band – Ex Lovers PLUS! Credit Crunch Revenge!

>In these recession-ridden times, hidden value – getting more than your bargained for – is about as good as it gets. This is especially true if you think that you’ve been diddled out of too much money in the first place. An example: when I went to see Pete and The Pirates last night, they had to prize the £9.50 out of my clammy hand. I paid it with half reluctance and half comfort – on one hand, nine pounds bloody fifty is a lot of money to see a band that hardly dents the Top 40, but then on the other hand, if that band is as good as P&TP, who cares?

They were, indeed, great. Lovely, charming, inventive tunes with lovely, charming, inventive lyrics. They reminded me a bit of James – not in their sound, but in their arty contrariness. But what made me totally forget all about the cost was the fact that their support band, Ex Lovers, were superb too. And so, in a fit of inevitable cunning, they are Today’s New Band.

Ex Lovers just work. There are so many bands that aren’t quite there – a good singer with a clunky band, or a great guitarist in a band that writes sub-Travis dirge. But Ex Lovers all fit together perfectly, like Stickle Bricks. And like Stickle Bricks, each bit of the band is different, and contributes something good to the whole. (No more dreadful toddler’s toy analogies, I promise.)

Their gentle songs have that great indie coyness that has been hitherto trampled over in the rush for ‘dancefloor’ staccato beats and choppy too-cool guitars. Listen to Just A Silhouette, and swoon to the dreamy vocals, snappy hooks and the way it drifts into the chorus. Then – more hidden value – bathe yourself in the total absence of pretentiousness.

There’s something softly defiant about Ex Lovers – all the songs sound like they are just about to dissolve nihilistically into warm fuzz. When I saw them last night, they were smart enough to only let that happen once or twice.

Ex Lovers play songs that do exactly what you were hoping they’d do, just when you were hoping it would happen. Thanks, Ex Lovers, for making that £9.50 seem like a bargain. Their songs are like soft electricity, a descripiton which I freely accept is the most pretentious phrase I have ever typed. But it fits. Listen to them here.

>Today’s New Band – Miracle and The Soul Interpreter PLUS! Beer Heaven! Beer Hell!

>The National Winter Ales Festival rolled into town yesterday, and, being the troopers we are, your brave A New Band A Day correspondents did our duty and duly attended. If you want to see what the Internet looked like in 1997, go to the festival’s website here. Stepping into the Coliseum Of Ales, and being presented with a bewildering number of beers, ciders and perrys, we cast off the shackles of decent behaviour and got well and truly stuck in.

The beauty, and indeed, horror, of a beer festival, is that the words “So many beers, so little time” buzz urgently like a neon light in your head. Everyone at a beer festival knows that the temptation to try this, that, and the other will ultimately end in disaster, and yet plough on regardless. And lo, that is exactly what happened to us too.

So today my poor head is being nursed in a perhaps-too-touchy-feely, caring way by Today’s New Band, Miracle and The Soul Interpreter. Their songs linger between the shimmer of house music and the grind of R&B, and a step removed from either.

Whatafuckingfailure is a jazzy piano loop, aching vocals and a sense of emotional doom. It’s pared back and lean, leaving plenty of room for the lightly downbeat gloom.

Doideeboid is buzzy, hummy and similarly sparse; its clicking drums occasionally interrupted with punchy bursts from a gospel choir. Sleazy and slick, this is the song that man you shouldn’t be tempted by would whisper in your ear, as one hand rests on the small of your back.

That Miracle and The Soul Interpreter are bold/daft enough to pull off a cover of the Steve Miller Band‘s Abracadabra by turning it into a funky, dancefloor creeper is confirmation of their talent. They sound slick and confident. Get seduced, here!

>Eccentric Millionaires, The Worst Band in The World, and Today’s New Band – Weird Gear

>Here’s a horrible truth: the rock ‘n’ roll world is overwhelmingly unfair. Unfairer even than real life, where bad stuff happens randomly to whoever, whenever. In Rock ‘n’ Roll World, the odds are actually stacked against you if your band is one or any of the following:

  1. New
  2. Inventive
  3. Good

This is a bit of a problem. Surely all of those things are what everyone actually wants to hear? And weren’t bands like, duh, The Beatles all of those things and a bit of a success? Well, yes and yes. BUT – here’s the trump card: Scouting For Girls. Not only are they a band utterly devoid of imagination, talent or likability, but they are also hugely successful.

They have sold over half a million copies of their execrable debut album. I have been clinging onto a vain hope that this figure is so inflated because an eccentric millionaire, driven crazy by the gut-wrenching inanity of the omnipresent She’s So Lovely, has been buying every copy available to prevent the general public from ever having to listen to it. But I think this might not be the case.

What is so galling about Scouting For Girls’ success is that, at heart, they are a simple Indie band that plays simple Indie tunes – much like the wonderful Popguns did in the late 80’s. But guess which band sold a bazillion copies of their album, and which one sold half a dozen?

Celebrate the good bands, while you can, is the moral of this story. One of these good bands is Today’s New Band. Weird Gear have taken the soundtrack from a low budget early-80’s sci-fi TV show and made it into music that is both enjoyable and danceable. This alone is some achievement, especially if you’ve ever sat through an early-80’s BBC sci-fi show.

While the title of Hamm Ond Cheese is almost too pun-tastic for words, it bubbles enthusiastically along, pulsing forwards with all the electro lo-fi nerdishness you’d expect of a band that have excitedly drawn up, in mind-boggling detail, a list of every single piece of electronic gubbins they used to create the sounds.

This is all part of Weird Gear‘s charm – electro-instrumental nerds are still outsiders in the four-square guitar-drums-bass-singer world of Rock ‘n’ Indie. Songs like Moulange, synth-o-tronic and sweeping, are so out of place with music today that they travel full circle and become vital in their opposition to the norm. Cobble together a Dalek out of toilet rolls and papier maché and travel back in time with Weird Gear here!

Mont Blanc: Mange Tout

Visiting Japan, people have told me, is the closest you can get to visiting another planet. For a country that has freely and enthusiastically absorbed foreign culture, this is some achievement. But this osmotic clutch at foreign culture has somehow balanced with native behaviour, and unsurprisingly the hybrid is wildly inventive.

With this in mind, then, what is it that Mont Blanc have absorbed, and would you want to suckle on the same teat? As far as 80’s Europop/Swoon-House/Lo-Fi/Gabba conflations go, Mont Blanc’s is definitely the best yet.

Mont Blanc – Wake Up by ITCManchester

Shoving conventional wisdom to one side, and then abashedly welcoming it back into the fold, songs like Wake Up will catch even the most cynical listener off-guard. Always straying just over the line of expectation, the song typifies Mont Blanc‘s determination to jilt normality.

I can only imagine what benefits are gained by having identical twins as the central component of the band. I can also confidently say that their presence can’t help but ensure that Mont Blanc never sound, well, normal. Strange, keen and refreshing.

myspace.com/montblancband // Mont Blanc are appearing at In The City on Weds 13th October // More Info

NB: ANBAD was blighted with horrendous technical problems yesterday, hence the new-band absence. Apologies…

>Today’s New Band – Held By Hands

>Much like a good joke, the outcomes of life’s intricacies depend on great, erm, you know…. timing. We’ve all thought of the right thing to do or say just 10 minutes later than would have been useful – the witty put-down to the brainless idiot who mocked you in a bar, or the slowly dawning realisation that maybe saying ‘yes’ to an asymmetrical mullet may not have been the right course of action.

The same is true with bands. So many bands have been in the right place at the wrong time that it’s painful. It’s a horrible truth is that if you are out of kilter with the majority, the chances of recognition are minimal – you could call it Van Gogh Syndrome. Fortunately most musicians don’t follow his example to the letter, otherwise there would be severed ears scattered around guitar shops and recording studios all over the country.

Today’s New Band, Held By Hands, were one that I had on my ‘to do’ list for a few months. As much of the decision-making process behind electing each day’s new abnd is almost entirely arbitrary, today suddenly felt right to be a Held By Hands day. Their porcelain-delicate songs, which build and build but still seem as light as air at the end, were just perfect for easing gently into the coming week.

So how bowel-churningly typical that I revisited their Myspace page to find that Held By Hands split up about 3 weeks ago. This all leaves their beautiful song, Trading on Past Treasures, even more poignant, and definitely more fitting. It’s a typically light, thoughtful and pretty swoop through introspectiveness, reaching a chorus of, “My God we were innocent/ My God, it was such a good time.” Listen to their songs here, before they disappear, and mourn a bit for the passing of a lovely, unique band.

Vena Portae: Torn Pages, Elliptical Pleasures

Remember when bands were just bands? You know – sticking together through thick and thin, the last gang in town, endless solidarity, yadda yadda.

Time was when your belief in a band could be shaken to the core if, say, the bassist nipped off to pootle around in a side project.

No-one cares about this any more, of course, least of all bands themselves. It’s so easy to record songs today (hell, Gorillaz have whelped an album they recorded on an iPad) that obscure side projects, intercontinental-collaborations and secretly-longed-for self-indulgent free-jazz ensembles are the norm.

Vena Portae (which, band name fans, is a vein that carries blood to the liver) is the collaborative side project of Emily Barker and Dom Coyote. As an example of the democratisation of technology, information, and, thus, the un-boxing of creativity, their song Day After Vows is perfect.

Day After Vows is essentially an example of the music of now: quickly made, fire-and-forget, endlessly curious. These songs aren’t designed to please crowds or act as the tuning fork of a generation of disenfranchised teens – they are made simply because the artist wanted to, and as such they can stand purely on their own merits.

Capturing of a moment of pure creativity, momentum and inspiration, this song lulls, soothes and poses as many questions as it answers. Found sounds are snatched and bent for the purposes of a song with no reference points.

Consider it a lovely curio, a glimpse of a sudden urge, a torn page from a bursting notebook, and it’s an art piece; approach it as an elliptic dream-song and it’s a sensual pleasure. If this is the future, I’m more than happy to slip quietly into it.

www.emily-barker.com // www.domcoyote.net

The View From… North East London

In this scathing View From feature, fabulously-be-named North-East Londoner Massimo Zepettelli bemoans the local new music vacuum, and suggests how things could (and should) change for the better…

London. One of the most thriving cities in the world for music and all kinds of culture. Many (rightly) presume there to be somewhere to enjoy live music in all geographical corners of the capital.

Sorry, not North East London: Seven Sisters, Tottenham Hale, Blackhorse Road, Walthamstow, Leytonstone, Snaresbrook and South Woodford. Nothing is near any of these stations.

What a shame that no one has realised this gap in the market. I will focus on Walthamstow because this is where I live: we have no cinemas, no comedy clubs, no theatres, and no music venues.

The closest (and only) venue that I know of in the areas I mentioned above is The Standard on Blackhorse Road, embarrassingly home to the longest line-up of cover bands.

It’s like a needle in a haystack trying to find a band who writes their own songs in the listings. It’s actually a really nice venue, quite big and literally opposite the station, so it’s ideal for travellers… IF a good band were to be booked.

So where is the scene? I am going to blame awful promoters and a lack of faith. Bollocks that the market isn’t there – it’s London in Zone 3 for goodness sake. It’s only 30 minutes bus journey away from two of the trendiest parts of East London – Islington and Hackney.

No one wants to risk parting with their money in our area. But I promise you, if enough promoters and music lovers have faith and put on a couple of good acts (presuming you have the contacts for good/up-and-coming/semi-established) bands then The Standard and a new venue in Walthamstow will thrive.

The rent is nothing compared to Islington and Shoreditch either and the Olympics is coming up in neighbouring area, Stratford. There’s every reason to set-up shop now.

Let’s compare to the other end of the Victoria Line: Brixton. The Brixton Windmill is a great venue which has put on loads of great artists in the past who are now massive: Maximo Park, Noah & The Whale, The Cribs and get Cape Wear Cape Fly to name a few.

However, the venue is a 15 minute walk up much more ghetto streets than the 15 second walk in Blackhorse Road; I reckon it’s impossible to be mugged in such a short distance.

What Walthamstow and North East London needs is a nice, small venue with character like The Lumninaire which will attract semi-established acts, secret shows for bigger artists and allow showcases for those starting out.

Follow Atlum Schema/Andy Mort’s drive to revive the Coventry scene. If it can be done in Coventry, it surely can be done in London.

Massimo Zeppetelli writes a blog titled ‘My Fave Bit’, where he shares his love for that great bit of a song which you can’t help rewinding and listening to over and over again. It’s a genuinely excellent read.

The View From… Melbourne

In the first of  ANBAD’s new View From features – where writers from all over the world give us an insight into what’s happening to new music where they are – Chris A introduces us to a story of lost talent, possible redemption and an astonishingly facile dance phenomenon that will blow your mind…

Australia. Referred to by our tourism administration as ‘The Sunburnt Country’, referred to by fellow Australians as ‘Australia’. Australia contains more than just cute fuzzy wildlife and cricket champions- it contains the great city of Melbourne; which incidentally is where I live.

Think of Melbourne as a less-famous version of the more well-known Sydney; the difference is that Melbourne does not have a ghastly white pointy monstrosity where opera is supposedly performed.

Instead it contains all the culture of Australia, the film industry, amazing art galleries, literature… the list goes on. However, somewhere, we lost music.

Melbourne has produced in the past musical legends such as Men at Work (Down Under), Skyhooks (Horror Movie) and the locally famous Daddy Cool whose 70s hit ‘Eagle Rock’ still remains a popular drunk-sing-along tune in the parties of today. But what are we doing now that 2010 has rolled along?

Unfortunately, now that The Avalanches’ fame has died out after the indescribably amazing hit Frontier Psychiatrist, The Living End moved onto a less daring and more profit-safe sound and the consistently brilliant Cat Empire are pushed into the underground cult fan scene; Melbourne is left with no hit bands worth a mention.

But the real tragedy of Melbourne’s situation is in the upcoming ‘talent’.

Every Battle of the Bands can now be more likened to a side-fringe hair competition, with more angsty teens trying to form mosh pits than you can poke a My Chemical Romance CD at.

The amount of vocal-cord shattering, eardrum bleeding screamo bands in the city is more tragic than the lyrics that the bands themselves scream. Sydney has taken the lead in Aussie music with Electro-punk acts The Presets, and the upcoming Cassette Kids.

However there is still hope for the beloved Melbourne: Techno-clubbers enjoy The Edgy and The Prince clubs as places to do the ‘Melbourne shuffle’ to The Bloody Beetroots’ ‘Warp 1.9’ on repeat.

The Hardstyle Trance scene in the city is notoriously conjoined with the Melbourne-exclusive social stereotype ‘Muzza’, a phenomenon that- (like the hideous architecture of Federation Square) has to be seen to be believed.

Alt. rockers can take refuge in The Ding Dong Lounge, Revolver and Nighthawk, where Melbourne’s musical saviours; bands like Vixia, Johnny Rock and the Limits and The Solomons fight with their backs against the wall to fend off the hordes of emo sympathizers, wannabe Cannibal Corpse-esque Death Metal bands and Melbourne-Shuffling Muzzas.

They bring rock with tangible melodies and at the very least – remotely understandable lyrics – back to the locally deprived fans. Melbourne music may yet rise again.

Chris A//Melbourne//agorilladressedaschris.wordpress.com

Want to write a View From article about your home town’s music scene? Email contributions@anewbandaday.com and let us know!

Years Of Rice And Salt, and Post-Rock’s Beautiful Quandary

Post-Rock: the strange, febrile cousin of Rock ‘n’ Roll. I’ve pondered on its relevance before without really coming to a conclusion. Initially, I put this indecision down to sheer flightiness, but have now realised that this non-committal wandering is actually quite post-rock in itself.

You see, the genre is wrapped in a quandary fully formed by its very existence. Post rock takes the guitar/drums/bass template of every rock band and stretches it into a wider, distressed, more distorted being. And this is both its downfall and its saving grace.

Here’s the one accusation most often levelled at Post-rock: that it all sounds the same: overlong, unstructured and self-indulgent. The truth, I think, is that all these complaints are valid; and also that these traits are actually the point.

So yes, some of Years Of Rice and Salt’s songs are reminiscent of other post-rock outfits’. Similarly, all of Boards Of Canada‘s albums sound virtually identical, and I love them for it: creating one sound, and repeating it, pulsing it and nurturing that one feeling on and on, not allowing it to drop or end.

Years of Rice and Salt // Occasional Flashes Of Warmth

Thus, YORAS‘s songs should sound almost just as you’d imagine, by definition, and for good reason. A song like  Occasional Flashes Of Warmth might not stun you with novelty (as such), but if that’s what you’re looking for, then go and dive into a pile of Captain Beefheart albums.

These songs are supposed to invoke feelings, create situations and breathe life into your daydreams, not pull up trees and punch you on the nose. YORAS use their defined palette of sound and attack with all the trickery and skill that they have learned. It works, and you’ll be grateful.

www.myspace.com/yearsofriceandsalt

*Sorry there was no new band yesterday: these last few days have been brightened by broken bones and various illnesses. I’m better now, honest.