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.


 

Pompey: Nervous Brilliance

It takes nerve to write music that departs from the norm. Nerve is needed to fight the ever-present temptation to round off the sharp corners and produce a more generic sound, and to silence the fearful thoughts that such music will never get you on MTV.

Nerve will take you places you never dreamed of, whereas playing to the gallery will lead to to exactly where you expected.

Pompey is an artist who has been making music for a while – so his appearance becomes one of the ‘new-as-in-new-to-ANBAD‘ variety, as opposed to the ‘only-picked-up-a-glockenspiel-for-the-first-time-last-week‘ kind.

Pompey // Bivouac Sack

None of this controversial machination will matter a jot when you’ve heard Bivouac Sack, a song so kaleidoscopically beauiful and hypnotic, that the song sows the seeds of it’s own sonic destruction half way through, lest the listening audience slips unwittingly into an inert state of comfort.

It takes a true artist to create a song so multi-layered, so loopily and beautifully colourful and so lilting that time itself drags, stupified. It takes a bold artist to then consider this not progressive enough, and to chuck a big clump of fractured, devious noise-pollution into the middle to jolt the audience awake and allow the song to move on.

Pompey‘s are the kind of songs which connect with me so directly, it feels like cheating to write about him in such glowing terms. Such is life. Pompey’s songs feel urgent, necessary and yet totally calming. Excellent.

Download the full-fat version of the excellent Bivouac Sack here

New Years Evil – The Death and Rebirth of Self-Awareness

Yesterday I was interviewed for BBC Introducing Manchester. Live interviews are fun – talking about yourself  is always a pleasant ego-massage – but one question left my mouth flopping hopelessly for answers.

“How do you make sure you don’t write about the same things every day?” is a fair enough question, and after a few agonising seconds of dead air I had to admit that there may be an element of  similarity between posts.

By which, of course, I mean that every post is fundamentally identical: 250 words of enthusiastic jabbering about new music. It’s only the bands that change. As a result I’m now acutely aware of the words I type. Was that right? Have I typed that before? Oh God, I’ve become self-aware.

Having either nicked their name from an early 80s slasher movie, or having dreamt it up in a moment of lucid inspiration, New Years Evil tick all of ANBAD’s band-name requirement boxes (see every single post passim).

Shame is a huge splash of monotone black-fuzz/white-noise, a spasmodic frenzy of strobe-light noise arcing all the way from 1991. Speaking, as we were, of self-awareness, here is a band who seem unflustered by thoughts of their own being, choosing instead to simply get their lust for crunchy, blunt and rattling rock onto record before the moment passes.

As a result, Shame is a song that is unencumbered by any process beyond raw excitement and the thrill of it all. Nothing more is necessary, or desired. Brilliant, green, tangible and alive.

artishardrecords.co.uk

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 22nd August 2012

Sometimes it feels like it’s getting harder  to criticise Alex James from Blur, especially after his band’s recent, glorious, lap of honour.

Who could be cold hearted enough to poke fun at a quarter of a much-loved British institution?

In honesty, ANBAD isn’t even sure if it can find the snark to gently rib him every week any more.

Then ANBAD re-discovered this photo of our Cheesiest Hero casually strolling, Lord of the Manor style, around his estate, lazily observing the Tory Prime Minister chatting with Jeremy Clarkson… and everything fell back into place.

Alex, you’re wonderful/sad, brilliant/crazy, admirable/eye-rollable. Smell my cheese, you mother!

MIXTAPE:

FIRST: Mining Boom defy fashion and decided to make the kind of music they wanted to (which is buzzy, poppy garage rock) – and it’s impossible to deny that this is admirable in a new music world that values fashion and genre-hype as much as it does good tunes. Which, happily, PDA has in lethargic spades.

 

 

NEXT: Mr Ben Sir are a North-East Collective. I’m not sure why that’s important, but it seems so on first listen, and who am I to deny my subconscious judgement? Ports is just minimal enough not to be cloying, and just acoustic enough to be devastatingly gentle.

 

THEN: The Staves are even more gentle, and even more minimal, but their songs are feminine and carefully constructed in a way that a lot of similar songs aren’t that listening to their music transcends a mere song-experience, and pops us into a happy place instead.

 

FINALLY: I was 1000% (ONE THOUSAND PERCENT) positive I’d featured Yucky Slime before. I mean, duhhh: here’s a schizoid, buzzy punk band with the name Yuck Slime, who make shouty, fuzzy power-pop. How did I miss them before?

Piran; An Exercise In The Theoretical Stalking Thereof

You know when you think you know someone, but you can’t swear to it? It’s a bit like when you accidentally catch a glimpse of your own reflection and momentarily think you’re looking someone completely different, but with all the social agonies of not knowing whether to head on over and say ‘hi’.

So, I’m sure I’ve seen Piran around and about in Manchester – I know his face. But I’m equally sure that this is nonsense. There are millions of people in Manchester. Stupid brain. This has become a weird exercise in non-existent stalking. Time to move on.

If I ever do see him, though, he’s owed a hearty congratulations – because this one-Man(c)-band has scrabbled together a great song:

Piran // Rip Off

Being a one-man operation is a minefield of pros and cons – on one hand, you have total creative control and, unless you have a personality disorder, there will be no messy break-ups due to ‘creative differences’ (though if you do have a personality disorder, it will be an extremely messy break up).

The flip side is that the emphasis is squarely on you: no-one to take the strain when you’re exhausted, and every stumble means a long and lonely trip back to draw from the well of inner strength.

So the fact that Piran, my mysterious stranger, has whelped this pristine jewel of a song by himself is a minor triumph. The song is clearly one person’s work – you can always tell – but Rip Off is measured, quirky, clever and still idiosyncratic.

Piran: neat, charming and fun.

www.myspace.com/iampiran

>A New Band A Day Is In A Tent… Again – Part Three

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So by now, we’re probably trying to swim back from the Isle of Wight in a vain attempt to wash the mud off before careering home. OR, in the unlikely event it was warm, sunny and dry, we’ll be feeling like the smuggest people on the planet. Somewhere in between the two is most likely.

So, tomorrow, there’ll be an exciting update on which were the best bands we saw at Bestival, before filling you in on all the juiciest new bands whose soothing sounds you’ll need to ease you into Autumn.

Love,

Joe & the ANBAD “roadtrip posse in full flavasome effect”

Felix Hagan – Uncooller Than You

There’s a certain theatricality subliminally associated with rock ‘n’ roll.

We all want the garish outfits, the ludicrous behaviour, the out-there posturing: witness The Darkness‘ unexpected – but entirely understandable -rise to fame a few years ago.

It’s just that most of us now hide that desire under the guise of being ”cool’.

Cool doesn’t want silly hats, or outlandishness, or fun: it wants a bunch of weedy music snobs in leather jackets glaring at us from under their ruffled hair.

Felix Hagan understands that to reject this image of cool is to move out of the pack, and its associated dubious safety.

Good. The people who step to a different beat are the ones that are moving in a different direction.


Dirty Little Urchin Child is deeply uncool. This is a complement. It’s also a pow-boom rock operetta, with the kind of immediate punch that will grasp all but the most stubbornly arch music listener.

So when the song takes a succession of confusing, sudden, left and right turns, via FM-rock boogie, stage-school stomps and rave-whistles, we’re left dazzled, then surprised, then thrilled.

Few ‘cool’ bands pack as much into one of their dreary albums as Felix crams into this one song. One to keep a jittering eye on.

MORE: felixhagan.bandcamp.com

DJ ASL – Take A Seat Over There

At ANBAD, there are two childishly primary obsessions that drive interest towards new artists: amusing band names and ludicrously obscure genres.

Hey, if you don’t like it, here’s a list of ten good blogs you can stroke your chin over.

Anyway: DJ ASL sorta-kinda fulfils all of my dubious criteria. How? Well, “ASL” is the kind of request (Age/Sex/Location?) that lonely perverts use to initiate conversations on inappropriate online chatrooms – conversations that usually end up with awkward real-life conversations with Chris Hansen.

And the genre? Cheekily, If I Could Do Anything, I Could Do Anything is labelled as ‘Post-Dubstep’. I like the cojones on this guy.

In seriousness, I think the label is – whilst a minor issue – unhelpful, as the track is a scantily-arranged scattering of simple soundlets, and as far removed from the mindless WUBWUBWUB of Dubstep as you could hope for.

Genres aside, the song dallies with both paranoia and inner calm; funnelled through the narrowest range of samples possible. It’s an exercise in simplicity.

There’s one other way to look at it: DJ ASL has indeed made a (great) post-Dubstep song – but in six months, everything will be post-Dubstep. Feels good, right?

MORE: djasl.tumblr.com

B-Lock And The Girl; The Zingy Acidic Audacity Of Hope

Today I had the strangest feeling. I doesn’t happen  often, and I’m at an age and time in life where I don’t trust the zingy acid feeling under the skin that feelings induce.

But there it was – and the feeling was Christ, this band are really good. Blogging about so many bands means that a New Band Thick Skin is formed pretty quickly, and as most new bands fall in the centre of the Quality Bell-Curve, I enjoy them and then move on to the next one.

Only a few are at the very extreme edges – bands that surprise with their musical eloquence and pierce the fog of banality. B-Lock And The Girl are one of those bands.

B-Lock and The Girl // Tired Of The Sick Hype

There’s so much that excites me about this band, this song, this moment, that I feel like I’m going to burst. As far as songs recorded in a garage/cheap demo studio go, this one is brilliant – in two and a half minutes they cram in enough invention, new ideas and moments of QUIET/loud shock to elevate them way beyond the majority.

Every great song has  a moment that forces a strangled ‘Yes!’ from the listener, and Tired Of The Sick Hype has one too – about a minute and half in: a break, a stutter, and then the song rushes off to the climax you hoped for.

Good bands, good films, good books give pleasure because of the satisfaction of them enfolding the exact way you wanted them to, or in the exact opposite way. B-Lock And The Girl‘s songs do this, too.

Their Myspace page has had 500 views. Their Twitter feed has three followers. Have I managed to stumble on something special here, against all the odds? Find out for yourself:

www.myspace.com/blockandthegirl

>Today’s New Band – rs-232

>Electronic music often sounds soulless. Even though bands like Orbital managed to infuse something nearing humanity or nature into their music, the methods for producing electronic music ensure that its very nature is that of robotic precision. This isn’t to say humanity or soulfulness is necessary in music, just that, as music is an output for expression, it’s often tough to convey the feeling that fingers, thumbs and emotion have been involved in its creation.

Today’s New Band, rs-232, is ice-cold and precise. There doesn’t seem to be room for emotion or feeling in the music, but that’s a good thing, as it would seem wildly out of place in music this clean. This is what music made by robots would sound like. Precise, concise, calculated, metallic and shimmering. Song Ping manages to bounce, jitter and, yes, ping, but with a subtle funkiness, if that isn’t oxymoron-tastic.

However, it’s not funk that you’d want to leap up and frug to – this isn’t dancing music. What it does do is drag your mind away from wherever you are – you’ll soon be wandering around rigid and unknown corridors in your mind. Pending Authorisation is creepy, sparse and stark, with quiet clicks, pulse-like beats and chilly metallic sweeps.

rs-232 ‘s tunes may well turn out to be a sonic computer experiment. I half hope so. Listen to it all here, and try not to picture T-1000 from Terminator creeping up behind you as you listen.

>The ANBAD Time Machine – November 08!

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Wow, last November was cold. Re-reading posts from back then is more of a task whereby filtering out seething resentment at the weather is the priority, rather than reading about, you know, new bands.

Still, you too can now enjoy that festering anger, as well as discovering which great new bands floated our collective boat in November 2008!

As always, there is a generically-good Scandiwegian pop-rock band, a mentalist noise band and one super-smashing-great band in the lovely, er, Ex-Lovers.

So load up on blankets and warm socks and hunker down with the best bands from last November!