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.


1908 – Crazier Than Liam Gallagher. 1908 Will *Eat Your House*

Good old Liam Gallagher. He never lets us down. It was always pretty obvious that behind the mad-fer-it hoolie swagger there was a fruitcake mind. One who will still be prancing around on stage when he’s 70. One who is capable of reforming Oasis as Beady Eye.

1908, though, knocks Liam’s barminess into a cocked hat. 1908 is beyond nuts, beyond any definition of ‘normal’.

Take Music For Harold To Eat Houses By. No, please. It’s frantically, skin-crawlingly, eye-scratchingly INSANE. If you plugged a 3.5 mm jack into Jeffrey Dahmer’s head, and recorded the results – well, just doing those two things would only be one percent as disturbing as Music For Harold To Eat Houses By.

1908 // Music For Harold To Eat Houses By.

I hesitated for a long time before featuring 1908 on ANBAD. I’m fairly sure that a man who is capable of composing a song that describes – in excruciating detail, mind – the methods he will use to eat your house would also find crawling out from under my bed and murdering me in my sleep a fairly simple task.

However, it’s bands like 1908, – the ones that veer suicidally from eye-narrowing intrigue to too-stupid-to-be-reasonable within a heartbeat – that make music interesting. The ones that remind us that there’s something out there other than another Kings of Leon album. The ones that push the boundaries, get forgotten, and don’t reap a handful the rewards that others grab later on, when the world has caught up.

1908 is also a reminder of why I run ANBAD. You may not like it – hell, I don’t know if I do either – but the creative outskirts are truly the most fascinating, the most bold, the most alive. And it’s a reminder of how far Liam really has to go.


MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 5th January 2011

New year, new rules. The ANBAD Donkey (see Midweek Mixtapes passim) has been kindly retired.

Spending that long hovering in mid-air, whilst enduring various topically tedious photoshopped additions has left that particular ass exhausted. He is now convalescing in a lovely green field where James Blunt songs are played 24 hours a day.

His endlessly competent replacement, Lt. Frank Drebin, will ponder an alternative CD each week before plumping for the ANBAD Midweek Mixtape instead.

Speaking of which…

FIRST! Mind Enterprises will give you their EP in return for a tweet. How very now. Too High is a song that is worth at least a tweet, or even two: it has a precocious lollop and swing that few can emulate. Like listening to wind-chimes through a traffic cone on a hot day. Excellent.

SECOND! Hope’s Wake sound a bit gloomy, don’t they? And you’d be right, kind-of. Our Own Road sounds like a miserable plod through a boggy field, but actually spouts thoughts of hope and love. Boggy fields are misty, dewy and invigorating in the right conditions. Quite lovely.

THIRD! Are Old And Gray actually middle aged? No-one knows. But in songs as confident and endearing as Overwhelmed, they certainly bely their life-experience. This is a song of soft caresses, warm harmonies and gorgeous, syrup-slick voices that meanders wildly yet finds its target with ease. A delight.

FINALLY! Amor Jones It’s a sad truth that there’s very little hip-hop on ANBAD – and it’s not for want of trying, honest. It’s just that I feel so… disconnected from hip-hop these days. I can stop whining now though, because Amor Jones’ Right Now is the most exuberantly fun song I’ve heard for ages. In a world of bland ‘n’ insulting idiot-hop, Amor Jones has made a song that lives, breathes and skips, all the while with a smile on his face. Ace!


It occurred to me yesterday that I’ve been running ANBAD for exactly five years now.

I’m not sure what to celebrate the most: the fact that I managed to stick to the premise of writing (hyperbole) about a new(-ish) band (almost) every (working) day (except weekends and holidays) or the fact that I haven’t gone clinically insane whilst doing it.

A minor landmark moment like this always induces some soul-searching, or at least simple head-scratching.

And five years is a long time online: Myspace was still the main online music resource, hashtags were a minority interest, and The Hype Machine had only begun to engage its gears in early 2008.

What does blogging about new music for five years mean? What conclusions can one draw?

These, sadly, are the best five things I could come up with:

1) Music blogging is both what you expected (a relentless grind listening to mainly hopeless bands) and what you didn’t (in the music industry, you will meet the nicest, smartest, most interesting people in the world and also the most jaw-droppingly self-interested, conniving, awful people too.)

2) Even though you knew this was true, and secretly hoped that you would be the one to buck the trend, you really will make no money by music blogging. This applies even if you’re really good at writing breathless prose, or are really well connected, or are really good at spotting the next variant of Whatever-Wave.

3) To make the money you didn’t make by blogging, you will end up doing online music PR just like everyone else, even though you secretly hoped that you would be the one to buck the trend.

4) The infinitesimally small number of bloggers that managed to segué into paid music writing careers managed it because they had rich enough parents to pay for their rent whilst they did years of unpaid internships. Get over it,loser, jeeeez.

5) Opportunities come and go; and not really in proportion to how hard you work, so you may as well work less remorselessly hard. The music industry is full of people who fell on their feet and have made a career out of it. Relax and wait until it happens to you. Additionally: forget schmoozing, networking, cock-sucking and brown-nosing. Step out of that particular race, sunshine, cos it’ll not pay off, assuming you value your dwindling sense of self-worth.

(NB: The last point is the only brain-nugget of much use, and as close to homespun wisdom as you’ll ever find on ANBAD.)

Has anything changed in the world of new music blogging since 2008? Not really. Blogging got easier, thanks to the holy trinity of Soundcloud, Bandcamp and numerous WordPress plug-ins.

The number of indelibly average new artists grew exponentially due to the ubiquity of the laptop musician, whose music has never existed outside of the digital domain.

Perhaps the biggest change has been the slow creep towards the new standard blog model: the devastatingly tedious Race-To-Be-First.

Just as the 1990’s UK men’s mags began as irreverent, blokey ephemera and slowly mutated into skin-catalogues of boobs and bums at the expense of words and thoughts, so a large proportion of music blogs now just want to be First.

Check out a post on one of these blogs, and you’ll find a Soundcloud link to the latest release from Buzz Band X and a few slung-out accompanying mind-burps, all rushed online as soon as the writer read about it on whichever cool blog they read.

It’s not that blogging was better in the past, by the way. It’s just that it was less often seen as a necessary stepping stone to a later career writing Listicles for whichever website is copying BuzzFeed that week.

Consider this new status quo as the music blogging equivalent of Reganomics: the precious buzz slowly trickles down from the top, and eventually we all get more buzz-rich – but the people who most vocally praise the system get more buzz more quickly.

Finally, here’s Jerry’s Final Music Blog Thought: (almost) everyone music blogging is scared. (Almost) everyone is motivated by fear that their tiny foot-hold in the music world will crumble and vanish at any moment, and that hard-won social cachet will vanish faster than a Record Store Day limited edition glitter-vinyl EP on Ebay.

So, stop worrying and learn to love the buzz-bomb – at its most vital, music blogging is still the fingers rummaging around the grassroots – and there are more, better blogs than ever, spooling more wonderful, inventive, smart, creative, reactive, wild, obtuse music than ever before. I’m just happy that I had the chance to join in.

Here’s to the next five years! Just imagine the giant steps Chillwave will have taken by 2018!

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 24th November 2010

This week my ears have been kindly plagued by The PixiesTrompe Le Monde, an album that suddenly, pointlessly, emerged from the Pile Of Albums Past and thrilled me all over again. I love it when that happens. Little Eiffel! Little Eiffel!

The ANBAD Donkey gets Black Francisised to celebrate. And now here’s a mixtape, chiefly to remind me that there is still new music out there:

FIRST! The Speechless Radio is an inherently absurd conceit, like a beef-less cow or Sarah Palin without Satan’s icy manipulative hand. Distant Homes II may be a compilation of many individual tracks, or may be a long song of many components, all of which – equally absurdly – work so well I feel like hugging someone and discussing at length why people don’t make 10-minute songs more often.

SECOND! Arp Attack‘s name caused an instant mental leap to Beastie Boys’ Heart Attack Man, and it is through that snot-punk window that Arp Attack’s Electro-pop was viewed. If anything, it’s to their credit that they survived the comparison, but his is probably to do with the fact that their electro-pop songs like Sugar Cane are actually very likeable, as opposed to the turgid majority. Nice.

THIRD! Glass Ankle – if boxers have glass jaws, do kick-boxers have Glass Ankles? Such questions rankle, but dissipate quickly as songs like Kyo wa ii hi (今日はいい日) veer cheerfully between straightforward folk and something a bit more special. You’ll come for the folk, but stay for the imperceptibly affecting emotional yearning.

FOURTH! Future Cop! doesn’t look like any sort of police officer at all. I don’t even think this has anything to do with Peter Weller. I think they might be having us on. You’ll need more than 20 seconds to comply with their songs, super-slick with an unabashed disco sheen and high on hi-hats, synths and maybe life itself. Happy happy joy joy.
FIFTH! Humanizer make the kind of big, shameless, thudding dance tracks that don’t get made too often now, in case their makers get compared to Leftfield. Like that’s a bad thing. Shinobi may or may not have anything to do with the Sega videogame of the same name, but it takes me back to my youth regardless. CHOOOON!

The View From… Kilburn // London

This is the third look at local music scenes in London, after Camden and North-East London, and if it reminds us of anything, it’s that London is a) VAST and b) all things to all people. Cat Dal‘s blog, www.catsbandcrushes.com, is run from Kilburn. She also ‘does’ new music ‘stuff’ for a national newspaper, and as such, is in a perfectly poised to comment on her neighbourhood’s foibles, its scuffed charm and the enforced silence which must be obeyed

North West London hasn’t yet manage to pull in the Shoreditch ‘cool’ crowd and frankly we couldn’t be more smug about it. For the locals, like myself, Kilburn has that smelly old relative appeal, it really should wash more and there’s some food stuck on their face, but you love ‘em all the same.

If you were to survive the altitude high up on the Jubilee line, Kilburn High Road has some of the most exciting venues in London. Dedicated to playing credible new acts alongside returning legends: we are of course talking about the Good Ship and the holy grail that is The Luminaire.

The Good Ship is a music-orientated pub and club perfect for dipping your toe into the murky waters of new music. They have set up the bar just far away enough so you can easily nurse a pint without stretching your vocal chords to Steve Tyler levels to be heard.

However if you want to get up close and into spitting territory, the stage allows you to get cozy and well acquainted with your favourite music-makers. Come the weekend, the ‘plub’ gets its sparkly leggings on, and the dance floor is heaving until 4am.

Two minutes from the Good Ship’s doors lives its older, cooler brother, The Luminaire. Dark, brooding and mysterious, The Luminaire is a place for true-music lovers searching for rare intimate acoustic sessions with phenonmal sound.

Co-owner Andy Inglis insists on a silenced room when the acts are playing, and in return provides the obliging audience with fair priced drinks, chummy staff and a precious experience.

Warpaint, Horse Feathers, Aidan Moffat and the Editors are just a few of the acts to have graced the velvet lined room, and if you glance (quietly) around the room and you may see Jim Scalvunous, or Edwyn Collins amongst the bearded crowd.

With 100 Club and the Flowerpot facing closure, its important to embrace and support natural, music-orientated venues before they face extinction.

Otherwise, we could end up succumbing to watching Andrew Bird taking on a very noisy Koko, whistling so forcefully, he bursts a blood vessel.

© Cat Dal // www.catsbandcrushes.com

Sea Glasses: Every-day Pleasure

After taking a rare dip into the murky waters of  Music Debate And Controversy yesterday, it’s a soothing pleasure to return to the day-to-day grind of simply finding new bands.

I say grind, but of course it’s nothing of the sort – I find the same kind of pleasure in rooting out new bands as Bob Ross takes from washing his brush. Simple pleasures, simply done, friends.

And anyway, Sea Glasses are about as frenetic and disorientating as slipping into a hot bubble bath. Their music is beamed directly from childhood dreams: pink-hued, soporific and wildly happy.

When We Left is the aural recounting of a treasured memory – drenched in reverb, lazily rebounding sounds off itself and featuring the same wide-eyed euphoria previously heard in the latter few tracks from Screamadelica.

At the end, the track dissolves into blissful dissonance, and all its listeners’ heart rates will have slowed by 10%. If nothing else, here’s a song that could have serious repercussions on our collective blood pressure.

MORE: seaglasses.bandcamp.com

>Today’s New Band – hntrhntr

>Categorisation – one of the many concepts that send the more humourless rock star into paroxysms of righteous anger – “We don’t want to be pigeon-holed, maaan,” they cry, whilst continuing to grind out a single style of music for the whole of their careers. Most record shops, though, bravely risk the wrath of these tortured rock ‘n’ roll artists, and go ahead and categorise CDs willy-nilly.

This is done mainly out of kindness, to make it all very easy for those of us who are not mouthbreathing morons to steer clear of the Best Mum in the World…Ever! CDs in the ‘Cds For Cretins’ section. Often though, even the most astute of the shop owners will struggle to categorise the bands that are so wilfully obtuse that you will often find a resulting ‘Just Noise!!!!!!’ section, usually just after the ‘Experimental Bolivian Dub’ niche.

This is probably where you’d find Today’s New Band, Hntrhntr – a band whose love of breakneck schizo freak-out noise-mageddon is only matched by their hatred of vowels. The truly lovely thing about this kind of music is that is entirely polarises opinion – no-one ‘kind of’ likes it. You’ll either find the short, frankly bonkers, songs on their MySpace page such as brth and ptchbtch to be ZOMG!!! AWESOME!!! or ZOMG!!! WTF!!!, with little room for intellectual maneuver. brth sounds like what you’d hear if you were mummified in custard whilst being beaten to death with spanners, and cmblst is what it would sound like if you suddenly fell into a space-time wormhole and found youself 4 miles above Jupiter, descending rapidly through sulphur clouds.

They’re headpoundingly brilliant, blasting your ears with sounds from your worst/best nightmares – and you’ll decide whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing within about 10 seconds.

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 7th July 2010

Boring ANBAD Donkey t0day. He’s all out of footballers to mock. This one is what advertising people would call ANBAD Donkey Classic.

Here’s a really good mixtape though, not like all those rubbish ones that have cluttered up your life in the past.

FIRST! Love Ends Disaster – I’m going to be frank: there are moments when I wholly wavered whilst listening to Love Ends Disaster. There are times when City Of Glass Cowboys appears to be heading down the MOR safety-first route, like – hell – Keane. But every time, the band snatch the song back from the brink of dull-saster; and how.

So, here is a band who will divide opinion squarely between those who think they are epic, sky-scraping and full of wonder, and those who think that they are wandering into the grey nowhere of bland success. Such is life.

SECOND! Run Forever Mmmm, huge power chords. Tasty, chewy, meaty power chords. I’m a firm believer that when you learn the guitar, you should be taught four power chords – three majors and a minor, if you’re that interested – and then be left to discover the rest for yourself. Because the result will be buzzy, chunky and supremely satisfying power-pop like this. Yum.

THIRD! Shed Boat Shedd steal the unnecessary double-D motif from Fred Durst-endorsed plod-rock cretins Puddle of Mudd. Fortunately that’s all they steal from them. If they’d used PoM as a creative muse, I would have hunted them down and found a queue of angry people waiting to murder them in their sleep. Songs like Here For The Night are, indeed, slightly nautical – salty, simple, tough and distant. Lovely, consoling and soothing.

LAST! Meursault are the kind of band you’d hope to hear on your deathbed. No, I didn’t expect that last sentence either. But it’s true. And their songs are just a delight; they’re a tease too – I fell into the trap of believing that their songs were simple folky jangles, and how wrong I was. These songs have grown in the same fertile soil as all living things. The Dirt The Roots yearns for life like a sapling, and the endless layers of delicious sound contained within speak the genius of organic growth. Gorgeous to the nth degree.

DONE! Yup. Done and done.

Tom Kitty Oliver: Together, Today

Have you noticed it too?

That, as new music is becoming more the product of lone bedroom producers and become more indicative of an individual’s aesthetic, the songs become less interested in posturing, and more concerned with beauty and warmth?

In fact, Tom Kitty Oliver, the solo project of Andrew Hamlet, concerns itself with very little else: a cornucopia of gentle, deft and choice sounds that are both low-fi and luxe all at once.

Arcadian Divide is a swoon-some , gently buzzing with soft static and the rustle of life’s more menial, quiet moments.

In the past, labels would be rushing to fill compilation albums with this stuff. Now, we’re all label bosses, distribution heads and radio pluggers for our own world of music. Maybe that’sa good thing.

I have a strong suspicion that we’re in the midst of mining the richest vein of purely individual, wholly new music, and just haven’t fully realised it yet. Tom Kitty Oliver is another beautiful example of this new order’s slow revealing.


Brand New Blog Ahoy: BAD COVER VERSIONS!

A New Band A Day celebrates creativity, daring and cunning.

Rock, however, doesn’t do a lot of cunning, and even less creativity.

What it does do is a lot of is stupid, as demonstrated by the truly dreadful decisions made when bands start to cover other band’s songs.

Evidence? Take Duran Duran, surely one of the more feeble bands to ever attain worldwide adoration – and consider: would you ever recommend to Le Bon and co that covering Public Enemy‘s 911 Is A Joke was a good idea?

No, neither would I – however, thankfully, someone did – and as such we can now revel in the video footage of what must be the most ridiculous cover version of all time.

Stupidity of this magnitude would arouse anyone’s curiosity, and so here is the result: www.badcoverversions.com. It’s a blog that wholeheartedly celebrates the stupid, the misguided and the rankly moronic in rock, and acts as a handy repository of videos of the dumbest covers ever whelped.

Dip in, and luxuriate in other such mind-boggling covers as Sting turning a two-minute Jimi Hendrix song into a ten-minute atrocity, rap-frat-idiots Limp Bizkit making George Michael’s Faith even worse than it already was, and – coming very soon – a country and western version of Fight For Your Right To Party, an 80’s teen idol performing a jazz-funk cover of Love Will Tear Us Apart, and much, much worse.

Share and enjoy!

Joe // www.badcoverversions.com