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.


 

The View From… Brazil

My knowledge of the Brazilian music scene is hopeless, beginning and ending with late 80’s, er, “groove metalists”, Sepultura. Aside from a solitary band – the excellent Top Surprise – Brazilian music has been absent from ANBAD. Thankfully, the kind Brazilian music fan Ana has decided to shine some much-needed light on the music I’ve missed to put a partial end to my ignorance…

Brazil is a rather big country, so it would be hard to write about all the bands and styles we have here. After some gigs and new recordings I’ve decided to talk about some bands from Campinas, Sao Paulo and Porto Alegre.

Starting with Porto Alegre, there’s a band called Charutos Cubanos. Starting in 2007 they played tributes to The Strokes and Arctic Monkeys, but since 2008 they’ve started doing their own projects, launching now their second EP, Appaloosa.

The boys already have their space in the musical scene from the South of the country and now, thanks to internet, in the other states hoping to be playing soon around Sao Paulo.

In Campinas, city where I live, was hard to choose just one band to talk about. Shake Heartbreak, Libs, Ya Cult! and Scotch Tape were my options.

I’ve decided to talk about Scotch Tape, a bad formed by girls playing punk rock. Known as The Distillers tribute band, the girls started to play when the American lead singer, Alessandra, met the bass player, Dani, and decided to form a band.

Without knowing who would play what, they started to chase by musicians, finding Luiza and many other people who passed by. They were constantly looking for a new drummer, but the search seems to have settled down. Scotch Tape is often playing in Campinas and close cities, having full agenda every weekend. Their music, Right to Choose, inspired by California punk can now be found in their MySpace.

From Sao Paulo there’s a band called Holger, which has played recently in Campinas. I just knew the band by name, but a friend showed me their video and took me to the gig saying they were a great live band.

She was right, the band has a strong energy and a great way of dealing with the crowd. Creating a good atmosphere and unusual events such as girls taking out of their shirts, play fight rolling in the street and dance competitions for t-shirts and albums.

Shitty Awesome – 50% Correct At Any Given Time

In my fevered daydreams, I like to think that  bands are starting to bend and sway to the tune of my foibles.

It’s no secret that ANBAD is preternaturally fascinated with band names, and it’s a grubby truism that a good band name will pretty much guarantee inclusion on this website.

So, how long, I wondered, until bands start changing their names just to catch my eye? Which brings us neatly to Shitty/Awesome, doesn’t it?

Leaving aside the fact their near-perfect moniker, can you guess what the band sounds like? That’s right: spazmoid buzzsaw kinetic-rock; all arms, sweat and yelps emerging from beneath overlong fringes.

 

It’s been an immutable law of noisy rock since, well, forever: if you’re going to make a racket, do it properly.

You’ll be pleased to hear that Say So shakes like a shitting dog, rattles like Mr T’s jewellery and rolls like a drunkard. Honestly, what more do you need?

MORE: shittyawesome.bandcamp.com

>Today’s New Band – Feral Children PLUS! Smooth, Smooth Jazz

>Remember Grunge? The rat-tailed-wooly-jumpers-and-miserablism rock behemoth crawled from nowhere in the early 90s and then disappeared almost as quickly in a miasma of introspection, shotgun smoke and underwhelming MOR rock tarted up as a quasi-Nirvana dirge. Perhaps the oddest thing of all was that this scene grew up, almost by mistake, around a city as seemingly unassuming as Seattle.

The truth is that Seattle has an odd knack for throwing up great new music – look at the bands that have appeared on Sub-Pop over the years for proof. However, for every Sleater-Kinney and Modest Mouse, there’s a Kenny G (shudder) or P.U.S.A. So sighs of relief all round, bbecause Today’s New Band, Feral Children, have both feet firmly planted in the former camp of inventive, quirky rock, and there’s not a lick of smooth, smooth jazz to be heard anywhere.

Their song Zyghost is remarkably bouncy, nestling cozily between mania, insanity and Johnny Marr‘s songbook. Simple and obscure at the same time, it’s touching, bold and as good a song as you’ll hear for ages. A bit like how Razorlight would sound if they were all the things they’re not: inventive, daring and exciting.

Spy Glass House is the sound of Feral Children grabbing you with a sweaty hand, and tugging you crazily through a graveyard on Hallowe’en to a gig performed by the recently arisen evil dead. It gradually, imperceptibly creeps further into a fog of skin-crawling uneasiness, until the sound of screaming stops you in your tracks.
Feral Children are about as far removed from the slick unpleasantness of, say, U2, and yet there’s an accessibility that you rarely find in any band, anywhere. Their songs shoot around wildly, inventively and boisterously whilst keeping their laser-guided focus on tightly-honed rock.

More yelpy, more frantic and more aware of the life-giving power of a great rock song than 99% of all other bands – it’d be a minor crime if you missed out on them. Listen here!

P.S. Don’t forget the ANBAD eBook – it’s got lots of pictures, so you can cut it up and use it as wrapping paper when you’ve finished reading it. Or before, your call.

>Today’s New Band – It’s A Dragon PLUS! Christmas Panic!

>What’s happening to A New Band A Day? New features and new writers? It’s almost as if more effort’s being put in all of a sudden or something. Well, a pre-Christmas frenzy has overcome us all in ANBAD Towers, that’s what. In an effort to forget that we haven’t bought a single Christmas present yet, at all, and-oh-crap-it’s-only-two-weeks-til-Christmas, we’re listening to more ace new bands than ever before. Not that that will be an acceptable excuse to our nearest and dearest on the 25th.

So before we start having spasms of anxiety, let’s cut to the chase: Today’s New Band are the jangly guitar pop-slingers It’s A Dragon, and, with an inevitability that is becoming almost terrifying, they’re from Sweden. I’m no scientist, but at a rough guess I’d say approximately 97% of the world’s jangly pop is made in Sweden at the moment. If Jangly Pop was worth as much as oil, it’d be Swedish record exec bosses instead of Sheiks that would be splashing obscene sums on Premiership football clubs.

It’s A Dragon, or Mats as he’s know to his mother, has rustled up a bunch of sunny love songs that hit the ground running and scamper towards the setting sun, possibly shedding clothes with excitement on the way. Onwards and Upwards is so stupendously upbeat, with insistent horns and twanging guitars, that tapping your feet or drumming pens against your keyboard is practically a formality.

Everything Reminds Me Of You, like all of his songs, is characterised by its simplicity. It’s about a girl, love and rejection, like most pop love-songs; musically, he doesn’t try to squeeze in anything that doesn’t need to be there. This streamlining just makes it easier for the song to weedle its way into your brain, via your heart, and stay there.

It’s a Dragon‘s songs are without hype, faux-emotional depth or forced cool. Just simple, sweet songs; good, pure fun. They’re from a man who knows his way around a tune and can craft them effortlessly. Why is that? ANECDOTE ALERT

On his Myspace page, Mats says, “When I was 12 I nicked a tape from a friends big sister. On the A-side was the Smiths‘ “Strangeways Here We Come” and on the B-side, The Cure‘s “Head On The Door”.” That’s a fortuitous start to your musical life. He’s now creating beautiful pop songs.

My first tape, when I was 5, was Eliminator by ZZ Top. I now have a 3-foot long beard. Go figure. But first, listen to It’s a Dragon, right here!

Anon: Clinging On For Dear Life

You’ll have to bear with me if the usually exhaustive slew of background information to be found on these pages is missing from the description of today’s new band.

It’s what Anon want, of course, and as such, they have become the first band that I’ve received an email about who have a quasi-legitimate reason for there being no band photograph accompanying the obligatory Soundcloud link.

There’s a fatal flaw in Anon’s plan, however, and that is this: if he/she/they/it wanted to achieve true anonymity, releasing a good song is entirely counter-productive.

What they wanted to do was copy the other 99% of new bands and release something entirely average, and the public-at-large’s mass ambivalence would have ensured they were hidden in plain sight.

What they didn’t want to do was release something as dementedly multi-layered and densely-packed as Bite The Hand.

The song trudges determinedly, steadily into the future; with all the influences and sound-snippets snaffled by Anon clinging on for dear life as it does so.

Here’s a song – and a band – trying to do things the hard way: their way. This rarely garners its practitioners praise, acknowledgement or the results desired. But but stressing their own invisibility, Anon have it arranged so that if they lose, they win. Smart.

MORE: anonmusic.co.uk

TV-Ad Competition Update! Plus! Bonus Best-Of-2010 Band!

Judging for the Crown Paint/ANBAD TV-ad competition has taken place. Momentous news indeed.

I nuzzled up against the creative people behind the advert and, accompanied by legendary band-troubler James Endeacott – who signed The Libertines and oversaw The Strokes’ UK career, we settled down with tea, biscuits and moderate harmony to go through the shortlisted bands.

In the end, the decision was a complicated one due to the high quality of the bands that submitted tracks. Still, after much heated discussion we came up with a favourite. The winner, tantalisingly, will be announced in the new year.

In the mean time, here’s a sneak preview of some of the tracks that were entered. See if you can guess who won. Correct guesses left in the comment section below will win a special ANBAD prize!*

Listen to the Crown competition Longlist here!

Also: In the countdown of the Top Bands Of 2010, I postulated that I had more than likely missed a number of brilliant bands when compiling my Best-Of list, and Lo! As soon as I’d announced the #1 band, I suddenly remembered one of the missing few.

Lissie Dancefloor Disaster were the best Scandinavian band of the year by a weird, confusing mile. I urge you to listen to their brilliantly skewed pop with the utmost urgency.

Listen to a surprisingly sane interview with LDD here! // Genuinely hilarious video of LDD filmed at In The City here // LDD’s Myspace

*This may well be a bundle of promo CDs. In fact, it will be a bundle of promo CDs.

TRIMALCHIO: Lounging Around

trimalchio

After nearly six years of running ANBAD, I think I have hit upon an ideal vetting tool for new bands. It is (literally) not rocket science.

It works like this:

  1. Find and play a long, varied and killer playlist of Creation Records songs;
  2. Intersperse this playlist with ANBAD submissions;
  3. If they don’t fit with the playlist: GOOD
  4. If they do fit in with the playlist: GOOD
  5. If they sound a bit like they could be or might not be influenced by the songs in the playlist – you know, because this or that sound hasn’t been copied for a while, and maybe it would go well with the charity shop clothes that the band carefully ‘sourced’ on their gap year: REJECT

New bands: if you’re lucky, your song will pop up next to one of the 18 Wheeler songs.

Luckily for Trimalchio, his brand of up-and-at-’em synthpop poked out of the morass of fey indie jangling, and lo, here is Nepenthe as a result.

Nepenthe is slight, it’s true, but it’s also a neat display of Trimalchio’s way with creating efficient and slightly creepy melodies.

And let’s face it, within the context of Creation Records’ early output, creating slight and simple songs is about as high an achievement as one could hope for. Lounge music for tomorrow.

Swimming In Mist, and For Sale: Sony Ericsson W880i (casing has minor teeth-marks and bloody streaks)

Swimming In Mist: A Literal Interpretation

How to induce a technologically-assisted breakdown in a zillion easy steps:

The process begins with breaking your phone by dropping it in a strip club that you never even wanted to be in in the first place, and then ends with you finally managing to fix the phone after a full ten days of hassle.

But only assuming you’ve ordered a special cable, special software, and spent hours tinkering with the computer, and stifled a sob upon realising that all of your contacts’ phone numbers have vanished, and you have no way of retrieving them other than asking each person individually on Facebook, which you hate even more than fixing mobile phones.

And to top it all, halfway through this process, you went out and bought a new phone in frustration, and now you’ve got two phones, when you only really need one, and thinking about it now, you don’t really want the hassle of even one phone any more.

If you do know that specific series of unfortunate events, the you too will find relief, comfort and maybe even the glimmerings of inner calm in the synthetic/organic warmth of Swimming In Mist‘s eponymous song.

Swimming In Mist- Swimming In Mist

Swimming In Mist is rough ‘n’ ready in its rapid and judicious use of flat, bluntly sampled sounds and beats, and herein lies the charm. The song meanders and yet has four-square rigidity, in warm but metallic, sounds cushion-soft but prickly.

If yesterday’s band glinted manically with all the facets of naive exuberance, then Swimming In Mist is just plain naive, having racked up a grand total of 200 views on Myspace at time of writing. So here’s an artist’s first tentative steps, just and like a stumbling baby, any clumsiness is masked by novelty, surprised delight and beauty.

www.myspace.com/swimminginmist

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 24th August 2011

The content of ANBAD is, of course, almost wholly dictated by world events.

While Libya has crumbled, hope and joy have sprung eternal – and who better to expound such life-affirming virtues than a 56 year old human man who thinks he’s Peter Pan?

Lt. Drebin is examining the evidence to determine if Randy will, in fact, ever grow up.

Probably a good time for a mixtape:

FIRST! SEAMS uses samples of a woman playing the hang outside a market hall he shops at. I hope the woman doesn’t have a good lawyer, else there’s a royalties nightmare just waiting to happen. Still – the resulting song, Hung Markets, is a hypnotic and dainty, self-cannibalising treat.

 

SECOND! Well, with a name like that, of course Hypocrite in a Hippy Crypt was always going to appear on ANBAD. Don’t let my foibles disguise the fact that The Town Crazies is the kind of delightful song that, in a saner world, would be heard by lots more people.

 

THIRD! “Cesspool”, eh? That’s a bandname that’ll have the girls flocking. If the name doesn’t give the groupies cause to hesitate, then maybe the bizarre, cracked blues of Heartbreak might. It’s a song that could possibly whelp a further couple of songs from its dense brew of noise – but for now, just feel the width.

 

FOURTH! Binary make the kind of grand, skyscraping music that rarely finds its way onto this website – and whilst maybe such a stance is usually for the best, today somehow demands glossy, bright, gutsy rock. Delivered.

>Today’s New Band – Monster Island

>One of the really hard things to resist when reviewing bands is to draw comparisons between them and other, more established, bands. On one hand, it gives the reader an instant point of reference, but on the other, it does neither party any favours. No band sounds exactly like another (apart from Razorlight, who seem to have cribbed the Boomtown Rats’ sound wholesale). But when a band comes along that sounds like a combination of three great bands – let’s say, The Fall, Pavement and The Pixies – wouldn’t it just be more stupid not to mention the fact?

Thought so. Thus, let’s start by stating right now that Today’s New Band, Monster Island, sounds like a ragged combination of The Fall, Pavement and The Pixies. This sounds like a grand boast, but it’s true. To mention The Fall is a bit of a given – Monster Island are an off-beat indie band from Manchester, and therefore it’s virtually a legal obligation to mention Mark E. Smith’s grumpy lot. But it’s fair, this time, as in songs like Hothouse, there’s the same sparse, threatening griminess that pervades the best Fall records. See Twin Towns too for a Pavement-y lollop and and the Pixies’ patented loud ‘n’ quiet dynamics are oozing out all over too.

Beyond glib comparisons, there was one moment when listening to Monster Island‘s songs that actually delighted me. Yup, actual, tangible delight, bordering on glee, a feeling which made my wizened, blackened heart start to flutter. Throughout their chuntering (and free-to-download) song They Never Sleep, the music is occasionally interpolated with screeching sounds of tapes rewinding, bleeping and electronic interference. Deliberate or not, it’s a fabulous, pointless detail which screams of lethargic, understated, inventiveness. Brilliant.

So that’s my justification for taking the easy comparative route to describing them. Listen for yourself here, on their Myspace page.