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 – Projekt A-Ko

>So, one of your favourite noisenik bands from the 90’s falls to bits and then slowly builds itself up again, like possessed Lego, into something new, but of the same constituant bits. Does the new band constitute a ‘new’ band, or not? Are we allowed to ramble quasi-coherently about them or not?

Such complex philosophical demands are placed upon the bewildered ANBAD staff all the time. In the spirit of exploration, let’s just go with it and see. Today’s New Band are Projekt A-Ko, are named after a Japanese cartoon, and make ace clanky lo-fi indie. They used to be the ace Urusei Yatsura, who were named after a Japanese cartoon, and made ace clanky lo-fi indie. So far, so Naughties ‘brand reboot’, right? Well, no – that’d be almost entirely unfair.

Of course, there’s a smattering of Urusei Yatsura-ness about them, but Supertriste Duxelle is entirely, excitingly, its own band’s beast – shuddering, skittering and crashing along, with a charming tune and a lovely chorus.

Here Comes New Challenger! ought to take you straight back to your childhood days spent in the arcade at your local bowling alley. If it doesn’t – congratulations, your early teenage years weren’t wasted after all. Still, when the song hits its considerable stride, it rains sonic blows on you in the same way that Eddie Honda from Street Fighter II did when you played your mate Dave, who really should have found something better to do with his life.

Possibly the best compliment to pay Projekt A-Ko is that memories of their previous incarnation don’t register when you’re listening to their lovely Lo-Fi songs. Proof then, that moving on, in the forever backward-looking world of RockNPop, is possible. Good work, Projekt A-Ko! Listen here!

>Today’s New Band – The Tumbledryer Babies

>Returning back to the UK has been everything I expected, for good and bad. Cold winds, rain, baked beans on toast and football violence. They just don’t do those kind of things as well in continental Europe.

Proper Indie is something else that’s done better here. Wait – that’s not musical xenophobia – there’s loads of great bands abroad, it’s just that Britain seems to lead when it comes to that brand of songs recorded in bedrooms, by bands with unusual names, made up of pasty young men.

Let’s shoehorn Today’s New Band into that category, too. In all honesty, I’m not sure if The Tumbledryer Babies are actually pasty white youths, but it’s a reasonable gamble to assume so. Their songs are pitch-perfect Bedroom Indie – lo-fi and lo-budget; hi-invention and hi-fun. A song that snipes at the unfairly popular trendies: Predictable Teens. A song that celebrates the status of the uncool: Now The Geeks Have A Union.

Tell Me What To Do swivels an ironic eye to the past, nicking an old rock ‘n’ roll bassline, some ‘shoop-shoop’ backing vocals, and a twist on a traditional line – “He hit me and it didn’t really feel like a kiss”. But it’s no dumb pastiche – the song is either a wry glance at bands who slavishly follow a defined path to stardom, or a cute love song – I’m not sure which. I hope it’s the former, but would happily settle for the latter.

Evan Dando’s The Outdoor Type nicely apes and reverses the Lemonheads’ song – “I can’t go away with you on a rock-climbing weekend/What if something’s on TV that’s never on again?” The desire for a lazy, stay-at-home-and-play-records-and-videogames life is shared by plenty. The Tumbledryer Babies have a market to meet their songs, and they deserve to be heard outside of darkened bedrooms across the land. They make simple, natty songs about their simple, natty lives. Listen here!

ANBAD’S BEST NEW BANDS OF 2012: NUMBER 1 – SEWARD

ANBAD is running through the best new bands of the year. For explanation of why and howclick hereFor the Top Ten, try here (10-6) and here (5-3) and for the great bands that just missed out, here (15-11).

And so, for the second time in three years, ANBAD’s New Band of the Year is from the Iberian peninsula: after Youthless won me over with their pristine clatter-pop in 2010, here, from the stridently different city of Barcelona comes Seward, defiantly obtuse, thrillingly inventive and stubbornly odd.

And here’s an equally odd disclaimer: You may not love Seward from the very start. I worry that I’m building up expectations of a complex band that need approaching carefully. But bear with me.

They’re fascinatingly unlikely winners, for all sorts of reasons, but chiefly for a reason I outlined in my original post: they make the type of music I never enjoy – and yet, here they are, labelled as the best new band of 2012.

So what is about them that allowed them to ride slipshod over my preconceptions? And why are they the best of the year?


Well, this is what ANBAD said about Seward when I first saw them, and it hopefully explains their charm:

“Instead of describing what a remarkable band Seward actually are, or how they achieve remarkableness, maybe it’s best to describe the moment that their drummer – a man rapt at the array of gentle, subtle noises a drumkit can make – wound up a toy tin robot and let it dance on his snare drum as he continued playing with a string of rusted cowbells.”

As you can gather, there is something about Seward that can only be fully understood by seeing them live.

And this is heavily and deliberately encouraged: their web presence is vanishingly small, so you will be lucky to find a video of them (though there is a rare one in my original post).

So, you’ll need to hunt the band down, and see and feel them for yourself. And that’s kind of the point of Seward – they are reality in the face of virtual reality. But more of that in a while.

If you can’t see them live, why not listen to this *World Exclusive* first stream of their brilliant, gently sprawling new song Sesame:

—-Sesame will BRB—

(Sesame was recorded in one and only live studio take in Barcelona and mixed and mastered by Matt Pence at The Echo Lab in Denton, Texas, BTW)

I understand Seward will be divisive. You may think, at first listen, that their music is too outré for you. But you’ll immediately recognise that Seward are rare.

There is life in Seward’s music, a humanity that most bands find near-impossible to weave into their music. Sesame, for example, is gorgeous – truly gorgeous – when it allows itself to momentarily blossom; if, of course, you have wholeheartedly bought into the song.

Seward are boldly serious in an age of wimpy irony: they mean it, and are not afraid of holding this honesty up for their audience. They tease their audiences’ understanding of their intent, slathering terrifically complex, often fun, often simply abstract, songs over the top of their honesty.

Another snippet from my first post on them:

There are many bands who approach music like Seward doThey are all, without exception, shit. They are all indulgent, self-centred, and unkind to their audience.

Seward are the exact opposite: their timing is perfect, their noises are specific and considered, and their purpose may not be defined, but it is rational. The band is lost in the beauty of noise-making, and the path it beats into human consciousness.”

I can’t add much to that, other than acknowledge this one, quite lovely truth: whenever people have asked me this year who is the best new band at the moment, I tell them that it’s Seward.

They’re the band who, in 2012, have left the biggest impression and have impressed me most with the breadth of their ambition and vision. You may not love Seward from the very start, but many of life’s greatest pleasure take work, and patience, and a clear mind. Dig deep in Seward. Find time to spread your fingers into every crevice.

VIDEO // Seward – Grandma Sleeping With Book
—–video will BRB—

White Ring, Black Noise

Regular readers will be aware that I’ve been submersing myself in the ridiculous world of the sub-genre recently – partly because I’m interested in identifying the barely perceptible differences between various micro-genres, and partly because I’m a sucker for punishment.

More than anything, it’s fun to try to imagine exactly what the various exasperated music journos, PR scrabblers and bewildered DJs were thinking when they collectively scratched their heads and came up with an almost meaningless phrase to describes a new wave of music that sounds ever-so-slightly different to one that precedes it.

White Ring – Suffocation by ITCManchester

Take the excellently suffocating White Ring, whose music is so pitch-black that they are rumoured to make all of their music at Witching Hour whilst drinking snake venom mixed with virgin’s blood.

Apparently, White Ring make alt-dance. Not only is this possibly the broadest of all genre-tags yet applied, it also makes me wonder what the non-alt dance is. Donk? Gabba? Who knows.

Who cares, more importantly, when presented with music so thrillingly deep, sonorous and throbbing. White Ring dredge the lower end of all they touch – sounds, feelings, colours. We’re now entering an age where music is compiled via different thought processes where the sounds are built first, and then the songs – and White Ring are true exponents of this.

Excellently murky, and fathoms-deep. A shivering delight.

myspace.com/whytering

By the way – have you seen the competition running on ANBAD? No, I can’t believe it either: get your music on a TV ad here!

ALSO: Only one day to go ’til In The City! Wristbands £29!

>Today’s New Band – Ice, Sea, Dead People

>Look, it’s the elephant in the room. Let’s get it out of the way right now: Today’s New Band has the most incredibly pun-tastic name of all time. The name Ice, Sea, Dead People is truly brilliant. Pun-laden names can go horribly wrong – remember Test Icicles, anyone? – but this band have taken the concept, mixed their metaphors and hit it for six. If I’m being honest, they would have been picked as today’s new band on the strength of their name alone, even if they were as limp and insipid as Pete Docherty after a week long camping trip with Amy Winehouse in somewhere as irresponsibly named as, oooh, here.

Whilst Ice, Sea, Dead People may conjure up images of weatherbeaten, salty old sailors singing mournful shanties, the music they play is almost the exact opposite. If you asked them to sing a sea shanty, it would probably be played at a bazillion miles an hour and feature the word ‘shanty’ yelped all over it. That’s pretty much how their great, mentalist, song Hence Elvis pans out, the sound of three fabulously crazy punk songs in one. My Twin Brother’s a Brother sounds like they’ve just realised that being in Ice, Sea, Dead People is the most fun in the world – and let’s face it, it probably is.

Listen for yourself on their MySpace page, and marvel at the joyful way the songs rush off in front of you like a firework. You’ll be making the stereotypical “Oooooh” noises as the songs explode, spraying multicoloured sherbet everywhere, and, like a firework display, you’ll wish that they just went on forever. Ace. Great artwork on the background of the MySpace page too…

>Today’s New Band – Radio Spectacular PLUS! FEAR! (The)

>

Do you know who’s at number one in the (UK) single charts today? I used to listen to the Top 40 countdown on Radio 1 religiously when I was a callow youth, but who really cares now? To answer the first question – it’s Lily Allen, with her ominously-titled song The Fear.
The song itself is, you know, OK; it’s quite difficult to dislike Lily Allen, and The Fear’s lush, semi-serious pop won’t change that. Anyway, the song further fuels my theory that all British recording artists, after going through the ‘making it big, partying a bit too hard’ phase, suddenly get all introspective and release a song called The Fear.
Pulp, Travis and Ian Brown are all guilty of this, with varying results. Pulp’s stab at it was an atypically glum, downbeat, overly dramatic druggy song from Jarvis’ ill-fated cocaine days; Ian Brown‘s was pretty much the same thing; and Travis‘ doesn’t really bear thinking about.
I can see why writing a song called The Fear is so tempting, conjuring as it does images of Vietnam vets thousand-yard-staring into the distance, sniffing bravely. Pop stars are narcissistic enough to draw parallels between their own boozy miseries and soldiers with post-traumatic stress.
Today’s New Band, Radio Spectacular, wouldn’t write a song about The Fear. They’re not self-absorbed enough, and besides, are too busy writing songs with names like Nina And The Sonic Rainbow to worry about cocaine psychosis.
Writing songs as softly LOUD and exciting as Good To Me probably negates the need for soul-searching. Pounding, detached and yet still enough of a love song to give teenagers enough of an excuse to both kiss and grope on dancefloors, it’ll scrub your brain clean of lethargy, leaving you alert and alive.
You Light Me Up clicks and clacks, finding itself in the spaces in between the sounds. It’s fun enough to make a chorus of “la-a-a-a-a eh-eh-oh” work perfectly. Ghosts and Ghouls isn’t as fiendishly frustrating as the early 90’s video game of almost the same name, but is just as addictive. It’s bouncy, clattering pop with throwaway lyrics like “He thinks he’s really fit, he thinks he’s the shit, the girls are lining up for him,” all over the most insistent rolling piano riff you’ve heard for ages.
Radio Spectacular are from Adelaide, and so may not be touring in my hemisphere any time soon, but my loss is Oceania‘s gain. Based on pure guesswork – which for ANBAD is almost comparable to scientific proof – I’m willing to gamble that their gigs are a riot of pop colour, fun and (hopefully) the aforementioned teenage necking. Get a lovebite with them here!

>Today’s New Band – Julien Fargo PLUS! Repressed late 90’s rock!

>As if further proof were needed that life is full of weird coincidences, just a couple of days after musing on The Only Ones and their reunion gigs, a friend mentioned that he’d gone to see them on Saturday night. And the verdict is: The Only Ones still sound great, but singer Peter Perrett’s voice was shot. He then went on to make several unsubstantiated substance-abuse allegations, which I probably shouldn’t recount.

In fairness, perhaps he had a sore throat, or the mic was at the wrong level, or any number of reasons could account for his croaky voice. But it didn’t matter – the band played the hits, and the fans danced and went home happy. So any lingering cynicism I had about band reunions vapourised. Except then I remembered that Kula Shaker reformed a few years ago, and are troubling venues all over the world again.

This kind of assault on common decency must not stand. Kula Shaker are the second worst band of all time. To banish the resurfaced memory of the woeful quasi-mystic rock nonsense of Tattva and Govinda, here’s Today’s New Band, Julien Fargo, who don’t sing songs in Sanskrit and don’t make ill-informed statements about swastikas. What they actually do is make really good music, which is enough.

L’Homme 100 tetes – which as far as my schoolboy French is aware, means ‘The Man With 100 Heads’ – is just fabulous, a twinkling swoosh through multi-coloured starfields. Wait – sorry about that. I think Kula Shaker’s faux-psychedelia must have leeched into my brain. But it is a beautiful, simple song, built on simple repetition and echoes of sounds, and ends up as a dreamy, woozy soundtrack to whatever you are doing as you listen to it.

Le Jardin de Roses clambers up and up using a genuinely lovely, plinky-ponk melody to find its way to wherever it might end up. Carefree, lively and with just enough world-weariness to make it lovable, it’ll immediately ping an image into your mind. The one that popped into my head was the view from a bar stool in Parisian cafe. I don’t know why. But it was a nice moment.

In these two songs, Julien Fargo – the man, the band – has made two little glimpses of something that’s annoyingly intangible, but special. And so much better than retreading your musical past. Listen to them here!

IN THE CITY LIVE(ish)BLOG – THURSDAY

Wednesday’s fabulous first day of music at In The City took two casualties in the ANBAD camp – firstly by imparting a thumping booze ‘n’ loud noise-based headache on yours truly (thank you No Age for the noise element), and secondly by instantly eroding my sanity when ANBAD crashed and fell of the internet.

But now all is well, and I’m back in the Northern Quarter to see what’s happening at the conference before heading out tonight to see more great bands. And possibly D/R/U/G/S again.

Here’s what’s happened so far…

18.15 The roundtable is so much fun! Songs are average though…

17.35 Surely we’re close to the start of the Lamacq roundtable now. Everyone’s favourite uncle Guy Garvey is here; and John Robb, he of the cannibal eyes, has turned up too. We’re just waiting for Peter Hook now…

17.05 The chatter in here is totally, 100% music biz networking chit-chat. And boy, can these guys yap. Watching Lamacq doing his show is a true delight, though. What a pro!

16.35 Steve Lamacq hasn’t aged at all. And such a deep voice for a skinny guy.

16.25 So here we all are now, waiting in a lobby area for Radio 1’s Steve Lamacq to emerge from his little cobbled-together studio in the corner of the room and sit at a magisterial desk that is waiting for him, Guy Garvey, Peter Hook and John Robb to settle around and blather about the new releases. Exciting! My 16-year-old self would be wetting his pants.

16.00 The easy way for bands themselves to do this is to spend a couple of hours a day emailing your fans and getting into a conversation with them, and then see what they want.

15.45 Radio 1, is turns out, ‘predict’ the charts by scouring Facebook, Twitter, etc., and see who ‘the kids’ are talking about. So they guess the charts, play that music – which people then buy based on their push – and then report those charts. Hmmm.

15.30 But apparently, using analytics is nothing new in the music industry – it’s just that before, instead of poring over screens of metrics data, they’d call radio stations and ask them what they’ve played and what people have enjoyed.

15.15 And frankly, it feels like this ground has been covered before – the way to foster relationships with fans, apparently is – duh – to get in touch with them.

15.00 ANBAD’s interest was only really piqued mid-afternoon when there was a discussion about the analysis of fan’s behaviour – or as the marketing bigwigs call it, ‘Fanalysis’ and ‘Fanenomics’. Groan.

Extra Happy Ghost!!! Misery!! Pop!! Forever!!

Today, it’s startling easy to construct FM-friendly million-selling dead-eyed-pop SMASH HITS by brazenly using entire Garageband loops and popping some warbling about Umbrellas over the top.

And while there’s something horribly pleasurable about the thought of the vast producer’s fee which the makers of that song claimed for the act of shuffling a couple of pre-made loops around, it’s more heartening to hear music makers experimenting with their own equally delicious sounds.

Extra Happy Ghost!!! craft clanking bursts of miserably soaring pop to make the music which a Prozac-soaked mind would hear when presented with excitable Euro-Disco.

To make a song that sounds just as much like the End Times as it does Good Times takes a special talent, and Lo! that’s exactly what So At One reveals the band to be.

Soft, close, gloomy and woozily euphoric, here’s a song that connects with any emotion you care to be experiencing and wrings it dry.

Extra marks are always doled out on ANBAD when a band judiciously scatters punctuation around in their band and song titles, but in Extra Happy Ghost!!!’s case these bonus points are unnecessary, simply because the band are so darn good.

MORE: myspace.com/extrahappyghost

The Spills; and Email Template Tips For Great Success!

In a recent online discussion with a new music consultant called Hagop, we discussed the best ways for new bands to get in touch with mp3 bloggers like me.

My first piece of advice was “tape bottle of gin to promo LP sleeve”, but this, and “include naked photos” was removed from the final broadcast, the editing of which made us both sound like intelligent, rational human beings. I know the truth.

Where was I? Oh yes – the point we stumbled up on was that of the emails sent to request a listen of their songs, those which read like the following, against all the odds, often pointed towards the best bands:

from: The Band’s Drummer
to: joe@anewbandaday.com
date: 11 July 2010 01:02
subject: My band, yeah?

Hi ANBAD

Check us out: www.myspace.com/mygenericband

Dave (drummer)

And so it was that when The Spills got in touch, their email template was virtually identical to the one above. This simple act rattled me with the zesty zing of anticipatory thrills, and thankfully these were not misplaced.

There are a thousand bands born every year that sound a bit like The Spills, but very few that elevate these bands above the average, the mediocre or away from well-trodden rock roads.

A Botched Goodbye does nothing drastically different to the bands that became  The Spills’ starting points – Pavement, happily, being one – and yet novelty lurks.

The hardest decisions a band needs to make are the ones that consciously move them away from bands that have been there before them. A lot of bands don’t make them at all, end up sounding just like the rest, and their hard work gets lost in a generic rock fog.

The Spills sound familiar and different. This means that any seasoned rock fan will slip in and settle comfortably with their songs, and yet there are enough rough edges, unexpected quirks and sonic curve-balls to bring a smile to those ears tainted by cynicism.

Good rock is hard to get right. The Spills can do it.

www.myspace.com/bumthespills

Photography by Daniel Easton