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 – The Joy Formidable

>The weekend already! It’s been a weird week on A New Band A Day. Coherency is low on the ANBAD agenda at the best of times, but this week we’ve been all over the shop like Amy Winehouse on DisneyLand Paris’s new ride, Journey to the Centre of Crack Mountain.

We’ve romped between super lo-fi tinkling with Magpied and the sleepy bleeps of oMMM, via the rollicking insanity of the Velvet Orchestra and the jaunty jangles of Buen Chico. So in some ways, Today’s New Band, The Joy Formidable, is a bit like the conclusion at the end of a high-school essay, albeit an essay that begins, “What is a New Band? The dictionary definition of a New Band is…”.

That is to say, The Joy Formidable are tinkling, sleepy, rollicking and jangly all at once. This is a Very Good Thing, and can be plainly heard for yourself on their track Cradle, a driving pounder of a song, which, with its “Woo-woo-woo” male/female vocals, sounds, frankly, a bit like what My Bloody Valentine would sound like without quite so many layers of fuzz. Austere punches its way forward bluntly but delicately, leaving you sure of their intent – to RAWK, but in a measured way, slightly reminiscent of Yeah Yeah Yeahs in ‘noise’ mode.

I usually wouldn’t compare bands to others – it’s mainly unhelpful – but look, I’ve just done it twice. Maybe it’s because The Joy Formidable are really good, maybe it’s because I’m feeling lazy. I hope it’s the former. Even more thrillingly, all their songs are FREE! to download at their MySpace page, and their’s even a remix by old friend of ANBAD, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs! What more could you ask for, really? Listen to their great stuff NOW, here!

Tripwires – The Best Song Of 2011 (That’s Actually From 2010)

It’s symptomatic of new music’s relentless, dizzying, thoughtless rush for the new that most of the “Best Of 2010” lists had been and gone by mid-December.

Anyone bold enough to publish a list at a sensible time – like, say, the beginning of 2011, when you can actually look at the previous year as a whole – will witness their work ingloriously flounder in a whirlwind of “Tips For 2011” lists.

This relentless pace is shortening careers, ignoring slower development and denying breathing room for everyone – bands, writers, gig-goers, everyone. This stupidity won’t change any time soon – just yesterday The Vaccines, a band who have been around for the blink of an eye, were shoved on the front of the NME and became the latest bunch of misfits to be hailed as saviours. Good luck to them.

Tripwires are a band that the NME won’t be putting on the cover because they’re ancient in modern terms – they’ve been around for over two years. Get with the program, granddad!

Cinnamon takes the usual Shoegaze starting points, but that’s not a problem – it’s more of a reflection of a specific genre’s wholly identifiable sound. No-one, for example, bothers highlighting The Vaccines’ starting points; they’re taken as read when you create another riffy rock record.

Besides, such a genuinely delicious slab of noisy, brutal-soft pop could not have been created with any other tools besides the miasmic swirl of hyper-echoed guitars, buried, frantic drumbeats and vocals that dissolve into the ether.

Cinnamon might be a blunt instrument, or it might be a deft, monstrously delicate and gossamer-thin thing of beauty – you choose. What is clear is this: here is the first great song of the year. Except, of course, that it was from last year. Perhaps that’s the point. Tripwires: Wonderful.

www.tripwires.co.uk/

The View From… Coventry

My Spanish friend Diego, who is living in Manchester to learn English, finds the phrase ‘sending someone to Coventry’ endlessly amusing.

‘What is so bad about Coventry?’ he asks, over and over. ‘Please stop asking me and go and find out,’ I tell him – but now the lazy so-and-so could just read this article. Andy, who writes songs under the moniker Atlum Schema, is frustrated and heartened by both Coventry’s musical lull and coming renaissance…

After chatting to a friend of mine who is a drummer in a Leamington Spa based band my attention was swiftly brought to examining the state of the music scene in Coventry and Warwickshire.

What grabbed me about what he said was that the band had decided to diminish the number of local shows they were playing, looking instead to concentrate on bigger cities: Birmingham (19 miles west of Coventry) and London (95 miles southeast) where they would more likely be able to make things happen.

The question that came to mind was why they felt they needed to do this, was it indeed true that for any local artists aspiring to take their music to the masses they would have to get out of the area in order to make this a reality?

Is the local music scene in Coventry and Warwickshire really that deplorable?  There are, I think two answers to these questions – both yes and no.

When it comes to bands and music, Coventry has a small city syndrome.  It rests upon its laurels of past success and lacks any real progressive drive, finding itself an emulator rather than innovator of exciting music, stumbling on success instead of searching for it.

A perfect example of both these aspects is evident looking back to the late seventies. Coventry was on the map as an exporter of 2 Tone records and ska bands such as The Specials and The Selectors who made waves worldwide.

There is rightly great pride in the city for this moment in music history, but rather than building upon any success it has tended to sit back on it and aspire to the past rather than seeking out what could make them proud in the future.

That said there is still a huge amount going on in the area; it is often a stop off for touring bands of all sizes with lots of venues to accommodate all levels of need. It is not through a lack of places for local music to grow and develop that causes the desire for bands head to ‘the city’ but instead what I believe to be a comfortable, uninspiring and disparate music culture.

Coventry lads The Enemy are another, much more recent example of success for the city and their footprint is still evident, but again they are a band that somehow got through, due to huge strategic industry involvement rather than as a product of a flourishing scene.

They were a big deal in the area and their name was everywhere, but I knew very few people who had actually seen them play prior to their immediately massive success which thrust them full-speed into an industry fuelled hype-fest during 2007, and then… they were gone.

One problem in the area is that rather than interesting one-off events that promoters, artists and fans have time and reason to get excited about, there are loads of regular weekly nights (mostly acoustic) that attract sparse audiences. The cause and effect of low turnouts generally results below-par acts too.

Promoters are desperate to fill loads of slots with anyone willing to do it (generally for free too) – the need for quantity therefore far exceeds the need for quality. It is not through a lack of great bands in the area that there is this sense of mediocrity, it is rather through a grass roots infrastructure that has become stuck in its ways and very inward looking.

It is not all doom and gloom however as recently there has been an awakening in the area to the problem and artists, music lovers and venues have started to really consider how to make things better.

There is a rich culture of art, poetry and music in the city, which has massive potential possibilities if we band together and move forward as one rather than everyone getting stuck in their own little area of individual quicksand that no one else really cares about.

Despite the tone of this article I am actually on the whole excited about the music scene in Coventry and Warwickshire over the next few years.  I’ve been discovering many great local bands and believe that if they stick with it and actually do a little bit of work themselves to make the scene great rather than pining after the grass up the M6 or down the M40 it will be a fruitful and exciting place to be.

I would love to hear from anyone with similar experiences, wherever you are and any advice you have for moving things forward. In the meantime watch out for Being Jo Francis, Akeal, Post War Years, Don’t Move! Lee Mitchell and Men in Caves, just a small puddle in the huge pool of local talent.  Now let’s make things happen…

So why not help Andy make things happen? Listen to his excellent music and download his equally good album at  atlumschema.com.

>The Great Band Backlog Enema: The Doctor Will See You Now

>Yowch! It’s been a bit of a shock to find that this ANBAD New Bands Backlog was even bigger than previously thought. For the uninitiated, this is the latest in a short, but ever-lengthening, series of posts with the explicit aim of de-cluttering the metaphorical Spare Room Full Of Bands That Didn’t Quite Make It in the equally imaginary ANBAD Towers.

We’re nearly there now, and in truth, it’s been a more than worthwhile exercise. We have re-unearthed some bands who shouldn’t have been in there in the first place and thus have set them free to puzzle your ears and minds. Equally there have been some duff bands too – but this is the one instance where democracy rules on ANBAD, so you can decide for yourself.

Today we have, for your delectation/defecation:

Turnpike Glow – Chiming, charming purveyors of a quaint pop/twee-rock/folk conflation. Wobbly, sweet songs for sunny days, and might sit nicely on your radio as you enjoy a cold cider in the garden. This Heat is sweet, happy and shiny – suitable for certain moods and possibly even meteorological conditions too – but, yes, nice.

The Kick Inside – A band whose name leaves me unsure as to whether it’s a sweet nod to the joys of pregnancy or a cloying nod to the joys of pregnancy. Regardless – Oh, Vanity! is a fey teenager’s mopey conversation with the mirror, set to a superbly jaunty bassline and a guitar with jangle to spare. It’s Always The Quiet Ones is worldly-wise and naive all at once, a conflict that may infuriate some and be endearing to others. Listen and decide…

Two bands then, who will divide opinion, but at the very least will strike a chord with most – though especially with angsty teenagers. As always.

>Today’s New Band – Turquoise Cats

>
Sometimes there are bands on ANBAD that trample all over convention: ideas like song structure, composition and ooh, I don’t know, sound itself. In truth, these bands are my favourites, regardless of whether the results of their innovation are actually pleasant to listen to or not. It’s the daring and disregard for conventional wisdom that’s the thrill more than the listening experience itself.

For this divisive reason, I try to keep these bands to a minimum, in an attempt to avoid driving readers away in droves, but I allow myself the occasional moment of self-indulgence when it’s clear that a band is thoroughly loopy but still producing good music.

Thus: Today’s New Band, Turquoise Cats, defiantly odd producers of peculiar music. And a sense of humour too, if song titles like OMGLOLWTFBBQ are anything to go by. OMGLOLWTFBBQ trembles terrifically; then rises, menacing and angry, throbbing and flailing.

The Beastie Boys said that Hello Nasty was influenced by, amongst other things, Boggle, and maybe a similarly dice-based family game determined the outcome of Turquoise CatsYahtzee, a song that bubbles and burbles. Crazed clapping, musical boxes and demented clicking all find a home here, and whtfltpttrns/mgphrrstrs is, frankly, an exercise in summoning up eerie sounds, which force your skin to crawl confusedly.

Reviewing bands like Turquoise Cats isn’t easy because there’s so little that actually makes sense to go on. What this does mean though, is that the listener isn’t allowed any connection with the music other than those allowed by the music makers, and the devolution of power is a nice feeling. Listen here!

>Today’s New Band – The All New Adventures Of Us PLUS! Hair!

>I snuck into one of the local university’s end of term parties last night. It’s been a while since I was a first-year Uni-botherer. This is what I learned about 18-21 year-old Film and Media students:

  1. The more swept-across your fringe is, the higher your social status. Some fringes started just above the ear. Men appear to have the monopoly on hair-straighteners now.
  2. The Youth are fat. I was nudged by one student who was so rotund that it felt like I was hit by a milk float.
  3. The songs that filled the dancefloor were by MGMT and Kings Of Leon – but you probably guessed that already.

The upside to all this is that, apart from having a good time at someone else’s party, I left feeling more masculine and slim than I have for a long time. It felt like I’d hopped over the dividing line between us men who hit their late teens at the turn of the century, and those doing it about now, in a flurry of careful coiffures.

What will happen when the same young women, currently enjoying the empathetic sensitivity of these men, decide they want shelves putting up, but don’t fancy doing it themselves? You can’t put an Ikea sofa-bed together with nail buffers and eyebrow tweezers.

Today’s New Band, The All New Adventures of Us, also apparently cross great divides – to rehearse, though – as for them, ‘home’ is listed as Northampton and Dundee. There were about 400 miles between the two cities last time I looked, which must make those weekly meetings in the pub to discuss the fine details of the liner notes for the next single just that bit more complicated. (A note to the band: Barrow-In-Furness is about your half-way meeting point – and they have a nightclub on a boat, complete with pole dancers and intimidatingly pumped men. Ah, good times.)

Still, all that supposed trundling up and down the M6 must give them plenty of time and cramped space to write their nicely bitty pop songs. And for the second day running, there’s have a song with horns driving the melody – the bouncy Firetruck Doki Doki, full of vim and gentle rhymes. It scores extra bonus marks for having a kind of double false ending – biggest and best rock trick in the book. St. Crispin’s Got Our Backs is expansive and large, but TANAOU still manage to keep their indie-ness intact.

Maybe The All New Adventures Of Us are a band for today – young, sensitive and wide-eyed – but without the mindless hair fixation or flab. Listen here!

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // May 19th 2010

Another week, another excuse to wheel out the donkey picture, another seven days of drinking to stop the voices screaming when all you want to do is sleep. A nice balanced mixtape of songs is needed. Unfortunately, you get this:

First! Jaded Hipster Choir say that all the songs on their new EP are about drugs. Having listened to Foreigner, I would sure hope so, because I’m not hugely keen to meet the human who recorded such a gear-grinding noisepocalypse when they were straight.

Jaded Hipster Choir // Foreigner

Like all drugs, temptation pervades Foreigner. The reason such a noisy track was made is the same reason a toddler bangs saucepans with wooden spoons – except it’s rare that the results are so gratifying.

Second! Shivawait – have Shiva been on ANBAD before? No, I don’t think so. It’s getting hard to keep track these days. Still, they could easily have been, because their songs are neat little nuggets of anglo-janglo rock. A band that are going places? Yep.

Third! Mono StereoOK, this is getting weird now. I was positive I’d written about this band too. Maybe I should lay off the ether. Still, bands from Sweden are usually uniformly good, so maybe this is where the confusion lies. Mono Stereo are no exception, and almost create their own genre – a kind of Britpop Psych swirl, which ought to be dreadful, but works; a happy, cheery frolic.

Fourth! The Red Show used to be both a pop-punk band and a metal band. Usually, this knowledge would send me running not only for cover, but for knitting needles to shove in my ears, but there’s a surprise following the expected: The Red Show might create the kind of chugga-chugga riffola you’d anticipate, but hey – the way they do it is a cut above, and might even make their fortune. Which in the heavy rock world probably equates to gallons of cider and Kohl-eyed groupies on tap, which sounds just fine to me.

No More! None.

>The ANBAD New Band Clearing House Opens Its Doors

>Anyone who’s ever been in the unfortunate position to have had some oik in a shiny suit bombarding them with Management-Speak will know that ‘added value’ is where it’s at right now in the lexicon of Management Bullshit.

Make the customer pay more by giving them even more than they bargained for and everyone’s happy, right? Except of course, the customer, who’s been diddled out of more cash than they wanted.

At ANBAD, our idea of added value is to throw more bands at you and to make them stick – for free! So here’s another Great ANBAD Band Clear Out – where three great new bands are pumped into your open, willing gullets, all for the price of one! Open wide…

Airport City Express are another Belgian band who continue to prove that their country isn’t just the butt of ‘name three famous Belgians’ jokes and Tintin, and instead produce the sort of easy-going rock that Soulwax and Phoenix used to. Smooth and fuzzy. Listen here!

The Little Philistines: Zipping between the good UK indie of the 90s and deceptive tunefulness with cunning aplomb, The Little Philistines have, in Another Song, a signature tune with a chorus that goes on for miles. Listen here!

Guess what? Slow Drum Hum are another of our most Aptly Named Bands…Ever! Creeping, slow and ready to pounce, with thoughtful menace, their songs hum, drone and click like evil radio static from outer space. Cower here!

LVLS; or Love Less; or Why Not Name Yourself After A Classic Album, Anyway?

Well, why not name yourself after an all-time classic, epoch-shaping album? It’s not as odd an idea as it initially might seem.

I’ve long thought that we’re reaching a critical mass of new band names; soon, all that’ll be left will be scientific terms and quadratic equations. (Not that the Hype Machine charts would look that much different if it was suddenly filled with band names full of symbols…)

Anyway: LVLS, or Love Less, a band who are now indelibly linked with My Bloody Valentine’s (only) brilliant album. I quite like the guile of a band naming themselves in this way. I dare – no, double-dare – anyone who is reading this to start a band called Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars.

 

Chapel Steps, which as far as I know is definitely not named after an album, is apparently work-in-progress. Hey, what art isn’t?

One trend that has been edging it’s way back into new music has been the slick epic-pop of the late 80’s/early-90’s. I can’t say I really want many bands to start sounding like late-middle-period U2, but there’s no point pissing in the wind.

LVLS make this kind of huge, widescreen, glossy pop really well. It’s rousing, and – for a musical style that is all about pretence – is surprisingly unironic, honest and – whoah – sincere.

MORE: soundcloud.com/wearetheloveless

Mononomonooto – Back to the Future, Part Two

mononomonootoHere’s how I found today’s new band: I was listening to one new band, and umm-ing and ah-ing about whether to feature them or not, and then the track ended, and – as is Soundcloud’s wont – another vaguely related track began playing.

And Lo! it resulted in a stumble back in time to February, when I got obsessed with Japanese Juke-House.

Hello, Mononomonooto. Nice to accidentally meet you.

 

Trying to describe my oddly unfathomable interest in Japanese house music is difficult and possibly embarrassing: isn’t being obsessed with all things Japanese a bit of an OMG-EVERYTHING’S-DIFFERENT-OUT-THERE cliché?

I dunno. I think what I like about a number of Japanese musicians’ output is that I can’t read their biogs, or blurb about the songs. I’m just making it all up for myself. For all I know, Mononomonooto has posted someone else’s song.

But I’m OK with that possibility: the song is great, or at least it satisfies the itch I need to scratch, which specifically is a need for jabbering, filter-heavy dance music with throwaway vocal samples.

And on that front, 近頃よくするライブトラック, which, frankly, could mean anything at all, is excellent: a collection of bits and pieces, shuffled, arranged and slapped on top of a deep, bouncy bassline. And that is all I need.

MORE: soundcloud.com/mononomonooto