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.


 

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

Glass Animals; Fuelled By Devious High Teas

I’ve been investing great swathes of time listening to the Beastie Boys‘ audio commentaries of the their best albums. They’re a blast, with the three now-veteran (OK, ‘old’) japesters collectively pressing tongues firmly into their cheeks.

Still, these insights are hugely revealing, particularly when it comes to the thorny issue of defining creativity itself. Much time is dedicated to bickering good-naturedly over whether an SP-1200 or Akai MPC-60 was used to sample a novelty cod-funk record, and by their own admission the hectic and brilliant Check Your Head took three years to make: of which two and a half was spent playing basketball.

Their self-effacing attitude isn’t simply a front –  they seem wholly bemused by their ability to cobble together songs that end up being loved by so many, especially as their attitude towards their craft sounds relaxed to say the least.

So if the Beastie Boys don’t know how they do it, what hope do any new bands have? How do they learn? The same way as Ad-Rock and co. did, I imagine: by staggering along and hoping for the best.

Is this how Glass Animals went about putting their songs together too? Probably – but by the sounds of it, they replaced the sweaty two-on-one basketball sessions with spiffing high teas.

Their songs linger and creep, and this quality is none more apparent than in Dust In Your Pocket, an exercise in spooked-out pop that has all the hallmarks of a band that are so overflowing with ideas that they were forced to fade down half of the tracks they recorded simply for reasons of clarity.

Dust is minimal to the point that the listener is dragged along waiting for the moment the song collapses – although it never does – and the song turns out to be its own devious alter-ego, keeping excess in check and thriving on its own dizzy and multi-faceted construction. Glass Animals: strange, sharp and direct.

MORE: soundcloud.com/glassanimals

>Today’s New Band – The Love Kevins

>The second gig I ever went to was to see Manic Street Preachers in 1996. They were just post-Richey, pre-Big Time and were noisier, angrier and more intelligent than anyone I had ever met growing up in Stoke on Trent. I pushed to the very front and spent a happy hour crushed against glum, milk-white girls wearing kohl and leopard print.

The Manics’ primary attraction is their wilful perverseness; actively encouraging people to dislike them, releasing hit-and-miss albums that confuse the unsuspecting. They have veered, in deliberate disorientating fashion, from smooth rock to grating punk to electro-flop and back and forth and back again as and when they like it, not us. And all the while not caring, growing stronger, tighter, feeding off the anger, hate, bewilderment.

Now they’re releasing a new album, produced recorded by another man who doesn’t give a shit – Steve Albini. It prises open the past, using Richey’s lyrics, and deliberately treads over fan/media fetishising of 1994’s The Holy Bible. Perhaps it’ll be great, perhaps it won’t be. It doesn’t matter. That’s the point.

Today’s New Band, The Love Kevins, have songs with titles whose themes might have interested the Manics a decade or so ago. Oh, and just take a second to fully appreciate the minor brilliance of The Love Kevins’ name. Continue.

You’re going to die, you’re going to die alone,” is the chorus We’re All Going To Die, a song whose sweet melody that couldn’t vary much more from the vocal sentiments. Plain, bare and calm, it’s the sounds of objective lushness. Stop Being Perfect passes quickly and quietly before you realise how enjoyable it was.

The Love Kevins are from Malmo in Sweden, and – surprise – have the Swedish way with top pop tunes, and add to it a dollop of strange, unexpected perverseness. Perhaps the Manics would like them, in secret. You will – listen here.

>IT’S GLIB COMPARISON WEEK ALL WEEK! – Today’s New Band – William

>After the RIP-ROARING SUCCESS of the lazy comparisons undertaken whilst reviewing last Thursday’s Band Of The Day, Monster Island, I took a long, deliberate ponder during the 25-minute ‘Holocaust’ brain-destroyer section at the end of the My Bloody Valentine gig on Saturday. Just before their mind-bogglingly loud replication of the sound of 20 jet planes all taking off at once, then crashing one by one into a volcano caused my soul to leak out of my ears, it occurred to me to continue this easy reviewing style for one week only, and brand it Glib Comparison Week. So expect this week’s dazzlingly good array of new bands to be wholeheartedly sullied by an increasingly stupid method of review.

Moronic, bowel-looseningly-loud-noise-induced decisions aside, this week’s first New Band Of The Day is really rather special. They’re from London – but isn’t everyone? – and are called William. Like James, The Smiths, and, er, The Johnsons out of Antony and the Johnsons, they’re following in the noble tradition of having a band name that’s also a person’s name. It’s a mystery as to which William they’re named after, though I’d hazard a guess that it’s more likely to be this one than the tabloid-friendly Prince. William, frankly, sound great, with punchy melodies and half-yelped, half-casually drawled lyrics. South of the Border is urgent and a bit weary at the same time, and Five Minute Wonder is even better, picking up pace as it rattles along, churning guitars not able to mask a lackadaisical cry of “I spend too much time on my own…You do too? Well, alright.”

Their songs are a huge stride ahead of the mundane identikit rock that’s polluting CD players worldwide at the moment. Listen to their great songs here, and catch them live in the next month – but only after you’ve been overwhelmed by the half-baked lump of lazy reviewing below:

TODAY’S GLIB COMPARISON: “A bit like the Pixies slowdancing suggestively with the White Stripes as Art Brut play non-po-faced Jam covers.”

>Today’s New Band – Last Tide

>
Last week, virtual unknown Speech Debelle won the prestigious-ish Mercury Music Prize, the UK’s annual too-cool-for-school musical bunfight. Mercury prize winners are supposed to be doubly blessed: firstly by winning the £20,000 prize, and secondly by a huge boost in record sales from the positive publicity.

Unfortunately for Speech Debelle, her album got a boost only as far as 65 in the charts, and now it lingers around the high 90s. Poor Speech Debelle. Public rejection is always hard to take. In the early days of the Mercury Prize, winning bands habitually gave the prize money away to charity. I hope Speech Debelle has held onto it.

My vote went to The Horrors, who surprisingly, and boldly, ditched their NME-approved schlock garage rock and became a My Bloody Valentine tribute act, aping their sound, vocals and even the Loveless album cover. In retrospect, that last sentence is quite mean – their new album is actually very good indeed, and they ought to be applauded for their brave sonic leap.

As the years pass, My Bloody Valentine seem to have been more and more ahead of their time. Everyone wants a drop of their woozy sound in their band’s mix these days. Today’s New band, Last Tide, owe a portion of their attractively swooping feel to MBV too.

Take W.Y.C., a rushing, dreamy, rampant splash of from a paintbox full of shades of grey. It’s a great, unexpected, echo-laden song that swirls and drifts madly before extinguishing itself, and even if their other songs can’t quite compete with it for sheer bulk, it’s a lovely mark to leave on a staid rock landscape.

That said, A Traitor In My Mind has plenty of clout, and nearly achieves the same dizzy rushing feel. Last Tide gather together threads of post-rock, shoegaze, psychedelia and weave a concrete-hued cloth. Making drab delightful: Listen here!

>May’s Top Five New Bands Featured On A New Band A Day.com – Round-Up!

>COWER! before the fabulousness of A New Band A Day’s Top Five Bands In May! SHRIEK! at the collected glory of bleeps, buzzes and crunch-noises! CRAP YOURSELF! as you wonder whether any more New Band fabulousness could be CRAMMED into one post!

May was one gosh-darn heck of a month for new bands here on A New Band A Day, and here is our thoughtful, much-pondered-over and not-at-all-cobbled-together list, featuring our Top Five Bands of the Month!

Unfortunately for you ranking-enthusiasts, these are listed in no particular order:

1) HNTR HNTRFabulously mental noise freak-mageddon

We said: sounds like what you’d hear if you were mummified in custard whilst being beaten to death with spanners”

2) Genod DroogSunny, mildly crackers Welsh hip-Hop

We said:reeks of summertime and would sound best if heard sitting a sunny Welsh field, sipping a cider”

3) Totally Enormous Extinct DinosaursBrilliant, carnivorous bleepy tunes

We said: try listening to Dinosaurs Having a Party without picturing the stumpy-armed scaly guys bopping around a swamp to the clunky Bontempi-keyboard noises”

4) Dinosaur Pile-Up – Third in the superb trio of Dino-gimmick bands

We said: enough to make you as giddy as a 10 year old girl watching Hannah Montana – The 3D Movie.”

5) Picture Books in Winter – May’s BAND OF THE MONTH!

We said: “I’ve always had a talent for arts and crafts”, they proclaim over the lolloping guitar line, whilst musing about ex-Blue Peter tea-time-trouser-troubler Konnie Huq. It’s unusual to hear a song which is so wonderfully idiosyncratic from such a new band”

So congratulations to Picture Books in Winter, who by all accounts are destined for big things.

And – as if life couldn’t get any more groin-tighteningly exciting, a BRAND NEW radio show will spring itself in your direction any day now!

Last month’s round-up, featuring bands like the ace Like A Stuntman, The Brownies and Band o’ The Month Pixel H8 is right here!

I Break Horses, Best Of All The Animals

Finally, the yin to the insane yang of the pre-teen market’s favoured equine reading material, I Love Horses, has been found.

More importantly, I Break Horses’ intent is not so brazenly adoring; instead opting for function, usefulness and work over mere sugar-fuelled OMG DAD CAN WE GET A PONY PLEEEEEASE spuriousness.

I Break Horses might well have produced a song that is not so much about love than it is a tuning fork that rings in perfect harmony with love and everything associated with it.

Hearts is druggy, foggy and blissful: without form or reason, just endlessly feeding off its own gorgeously addictive synaptic rush.

Maybe there is a connection with a young girl’s mindless adoration of horses, after all.

Hearts is one, long, soft, sumptuous sigh; as close a reflection of the desperately vivid and disorientating effects of love and the subsequent happiness as you’ll find committed to mp3.

The songs is as addictive as the feelings it conveys, long enough to sustain those dreamy feelings, and just short enough to cause an involuntary rewind/play. Beautiful.

MORE: ibreakhorses.se

>Today’s New Band – Baby Long Legs PLUS! U2-mageddon!

>Hooray! U2 have got a new single out! It’s so great that I’m going to buy the album on the day it comes out! They totally rock, and Boneo is, like, a genuine rock star, yeah?

OK – that bit was for all the estate agents who were reading A New Band A Day by mistake. It’s safe to assume that they’ve jumped into their Audi TTs and are heading off to their local record store* to wait to buy a copy. Anyway, guess what? The new single sucks and blows at the same time. Steel yourself and listen to it here. (Done? Feeling dirty? Here’s something brilliant to compensate.)

*the supermarket

So, in yet another land-grab of public consciousness, U2 have managed to rip off not only Subterranean Homesick Blues by His Bobliness but also (say it ain’t so!) Dirty Boots by Sonic Freaking Youth. The horror, the horror.

Before, they’d at least stuck to the tried-and-tested routine of just using delay pedals, being dreadfully bland and knuckle-bitingly over-earnest. But here, in their most audacious, crafty, awful move yet, they’ve gone for the credible jugular.

Fortunately, for those of us who can actually hear normally, it’s obviously a clunker of epic proportions. Expect to hear it on drab local radio, everywhere soon. Don’t expect to hear Today’s New Band, Baby Long Legs, on AOR FM any time soon, because life just isn’t fair like that.

Just like Sweden (see yesterday’s new band), Sheffield seems to be squeezing out good new bands, one after the other, like sausages from a machine. Except that Baby Long Legs are filled with quality ingredients, with no pig anus, eyelid or ear in sight.

Floor Turtle, mixes the hitherto unexplored combination of a huge – no, epic – howling riff and the swanny whistle to create a touching song about the shelliest of reptiles. There are too few songs about turtles, and this goes some of the way to redress the balance.

Today, the only experience most people have of the true, life-affirming squeal of a rock solo is while playing Guitar Hero on the Xbox. Hopefully No-One’s Around will have those pasty teenage boys dispatching their plastic guitar-shaped controllers in favour of the real thing, combining bitchin’ guitar wandering with disconcertingly familiar musings on love’s quirks to be a suspiciously true-sounding love song.

Baby Long Legs remind us that all of the world’s mystery, joys and – GASP! – even life itself are contained in one shuddering Les Paul screech. That their songs are throwaway, catchy and straight faced only seals the deal. Supremely fun, serious and silly all at once. Rock out here!

>Today’s New Band – Polychromatic

>Right now – right now – my favourite band ever is The Fall. I just can’t stop playing The Classical and its lyrics (“Hey there fuckface! Hey there fuckface!”) are rattling around my brain like loose bolts in a grumpy, sweary machine.

Last week, my favourite band ever was The Pixies. Two weeks before that, it was The Smiths. And so on. People who have an all-time favourite band that never changes aren’t to be trusted, or are Oasis fans.

Who, then, is Today’s New Band’s favourite of all time? Polychromatic‘s songs don’t really give it away. They take a bit of this and a bit of that to create songs that are sometimes dreamy, sometime deranged and sometimes both simultaneously.

Skitter-scattering and cascading manically, I Fell Through (Polychromatic Remix) could be the deranged offspring of a song from the Tron soundtrack. Diamonds Are For Never and Always shimmers like the glare off a lake in a computer-generated world; it’s sweet, warm and exhilarating. Songs like CSI crunch and swoosh assuredly.

Polychromatic takes a vague swipe at the 8-bit compu-sound ethos, but mainly incorporates his own sensibilities, which are, confusingly, both a deftness of touch and a love of manic beats. It works. Listen here!

>Today’s New Band – Keyboard Choir

>When I was younger, I was camping by a river. It was a cloudless night, and the stars completely filled the sky. I looked up at them, trying to stop my thoughts from drifting into that terrifying corner of the mind that cheerfully, and optimistically, tries to comprehend infinity. My theory is that if you try to think about the size of the universe, then one day your thoughts will spiral away at an unstoppable exponential rate, your eyes simultaneously widening with overwhelming realisation, with the words DOES NOT COMPUTE flashing up before your eyes forever.

As a distraction, I fiddled with my 12-band nerd-tastic short-wave radio, trying to find John Peel’s weekly show on the BBC World Service. Faced with such a bewildering frequencies, and lacking the fine-tuned motor skills to rotate the tuning dial, it wasn’t an overwhelming surprise that I failed. Happily, at the bottom of one of the short-wave bands I found a squealing, bubbling mass of space-electro, semi-random interference noise, which perfectly accompanied my mildly hysterical gaze into of life, the universe and everything.

If any lesson is to be learnt from all of this quasi-hippy yapping, it’s that sometimes even the most obscure sounds can fit the right occasion. Today’s New Band, Keyboard Choir, aren’t so deliberately obtuse that they sample radio static, but their songs do conjur up the same, icily distant feeling. Bugs samples an eerie clip from a 1960’s radio recording due to be played post nuclear war, and leaves an echoing, metallic shimmer of worry behind it.

In some ways, I suppose, there is a backwards-looking stripe running through Keyboard Choir‘s songs. Skylab‘s plaintive electronic sounds are the noises glum, lonely astronauts would force out of their simple onboard computers in the 1970’s. The loneliness of space and the anxiety from the confines of their mechanised life enclosure is all there.

It’s rare for a band to actually get within spitting distance of the sounds that they originally wanted to make, but it does seem that Keyboard Choir have done it. Ethereal and delicate. Super. Listen to them, here, right now!