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 – 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

Maxwell Demon: Rooted and Upturned

It’s always slightly galling to read something that articulates exactly a thought that you have struggled to put into words for so long.

Thus, the ever-excellent Boing Boing  nails a problem with the current musical nostalgia that has bothered me for a long time, albeit in a very vague manner:

What was once a dim memory, a wobbly VHS tape, a slice of warped vinyl, or a bootleg DVD or CD trading hands amongst enthusiasts has become a towering digital midden so huge that it threatens to impede our view of the future.

It’s an excellent read, and rings true, too: where once, the entirety of a young artists’ sound and look may have been based an a dim but vibrant memory of, let’s say, an obscure German David Bowie video, now they can trawl an endless archive and watch it for ever.

This is clearly great for cultural librarians, but makes me wonder: does it allow – force, even – all but the most determined artists to merely produce a pastiche?

Maxwell Demon might well be someone who has deliberately avoided these traps. Maybe he did it subconsciously. Maybe he’s locked in a room without access to Youtube. Who knows?

 

Suffer and Burn is oddly rootless, existing in both the past and present. It sounds warped and vague, stretching over decades of music, assimilating bits and pieces in a curiously loose manner. And “Welcome to another year,” is an unusually sad start to a song when sung like that.

Quite strange, quite lovely, quite possibly one to watch.

MORE: soundcloud.com/maxwelldemon

>Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin – Today’s New Band

>So after frothing at the mouth a bit yesterday over Band Of The Day Indica Ritual, here’s hoping for something a little less mentalistic and more soothing today. And that’s exactly what Today’s New Band, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin, are. In many ways, Someone Still Loves You Boris Yeltsin are perfect A New Band A Day fodder – in so much that they fulfil all these precise and extensive A.N.B.A.D. criteria:

a) The band has great tunes; and, for bonus marks,
b) The band has needlessly complicated/amusing/pun-laden name.

Obviously a) is the most important parameter, but SSLYBY (much easier to type) don’t disappoint on either count. Oregon Girl is one of those Byrds-y, 80’s-Indie-y, Teenage Fanclub-y songs that sounds like it’s a breeze to write, but isn’t. It’s a fantastic, fleet-footed dash of a song that touches all four corners of Jangly Summer Rock, and then goes around again on an excited lap of honour.

In fact, SSLYBY are so relentlessly upbeat that they make a song titled Think I Wanna Die sound like exactly the sort of song you’d want to listen to whilst driving a convertible down Highway 1 to Big Sur. Best of all might be the soaring Glue Girls, which is a happy, swift spin of fun.

SSLYBY are from a town called Springfield. Insert your own half-hearted Simpsons reference here. Then when you’re done, listen to their super summer songs, right here!

The Facts and Figures – Manfully, Involuntarily, Succeeding

There are days at ANBAD Towers where the air is turned first blue, and then brown, due to the scatological nature of the swearwords projected darkly at the computer monitor.

It’s usually down to it being One Of Those Days, where finding a suitable new band seems entirely, and unusually, impossible.  The cycle of frustration goes thus:

1) Minor confusion as to why a good band hasn’t appeared yet

2) Grumbling ‘there’s no good guitar bands now’

3) Vulgarities spat out loud

4) Listen to Pixies for 10 minutes to ‘prove’ point 2

5) Find good guitar band after all

6) Intense shame

Today was one of those days. Apologies are clearly due to The Facts and Figures; not only did I involuntarily hold them up in comparison to the best guitar band of the late 80’s/early 90’s, but I have foisted responsibility onto them to prove that their chosen instruments are still valid.

Manfully, they succeed: The Internet starts seasonally with a winter-crisp shuffle, and lurches woozily into a boozy, happy song that is warm, simple and satisfying. The Facts and Figures are a band with a knack for an tune and who know how to find the elusive finger-snapping qualities that The Internet sports proudly.

As such, the song ends abruptly, possibly in order to cajole the listener into listening to it immediately again, or possibly because the band were having such fun they didn’t – couldn’t – know how to stop. And why should they?

myspace.com/thefactsandfigures

Tristram VS Nuclear Holocaust

Last night I met an old man called Yoshiro.  He’s from Nagasaki. He was 11 when it happened. He can remember the blinding flash of light, the furniture shooting across the room, the white heat.

He survived the A-Bomb, but he spend the following days watching his relatives die of radiation poisoning. He remembers the smell. Then, to support his remaining family, he worked from the age of 15 until he retired, aged 70. He’s had cancer twice. He now learns English from Audrey Hepburn movies. He’s pretty much super-human.

There only reason I relayed that story was to a) remind myself that jabbering about new bands every day is actually fairly inconsequential in, you know, the grand scheme of things, and b) simply to ramp up the pressure on Tristram.

Tristram – Dust Disturbed

One lucky member of Tristram had his name adopted as that of the bands’. I’d like to think that they drew lots, but I’m guessing that it’s just the name of the singer. That’s how a band hierarchy works.

Any potential moniker-related bickering was clearly put aside, otherwise a song as fragile and coltish as Dust Disturbed would never have been written. I suppose you could brand many songs ‘gentle and thoughtful’, but that description would rarely be as apt as it is when applied to this song.

Dust Disturbed is a delight, seemingly sprung from nowhere – born of nothing and wanting for just as little. It has exactly the self-contained beauty that most songs strive for, but never attain. Tristram, the man and the band, can be proud. Lovely, in every way.

myspace.com/tristramsongs

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

>Today’s New Band – Dirtblonde

>Is there anything wrong with simplicity? For anyone who considers Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band‘s complicated time signatures, endless multi-tracking and finger-wrecking chord changes as the pinnacle of human musical achievement, the answer would probably be ‘yes’.

The others who thing that The StoogesRaw Power is dumb fun done right would probably disagree, but they’d be too busy pogoing to even think about such complications. Today’s New Band are Dirtblonde, and they know the truth in unassailable Rock ‘N’ Roll Fact #1: a loud guitar is better than a quiet one.

The Hangman whistles and howls into your personal space, roughs you up and saunters off. “Yeah, I’m so wasted, and I’m sorry I ruined your life,” they offer by way of explanation, in the song of a similar name.

Listening to Call It Art, it occurred to me that I could barely remember the last time I heard a song where a chunky guitar and vocals were the only sounds to trouble the listener. No synth washes, drum machines or bleeps to fill the space, no lush engineering tricks, nothing other than tape hiss and a song. In a time when even the newest, greenest bands equate good ‘production values’ with success, this is welcome respite indeed.

They’ve just played the South By South West Festival (sorry, ‘SXSW‘, for you super-cool types), if that matters to you. It shouldn’t, really. They have no Myspace page. I like that. Their songs can be downloaded – for free! – at their website here. I like that too. Listen to Dirtblonde and revel in simplicity itself.

>Today’s New Band – oMMM

>

What would the sound of sleep be like? Silence? A deeeep humming noise? Your parents’ voices chanting “blood….blood…blood” over and over again? Something similar to the noise when you load a game into a ZX Spectrum? We may never know.

Or perhaps we will – because Today’s New Band, oMMM, produces songs that are apparently “spaced out bedcore…a bedtime pop experiment!” Don’t let that fool you, though – this music isn’t like Side Two of The Orb’s Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld. Instead, oMMM is a musical trip, a treat of inventive bleeping and what could be hesitantly described as ‘soundscapes’. In songs like CATWALKTVKAYAKARMX, the sound drifts – but not aimlessly. oMMM are taking us on a bit of a journey – but a nice one, with a break for a cream tea somewhere along the line.

SZWOMMMRMX
could be described as residing somewhere between Boards of Canada, the ubiquitous Aphex Twin and Four Tet if we were being particularly lazy. Which we are. It’s a particularly lovely, deliberately dream-like skittle through spacey sounds.

oMMM’s music is calming yet attention-grabbing, a brilliant musical representation of the relaxation and insanity that both tumble from sleep. The music is good for your ears, and the calmness good for your mind. Listen NOW at oMMM’s Myspace page!

And if you found that all a bit too serious, here’s the best/most ridiculous song about a £1.50 portion of chicken and chips performed in a grime style ever. Thanks to Scatman Jamie for pointing out the brilliance of ‘Junior Spesh’


***BLOGGER’S BROKEN AGAIN – NO IMAGES TODAY***

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 11th August 2010

It’s still holiday season, and so the ANBAD donkey is still on holiday, possibly sitting at a jauntily amusing angle by a pool somewhere, but definitely sipping some mmm… delicious Kopparberg cider as he does it.

Kopparberg is pear cider, though really there ought to be a portmanteau word – ‘pider’ – to make it easier for drunks to say. And what a nice bunch of people work for them: after tweeting a disparaging message about their annoying advert on Spotify, I received a love-bomb email asking me to contribute to the next Kopparberg Spotify Mixtape.

Which I did, suggesting brilliant ANBAD alumni Young British Artists, Wild Nothing, The Horn The Hunt, and more. Delicious. Listen to it here.

MIXTAPE:

FIRST! Welsh Assembly – naming yourself after the governing body of a country is a nice idea, but one that ultimately backfires when you try to Google for more information them, bringing up as it does pages of Welsh legalese. Welsh legalese, by the way, is possibly the least comprehensible text of all time, combining the incredible tedium of written law with a beautifully bonkers vowel-hating language.

Welsh Assembly // …(demo)

Therapeutically hypnotic, and almost too simple to be considered actual music, this unnamed song pulses gently until sleep occurs. Clever, but not conducive to making money – the asleep don’t reach for their wallet much.

SECOND! Kinnie The Explorer is Dora The Explorer’s half-sister. Unlike Dora, she’s not ramming the basics of the Spanish language down our throats and has decided to kick back and crank up her home-made tunes, which sound like a post-rock band who have suddenly employed a rhythm section who are a bit more eager to get on with the song than the rest of the band. Nice, creative, urgent.

THIRD! Clean Equations are a delight. Songs like Buried Translations are ripe with slo-mo heavier-than-snow fuzzy dream-pop moments. It builds, builds and builds some more, then implodes in your face in the same way a giant booby-trapped Candy Floss mights. But not as teeth-etchingly sugary.

FINALLY! The Lucky Dip Escapade have a band name that would take them far on its own merits. Songs like Camp Fire Song – self explanatory TO THE MAX – will seek out its willing audience of its own accord. Heartfelt.

Done! And done.

Kira Kira – FM Unfriendly, Persuasive and Sly

When was the last time you saw a new band who you thought ‘had it’? Not only the songs, or the style, or the confidence, but a band that seemed to be complete in only their emergent stage?

Last night I crept into the Deaf Institute in Manchester to watch Wild Nothing, whose songs appeared on ANBAD a month or so ago. They sound very different on-stage – a warm waft of flanging guitars and sweetly curving vocal lines – and they are a band who are ultra-focussed and in control. They know how to write songs that work for the masses. Wild Nothing can go wherever they like now.

And so, their antithesis. Kira Kira may well makes songs that are in no way as FM-friendly, but her songs are, if anything, more exploratory and fascinating.

Kira Kira // Drakula Darling

On occasion, Drakula Darling sounds like an inkjet printer possessed by an evil force. On other occasions, a cat meows arbitrarily. Or a musical box springs to life, and then disappears.

These are distractions, yes, but are also integral to the song, which, after last night’s lesson in bliss-pop from Wild Nothing, is a challenging listen to say the least. But that’s the point, right? Just as producing crowd-pleasing songs seems to be Wild Nothing’s default behaviour, so Kira Kira channels opposing streams of discomfort and allure within her awkward songs.

Sharp, curious and sly songs from a persuasively strange performer.

www.myspace.com/trallaladykirakira

Song via Bad Panda through Creative Commons License: BY-NC-SA 3.0