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.


 

MODERN BLONDE – One Good Turn Deserves Another

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The proposition was this:

1) Here’s a new band, called Modern Blonde;
2) But they’re on their fourth album;
3) but they’re mutual friends with Ménage à Trois.

Well, I was pretty much sold on the fact that they were Friends of the Bogans, and the fact that they have already made a load of LPs meant that I liked their vim.

The mystery emailer sealed the deal with this thought:

they might be on their 5th album by now, but if no-one listens to a record does it make a sound?

ANBAD is, of course, a hotspot of philosophical thought, and so I was sold immediately.

Fact is that Modern Blonde make really lovely, slightly otherworldly, not-too-psyche-pop, and Aspirational Demo 4 is a marvellous, drugged-up, cracked-out love song.

I’ve not heard many songs that sound quite as unabashed as this for a while. There’s no veneer of irony, no wry eyebrow, no trolley-dash-through-the-charity-shop, clothing-first sensibilities – just a top pop song.

I have no idea if “Aspirational Demo 4” is the real song name, or a placeholder. I hope it’s the former.

Bastardgeist: Lilting Persuasively, Creeping Suggestively

I’m going to a music college today to talk to students about How To Promote Yourself To Music Blogs. No, I’m not sure why they didn’t ask someone more suitable either.

I was fairly certain that this talk was going to take up a lot less than its allotted time, as the advice could be boiled down to ‘make sure you have three great songs’, and then I realised I was simply kidding myself.

Because, as my regular reader will know (Hi, Dad!), if there’s one other thing that guarantees attention – on this blog at least – it’s a band name that is prickly enough to snag the attention of a jaded music reviewer.

Slotting neatly into this  suspiciously weighty sub-category of Bands Whose Names Were Always Going To Ensure Them A Spot On ANBAD are Bastardgeist.

In truth, Bastardgeist would have clawed their way onto this website even if their name was something  drippy and tedious – like, oh, I don’t know, ‘Coldplay’ – because their music is so deliriously beguiling.

Let me indulge in the act of rummaging around my foibles a little longer and let’s de-construct the idea that this band’s name could be a portmanteau of bastard and poltergeist: two terms which could easily describe the salty, ethereal quality of lovely songs like Cabbageheads.


Cabbageheads is so hypnotically coiling and entrancing, it might escape your notice exactly how delicate and careful the song is: constructed from scraps of thinly translucent sounds so that the sounds merge imperceptibly with the world around us – diffusing light, skewing perceptions.

Bastardgeist make wholly gorgeous music, looping gently, lilting persuasively and creeping suggestively. So that’s the secret. Pay attention, class.

MORE: brainloverecords.com/bastardgeist

Sky Between Leaves: Outrock

Well, why not begin clearing the post-SXSW backlog of bands with some Neo-Krautrock?

Wait, actually, can any Krautrock truly be labelled “Neo”?

I guess not, in many respects: the basic ingredients of the Krautrock pie haven’t changed since Can et al rustled it up all those years ago.

And yet – to truly labour this  horrendous pie metaphor – the pastry is still crispy and fresh after all this time.

Sky Between Leaves have shuffled a sort of atmospheric swoon-pop/Krautrock combo together, and it sounds delicious. The danger with making music that is so intensely genre-specific like Krautrock is that the genre’s pre-conceived boundaries override the song itself.

 

No matter on that count in this instance. O.B.E. is a beautifully structured song that revels in its own looseness. The song may well sound like a collection of shapeless sound snippets that have miraculously hung together into a perfect geometric form, but it’s actually an intensely careful sonic contraption.

It ebbs and flows perfectly. The beat is devilishly simple. Great.

MORE: soundcloud.com/skybetweenleaves

WALK: It’s A Schtick-Up

ANBAD has a real soft spot for any bands that utilise the sampler in any shape or form, simply because I find the same allure in all those flashing, numbered buttons that grubby drunks do in the fruit machines that wink at them in the Dog and Duck at 11pm.

It’s probably worth expanding on that a little bit: I really enjoy listening to music made by someone who takes an object as ostensibly simple and constricting as a sampler, and then makes music seemingly beyond or outside of its design.

Hence my excitement over WALK, a Sequencer Blues Duo, indeed, who couple down-and-grimy guitar blues with some chopped ‘n’ scuzzy sampler-driven rhythms; and yes, yes, on the surface, this sounds awful.

Actually, WALK’s music is anything but.

 

Of course, the blues is constrained by its limitations too, which is perhaps why This City works so well.

A smattering of compressed drum snaps and some minimally ground-out guitar chunks are sweetened and primped with some tiny snippets of lo-fi electronic noodling.

It’s affecting in the way the blues almost never is any more: it feels now, yet old all at once. This is the sort of thing I wish many of today retromaniacal artists – the ones that recycle the past yet ignore the fact that the world has moved on – would do more often.

WALK‘s schtick is not complicated, or revolutionary: but it is honest about its position in time, embracing nowness and the love of a genre all at once.

Their music is addictive, tactile and tasty. Beat that, 2013-The-Year-Guitar-Music-Came-Back. A great and unusual signing for Debt Records.

MORE: walkmusic.tk

>Today’s New Band – The Phantom Band

>
***Quasi-Disclaimer: here’s a review I wrote a few months ago, and thought had been accidentally deleted. Turns out it wasn’t. So maybe you’ve already heard of them by now. But it’s not worth taking the risk in case you haven’t, so here it is anyway***

It’s probably just my endlessly facile mind, but the title of the first song I played by Today’s New Band made me snigger like a schoolboy who’s just entertained his classmates with a particularly resonant fart.

I don’t know whether I Like My Hole was intended as a double entedre – the dourly atmospheric gloom contained within would suggest a unequivocal ‘not’ – but I’m not ashamed by any conclusions drawn from such childishness. The ends rarely justify the means – but in this instance, if I hadn’t have raised a Terry-Thomas-esque eyebrow at this song’s moniker, I may never have listened to The Phantom Band.

They’re from Glasgow, and signed to the continually brilliant Chemikal Underground label, two attributes which would usually justify attention ahead of anything that rung my bell. Hey, whatever works for you. They make crafty, multi-faceted songs like Folk Song Oblivion, which, while we’re dwelling on the subject song titles, is a pleasant suggestion in itself.

Folk Song Oblivion is a lovely curio – lovely both in spirit and sound. It’s a song that vibrates with drive, brotherhood and the echos of a dozen great rock songs before it. And then The Howling is a strange half-cousin of a song – a clever rock rustle, coupled with the build-and-release sensibility of dance music, but with the sound of neither.

So, today, we have learnt the power of a name. The Phantom Band are then maybe what you’d expect – a ghostly version of a rock band that could have been average, but have excelled through their otherworldiness. Forlorn, hearty and welcome. Listen here!

>Today’s New Band – Cop On The Edge

>“I AM A COP, SHUT UP!” So grunts The Knife‘s The Cop, a song which brutalises your ears with wonky noise and threats of violence. This is a not-too-unusual representation of our devoted lawmen and women in pop ‘n’ rock.

Cops tend to get a universally bad rap. Speaking of which, this negativity reached its most aggressive nadir with NWA’s Fuck Tha Police, which at the very least leaves no room for ambiguity in their philosophical standpoint.

Despite their name Today’s New Band, Cop On The Edge, don’t appear to have any particular beef with your local bobby. Perhaps their name is just a pleasant daydream of a policeman standing on U2’s guitarist.

Whatever it is they’re dreaming of, it’s partly top-notch 80’s Commodore 64 games. Summer Games II clatters to life, whistles and chatters winningly, daftly, and possibly illegally: “She’s prime, she’s onto the next stage, high on nostalgia… underage!” yelps singer Jim. Perhaps those police will come in handy after all.

Spying On Boys is a jolt of shy teenage lust, appropriately fey and naive, and I Want Don’t Get buzzes with youthful exuberance. Maybe Cop On The Edge are all nostalgic for their tweenage years. If so, they’re expressing it through the medium of Good Tunes, and so who are we to judge? Listen here!

Midweek Mixtape // 12th October 2011

After last week’s fuss, I’m so over Lana del Rey now. So over. All that “is-she, isn’t-she fake?” fuss is just so tedious, although here I am still yapping on about her.

So, I’m going to focus on the one aspect that has been half-forgotten whilst her mostly-drab MOR pop silently grinds its way to centre stage: her big, deliciously over-inflated lips.

Cor, look at them. They’re like big, kissable pillows on the front of her head. Yum yum yum.

Alex James From Blur celebrates Lana’s lips in the only way he knows how.

MIXTAPE:

FIRST! What is Little Chestnuts‘ secret? They’ve managed to recreate a sound that I thought was, like Bill and Ted, trapped in time. However, they’ve ripped that spacious, reverb-laden style of guitar pop from the 80’s clammy grip and liberated it with happily shimmering results.

 

 

SECOND! Bad Apes are totally my kind of band: they simply love their puns. Their EP is called… Gorilla Warfare. This song is called The Near Deaf Experience.  Does it even mater what the music sounds like after that? Well, yes: and they make spazzy, hi-NRG, noize-yelp-rock. POW.

 

 

THIRD! Souvenir Driver seem to specialise in music that drifts in and out of consciousness: both yours and their own. Like a conversation with someone who’s just woken up and is still half-dreaming, Touching might not make a whole load of coherent sense, but it’s lovely nonetheless.

 

 

FINALLY: The Machine Room inevitably make mechanical music, although there’s a strangely appealing weft and weave in their music, where the strict rhythms bow to an indie sensibility, and vice-versa. A pleasant, epic-sounding curio.

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 View From… A Small Town

Alex Webster is nowt but a youngster: one who’s just finished his exams and is probably spending the summer mugging grannies to get money for Miaow Miaow or whatever it is that kids in small towns do for fun these days. 

Anyway, before he went about his crime spree, he was kind enough to jot some words to shine some light on the inner workings of a small-town music scene – namely Dorking in Surrey, UK…

Dorking is a sleepy town nestled in the heart of South-East England and, while placed in the centre of sleepy country living, its proximity to London and Brighton provides the potential and setting for a surprisingly vibrant music scene.

Many familiar faces are seen nursing a pint around the pubs at each (and often every) open mic providing a supportive atmosphere for those testing the water before taking to plunge in the nearby capital.

Several young talents have emerged from them, most notably Kate Ross, a regular at The Star open mic, she produces melancholic and moving acoustic music with a sly wit.

The Lincoln Arms has one of the longest standing Dorking music nights, now becoming well established as a venue, once open to 16 plus (a blessing in a dull town on a Friday night) but now unfortunately 18 plus.

The Lincoln is organised by many people in and around Dorking but two stand out bands/artists are: Springtime Radio, who provides a exciting and emotional pop-punk/folk crossover, and straight up punk band with a historic twist – Wegrowbeards.

Another Band heard in and around Dorking is Finest Minds (previously mentioned on ANBAD) who combine a plethora of styles in their genre spanning You Are Here EP.

The proximity of Dorking to London also creates a fair selection of electronic artists considering the size and nature of the town.

Dubstep producer Brett Heaslewood a.k.a Hiloxam a young producer with the talent to ride the dubstep wave right to the top. Dark//Tides is a young producer showing great potential in his bedroom productions.

Another electronic musician found in Dorking is the DJ-turned producer Finlay Reid with only a few productions under his belt yet each is as awesome and playable as the last listen to Mellow Memories.

Honey Luvv: Vox Pox

I’m not perfect. That much is blindingly obvious to any reader of this blog.

But recently, I proved this to myself, once again, in a whole new way: by discovering a text file on my computer that was, in effect, a cache of great music from about six months ago. It had a dozen or so bands in it, with the motif “Write about these next!” at the top.

Inevitably, I forgot about the text file, and the bands were lost. Since I found it, I’ve been crowbarring the bands into ANBAD in dribs and drabs, making a slight preposterousness of any claims to ultra-newness.

Still. Who cares really? And have you heard of Honey Luvv? Probably not, which is why this whole exercise is almost worthwhile.

I don’t often touch vocal-less demos with a bargepole. Vocal-less demos are to new music blogging what horse manure is to farming: plentiful and only useful months later when nature has taken its course.

Honey Luvv’s Yeti snuck through partly due to sheer exuberance, but mainly because it has an unexpected, unintended quality: it sounds like a B-Side.

B-Sides (kids, ask your dad) don’t exist any more, but often they’d sound like this: a snippet of something that came out of the studio that wouldn’t fit anywhere else, but was too good/interesting/fun to lose completely.

So that’s that: the sound of six months ago, without vocals or much by the way of explanation, either. Honey Luvv may never record anything again.

My guess is that he/she is recording under another name. So this is a buzzy, caffeine-fuelled time capsule.

MORE: soundcloud.com/honey-luvv