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.


 

Django Django, and Hard Work, Hard Work

Hard work. It’s all about hard work. Repeat that mantra.

Don’t let Keith Richard’s fibs fool you. Perpetuating the myth that he dreamt up the riff for (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction might be his idea of fun, but it’s a cruel trick, and it’s misleading bands everywhere.

Make no mistake, the rise of the Stones, or any other band, hasn’t been down to dumb luck, buzzed dreams or cyphers from the other side. Ask any artist, in any ‘creative field’ and they’ll tell you the same.

It’s about gigging non-stop for audiences that barely care, contacting endless, heartless bloggers who might simply delete your email after only reading two sentences, and refinement, refinement, refinement.

An awkward truth but look: Django Django work their socks off. They gig here, there and everywhere; they write and record neat, chop-n-change songs; and they’re still unsigned.

Django Django // Wor

But just listen to Wor. Just listen to the rockabilly pop, just listen to the way the song builds, teases, gives-and-takes and finally bursts forth. You’re hearing the sound of focus and whittling. The sound of sweat, arguments and roadies misplacing Fuzzboxes.

The sound of temptation to quit and deciding to carry on. The sound of exhilaration when it all goes right, or at the least the promise thereof.

Django Django will make it. They have to. They deserve it.

www.myspace.com/djangotime

>Today’s New Band – Owl Brain Atlas PLUS! Nightmares! Sweat! Christmas!

>Every morning I walk through Manchester city centre. And every morning I listen to my iPod on the way. So far, so mundane. Like everyone, sometimes I find it tough to match the music with my mood. This morning, though, there was a pleasing moment where I found myself to be in the crossover area of a music/life Venn Diagram.

Perched on a traffic island, between two lanes of thundering, aggro-pumped office-drone drivers, Orbital‘s The Box pinged into life, and suddenly, there was a real-time musical soundtrack seemingly reacting to the furious ebb and flow of the whooshing city life. Feeling detached from the real world, I fairly skipped on through the streets.

It’s amazing that music can tally so closely with what you are doing. I imagine that if i was wandering through the mean streets of Bournemouth – a town memorably described by Bill Bryson as “God’s waiting room” – and Cliff Richard‘s Millennium Prayer popped onto the radio, the world might end in a vortex of synchronicity.

If I found myself in the place where the sounds of Today’s New Band fitted perfectly, I’d probably head for the hills sharpish. Owl Brain Atlas (Yes!!!) make sound that would fit in your most lucid nightmares, or most confusing dreams. Also, let’s just dwell on Owl Brain Atlas‘ name for a second. Barking mad, and yet fittingly weird for the sound-poems of J. D. Nelson, the brains behind the, er, Brain.

He says his music is, “spoken noise, ambient word, lo-fi noise poems, electroacoustic sound art,” and this description is a good example of the nail/head interface being struck cleanly. His music/sound/wordless poetry might sound like a pretentious idea, but it’s executed in a pared-down yet dense manner; substance clearly triumphing over style. Like bad dreams, the ‘songs’ are short, direct and terrifyingly evocative of the clammy panic of a turbulent night’s sleep.

There are separate tracks, with titles like Doktor Tongues, 1 and Music For Zilbread, but listen to them altogether for the full dosage. It’s a heady, dizzy experience that’ll leave you even more thankful for the upcoming comfort of Christmas with your loved ones. Listen here!

Koloto: In The Chromo-zone

koloto

Here’s something dreadful: I listened to Koloto‘s music, liked it; and then saw that it was made by a woman, and then I made a judgement.

I couldn’t even help it. It wasn’t a negative judgement, just that I suddenly looked at the music in a whole new way, merely because I found out that this producer of electronic music, unusually, was not a man.

Sigh.

But just to clarify: there is nothing ‘female’ about Kill Screen, just as there is nothing ‘masculine’ about, say, Underworld’s Skyscraper, I Love You. (Well, unless you subscribe to the skyscraper/phallus imagery theory, but I digress).

But my automatic response is quite odd, and probably says a lot; although about what, I’m not sure.

Anyway – Koloto is extremely talented when it comes to assembling a collage of noises and making them into a happy, jittering mess. see what you can pick out: I’m sure at one point there is a quick sample of coins being dropped onto a table.

 

Kill Screen is a game of two halves, and whilst the second, madly jabbering half is a perfect juxtaposition, I prefer the first half, which builds lazily, with odd sounds punctuating it; teasing the inevitable heaviness to follow.

And if we have to return to the thorny issue of gender for a second, isn’t it wonderful that the internet effectively rules out any prejudice and that a song can be appreciated for exactly what it is? No wonder so many artists hide under anonymity. Smart cookies.

MORE: soundcloud.com/koloto

>Today’s New Band – Liechtenstein

>It says much for the depths of resolve in the human psyche that, even when presented with an entirely stressful situation – like, say, moving house – it’s approached with delightfully optimistic naivety. “Surely this time, it’ll all be one, smooth, graceful procedure,” you muse, gingerly lifting the first of many boxes.

So, by the end of the process, how did I end up exhausted, aching, soaked through with rain, and sitting in a strange pub with a shellshocked look on my face? Having blanked out the preceding 48 traumatic hours, even I can’t answer that question. Sat in the pub, finally facing the light at the end of the tunnel, the Pub Jukebox God found time to play one final sick joke.

As the white stress-noise in my ears abated, it was gradually replaced by one that actually made my laugh at the sheer cruelty of it all. That noise was Katie Melua‘s cover of What A Wonderful World, a version so will-sappingly horrible that all who hear it must surely respond with the question, “But is it really?”

Today’s New Band actually is wonderful, and charming, and gutsy to boot. They’re Liechtenstein, and are probably already more exciting than their namesake country.

While Roses In The Park owes a little to Jesus and Mary Chain, it’s no generic copy – instead it uses the sparseness of the production to hoist the very lovable vocals high and to the fore. As a result, a throwaway chorus becomes a fine, sweet harmony to sit alongside the guitar’s rumbling chime. Apathy summons up enough interest to craft a gentle, lilting song; tranquilised, calm and detached. Stalking Skills sashays with the slink and guile that only women really posses.

Liechtenstein are strangely timeless, winningly female, pleasingly self-believing and have the coolly disconnected nature you’d hope for in a bunch of talented, attractive women. Great – listen here!

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 12th January 2011

In a week where we have discovered that all that is needed today to become officially the next big thing is years of stage-schooling, a ton of promo cash, the weight of the whole record industry and an expensive video, let us be thankful that there are still bands plugging away in their garages to make new music.

Quick, divert your attention to the Midweek Mixtape before we’re all forced to get down with the kids to the sound of Jessie J.

FIRST! Mount Fabric sound like they ought to be an 80’s fuzzy-felt animated kids’ TV show, but in Coping With Belief we quickly discover that they are actually an agonisingly lovely epic-rock band, with stratospherically unusual vocals and songs that pan out before you; widescreen, ambitious, dallying with sounds not heard for a long time. Unexpected and exciting.

SECOND! T-Model Ford pushes the concept of ‘new’ beyond its frosty outer limits: the man is 90 years old, for god’s sake. Still, he’s new to me, and probably to anyone within the last three generations, so why use age as an excuse to miss out on his bellowed, rusty old-time blue? Same Old Train is the closest you’re going to get to being transported back 70 years in time this week, at least. Endearingly excellent rough ‘n’ ready grunting.

T-Model Ford // Same Old Train

THIRD! You And Others Around You left me in contorted mental discomfort as I struggled in vain to figure out who they sounded like. Agonised, I listened to their song repeatedly, and it’s a sharp, clever slice of jangly, superior, quirk-pop. Then I remembered, just as I was about to give up, that they sound a bit like The Wedding Present. Which is a good thing.

FOURTH! Crystal Bright and The Silver Hands – and speaking of agony, CB&TSH are the most blatant heart-string tuggers of the week. Little Match Girl is surely the most fragile and overblown; bitter and sweet song that can be produced without the recording studio being ruined by a tsunami of tears. Phew.

FIFTH! The Holidays have made, in Broken Bones, a song which is so airy that it practically bobs past suspended by a helium balloon. It doesn’t though, as that would be ludicrous. An alluring song that makes time slow woozily, it’s accompanied by a pretty smashing video, if you like that kind of thing.

>The Greatest Instructions Of All Time

>OK, so this isn’t really anything to do with New Bands, but it is the best thing I have ever read. And I have all of the Baywatch annuals. Including Baywatch: Hawaii.

I bought one of those keyring Cyber-Pets from an “Everything’s a Euro” shop in Barcelona, and these are the instructions that came with it. No, it doesn’t sound thrilling. But read it and literally weep. At a guess, these instructions were translated from Chinese to Japanese to Spanish to Korean, back to Chinese and then finally to English.

This was the offending Cyber Pet.

If you’re still not fully convinced of it’s greatness, here’s a sample sentence. Wonder at its convuluted insanity:

“Sex and name that each pet can at most hand over 5 month friends, would still would deposit the memory the friend. The communication of its proceeding infrared ray hand overs the empress of last friend, will our row is on the friend list, can press the Decide key, and press Select key to check friend circumstance hour, can check name, list top of’its friend that the other party’s name, sex, can also search from have already can be at mosted.”

One of my favourite pasttimes is to read a paragraph out loud, without stopping, and see how long it takes before my brain, in desperation, begins to rattle uncontrollably inside my skull to make me stop.

Here’s the instructions, in full (click for bigger). Enjoy. If you forget how to speak English after reading it, don’t sue me.

The pet then and then and behind and for a while does not clean up to then get sick

>ANBAD Probes… Forest Fire

>
Forest Fire were the band who blazed (Boom! Boom!) a trail onto ANBAD back in September and wowed us all with their grimy, shambling, rock. We frothed at the mouth a bit, and spouted such platitudes as:

“Their music has that vital ingredient: unconfined individuality. Yum. A really very good new band.”

All of which would have been just lovely if I hadn’t then tried to crowbar some dreadful cooking analogy into the article. (But for those of you who simply love boiled octopus, you’re in for a treat.)

Still, I wanted to fan the flames of Forest Fire (last one, honest) a bit more, and so had a chat with the band to see where they were, where they are going, and to hear of their plans to violently assault Bob Dylan. They spoke in italics, thusly:

Hello Forest Fire! How the devil are you?

Well, thanks.

Where are you in the world right now? What do you see? And what is good about that place?

Seattle. Dogs. Coffee.

You’ve been gigging for a while now – are you the kind of band whose records are a document of their live shows, or are the live shows an expansion of your records?

Second one.

Where in particular have you enjoyed gigging?

We actually had a great time playing in London. France was great as well. But we are such a new band, every show still feels like the first.

I got a bit breathless over your music in my review of you, in particular the lovely shambolic nature of your songs. They sound like they fell together haphazardly – is this right, or is your creative process more tightly focused?

They fell together, but I wouldn’t say haphazardly. We took a really long time on Survival. We started out with flawed recordings, and then balanced them out with careful and laborious overdubbing.

From where I’m sat (which is under gloomy skies in Manchester, UK), Brooklyn seems to have an exciting and vibrant music scene. Is that true, and if so, what is particularly good about it? Which other good bands are there to look out for?

I think it must be true. But Scenes are limiting right? Check out Hologram, Shilpa Ray and Her Happy Hookers, and Goodbye the Band.

Your music is getting people nicely hot under the collar. Where do you go from here now that you know you’ve caught eyes, ears and possibly hearts too?

Well, that’s very nice of you to say. Thanks a lot. I feel like we just want to follow each song to it’s end. That’s all we ever really aim to do.

And speaking of endings – finally: if you could meet any musical hero, who would it be, what one question would you ask them, and what drink would you buy them?

Dylan. I’d Throw a drink in his face. After I heard the song “Sarah” I couldn’t pick up a pen or a guitar for about a month.

And with that, they were off, possibly to leave magnifying glasses in wooded areas full of paper-dry scrub whilst shooting fireworks into Californian hillsides. Or not. Their lovely album, Survival, is out now.

Photography by Victoria Jacob

ASBJØRN: A Palpable Frisson of Excitement

asbjornIn the continuing quest to fully blur the definition of the world ‘new’, here’s an artist who’s been around for a bit, and is Quite Big In Denmark.

But he’s new to me. And possibly to you too, so our dearly-held definition of ‘new’ is probably safe for now.

I first saw Asbjørn at the First We Take Berlin stage in a huge austere-yet-beautiful aircraft hangar at the disused Tempelhof airport in Berlin.

The environment was weirdly fitting: Asbjørn’s silky and odd pop contrasted nicely with the huge concrete void.

 

What made Asbjørn’s set really exciting wasn’t just his cluster of well-crafted pop songs, or his foppy, lithe stage presence, or even his extremely tight trousers, but the fact that I was standing in a crowd of people who were almost all discovering him for the first time.

There was a palpable frisson of excitement; a mutual cross-lingual muttering of, “hey, this is really good.”

Strange Ears is a great song, but most of his are, so dig around a bit. These are shimmering, chilly, otherworldly pop songs designed for us all.

MORE: asbjornmusic.com

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 28th November 2012

Sigh. I don’t feel like mocking Alex James any more.

Ribbing ex-Britpop bassists is just so 2012 Q1, and – heckfire – it’s Q4 now, fool.

So, for the remains of 2012, until the “music blogosphere” descends into the list-o-mania arms race/pissing contest you’ve spent 11 months waiting for, ANBAD will be displaying as few of the Crudely Photoshopped Alex James Greatest Hits. Hooray!

MIXTAPE-A-GO-GO:

FIRST! Tom Robinson told me that Ed Hamell (aka Hamell On Trial) had a remarkable back story and remarkably odd and satisfying music. He’s right on both counts (of course) – and although there’s no room here to explain the former, there is enough room to strongly encourage you to listen to the utterly charming, loopy and cracked Together, which is instantly and obviously an exemplar of how this kind of song ought to be made.

 

SECOND! Maybe iOktember are an app in human form, or maybe the ‘i’ key on the drummer’s laptop got stuck. I can’t figure out why the ‘i’ is there, but I can figure out why they make music together, because songs like this reflection bears no resemblance (lower case, note) are terrifically touching, clear and ambitious.

 

THIRD! I’m almost positive Snakadactal was a brand of reconstituted potato product found in the frozen isle that took advantage of Dinosaur Mania during the mid-90s, but don’t quote me on that. I’m totally positive that Chimera is a delicate and sparse but close and human slo-mo pop song, though.

 

FOURTH! I imagined that a Hipster Surgery was a place where the doctors all wear ludicrous neon bobble hats, bum-fluff moustaches and ironically childish tattoos. Turns out it’s a thrashy punky shred-a-thon from Crusades. Who’da thunk it?

In The City – Friday Gig Round-Up

Belatedly, here’s Friday’s round up. I spent yesterday asleep and cranky, a victim of three nights’ gig-going and a heavy cold.

But it was a great final night of gigs, and somehow I managed to hammer these words out on Saturday morning…

An underwhelming, unnamed and unholy triumvirate of bands was not a promising start. After two days of blistering quality, In The City looked to be buckling under its own expectation, but after Working For A Nuclear Free City‘s sharp, fragmented, clutter-rock sated the Castle Hotel’s sardine-packed crowd, the night soared again.

In fact, the Castle was so busy that at one point I turned around to speak to a friend, during which time a further flood of inquisitive souls wandered in, and I was unable to turn back around to see the stage. We beat a hasty exit for the sake of our sanity.

Youthless‘ swashbuckling enthusiasm was so infectious that the band’s urging of the audience to clamber onto the ceiling of Umbro Studios was tentatively explored as a genuine possibility. Proving that there are a thousand new noises to be made from a bass guitar, Youthless were a lo-fi, hi-impact smash. Tune into tomorrow’s final round-up to hear an interview with them.

Fellow Iberians Mujeres were in it for the funny too, and, after failing to help Youthless find a lost bag, I arrived just in time to miss Dutch Uncles, witness half a dozen flustered girls crowd around Radio 1’s Huw Stephens, and finally figured out what made Kisses tick. They are a band with one great song, but they have found twelve different ways of playing it. Success is theirs to blow.

I exhausted my final spurt of energy in a heaving Ruby Lounge, where seemingly everyone from In The City had collected to drink away the pain in their feet and ears. It was alive with their joy. Brilliant.