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.


 

Takeda; When Bad Recommendations Go Good, Part Two

When Bad Recommendations Go Good, Part Two. (See yesterday’s adventures for Part One)

When Takeda were pitched to me, I had little hope. Vague mutterings about a world-folk ‘outfit’ who were ‘getting attention in Norfolk’ just didn’t reach up my trouser leg and grab me by the balls, in all honesty.

Within this article, then, lie lessons on the benefits of ignorance, bloody-mindedness and the value of another weary click of another speculative URL. Because – and listen carefully – if A Million Years isn’t the most damn beautiful song I’ve heard for weeks – months even – I’m a banana.

Why explain any more? Listen:

Takeda // A Million Years

There’s no point in wondering where this song came from, or how it came to be, or even what sparked its existence. Just be pleased this song is here, and gratefully allow its downy softness to slowly envelop your body.

There are times when the weight of the world just seems too much, and times when finding comfort is impossible. This song can’t help you with that.

But when that weight is lifted, and when you experience the honey-sweet lightness of relief, the sound you hear in your head will either be a soft, delicious wash of tinnitus-white noise, or it will be a song as beautiful, orange and warm as A Million Years. Hopefully it will be this exact song.

Life is strange. Orson Welles touched greatness and then never recovered. Joseph Heller stumbled over a baby-sized gold nugget first time. Takeda might never reach these heights again, but who cares? This song is the sound of them standing at the top of the mountain; panting, happy, dizzy.

www.myspace.com/takeda

Dignan Porch; Bliss, Goose Down and Eggshells

Upstarts, hey? They’re everywhere. You know you’re getting older when Policemen and fey Indie bands start looking younger.

Look at this photograph of Dignan Porch. How does that make you feel? Are they your contemporaries, or are you looking at yourself ten, twenty years ago?

What of they sounded like the bands from back then too? What if they sounded like a beautiful, goose-down soft, blissful version of the Jesus and Mary Chain?

Dignan Porch‘s songs are delicate, organic and exquisite, like eggshells, or complex arithmetic, or dust floating in a shaft of light. The Game We Made exemplifies their approach to songwriting: keep it short, keep it simple, keep it heart-breakingly beautiful.

Songs with this slow a pace are often stymied by their own plod, but here it only serves to heighten the sadness when the song’s all-too-brief existence is snuffed out just before the two-minute mark.

So simple is their sound that you’ll soon be asking yourself why all bands don’t do it like this – and this will be the precise moment you realise that Dignan Porch are an excellent band.

Anyone who can make beauty out of scraps is on the right track. Dignan Porch are steaming ahead, albeit slowly and introspectively. Triumphantly lovely.

MORE // www.myspace.com/dignanporch

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 11th May 2011

Lordy. There’s been a lot of fuss this week over Super Injuctions, which are stopping us, the needy public, from finding out which minor celebrities have been having sex with each other.

But who is the mysterious twitter user who is breaching these legal injunctions? Who is illegally feeding us this vital gossip? ANBAD has managed to get our hands on a partly redacted, exclusive photograph.

MIXTAPE?

FIRST! Musket hail from the same vibrant Euro-hub as last year’s ANBAD band of the year, the excellent Youthless. Whatever it is that they put in the water in Lisbon (and from hazy recollections, it may well be the ginja), it seems to result in hi-tempo, bass-driven, angular power pop. A head-long rush into dizzy twang-rock.

SECOND! JoSu, however, is as far removed from such bouncy shenanigans as is humanly possible. A song like Elk may well stretch the concept of ‘song’ to or beyond its natural conclusion, such is the sonorously extruded nature of the music, consisting of mere washes of ringing noise, looping slowly. Devastatingly simple.

 

THIRD! Ghostly Dust Machine has an agonisingly appropriate name, such is the nature of his/their/it’s downtempo, sample-heavy, slo-mo hip hop. There’s a certain comfort-food quality to be found in these kinds of jazzy, breakbeat-laden songs, reminding us that there’s nothing better than simple songs performed well.

FOURTH! I don’t even want to know what Marco Mahler’s The Trees Have Fallen and The Birds Are Ripe actually means. It sounds vaguely apocalyptic, which, when accompanied by such delightfully sweet and restrained music, leaves me feeling uneasy at the very least. Still, songs as beautiful and sharp as this deserve to be savoured for a long time. Though maybe not until end times.

FINALLY! Mulato Pintado makes frankly bizarre music, apparently known as flipped hop, which – bearing in mind the usual uselessness of genre names – describes a song like Donnie Mansfield King of the Worker Bees precisely. Maybe you’ll initially fool yourself into thinking that this song is a strange mess. You’ll be wrong.

Turquoise Memories: Re-appropriation For The Nation

ANBAD has just ceased living out of a rucksack and has a place to call home again.

This might not sound like a huge deal, but 10 months spent whittling daily necessaries down so that they fit into a bag has, simultaneously, both a wildly calming and maddening effect. It’s an interesting – if perhaps not recommended – experiment in minimalism, decision making and creative compromising.

Turquoise MemoriesAll I Need To Say has a similar dichotomy – a wilfully calm, ponderous pace, but peppered with disembodied vocals detuned to the point of anxiety.

 

OK, so far, so de rigueur – who doesn’t detune their vocals these days? – but as they squark over soft cascades of synth and snappy drums, you realise that some crazes catch on for a reason. All I Need To Say might take cues from its peers, but this is no crime, and the results are almost overwhelmingly euphoric.

As a side note, the sudden widespread re-appropriation of what, to these old ears, sounds a lot like mid-to-late-90’s commercial house music, is endlessly fascinating, especially when performed with as much finesse as Turquoise Memories.

MORE: facebook.com/turquoisememories

Kids: Terrified, Breezy

Confusion reigns, as always, in ANBAD towers.

What to make of a band with both a terrified and simultaneously breezy outlook? Do they even know themselves?

Kids might have a name that launched a thousand bands (OK, Johnny Depp’s and a couple of others), but they have carved out their own niche via a grab-bag of Dick Dale Guitar lines, sweet vocals and a general air of casual carelessness.

“Never gonna make it out alive,” seems an entirely gloomy outlook, but Kids are no navel-gazing teens – hey, they’re kids, remember.

And so what could have become, in different hands, a nihilistic woe-is-me paean, blossoms into a frenetic, scuzzy, candy-coloured pop song.

This act of flipping grouchy lyrics onto upbeat songs alone makes the band something to cherish. The fact that their tunes could get a disco full of truculent teens on their feet and dancing is a marvel.

Kids must know their audience well – and it’s a joy to behold.

MORE:  facebook.com/kidskidskids

>Today’s New Band – Forest Fire

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While I was in Vigo, I ate a lot of Pulpo de Gallega. It’s the local dish, and is so simple, even a fingers-and-thumbs chef like me could serve it to friends and family without risking annual Christmas-time jibes about ‘that time you gave me diarrhoea/the most inedible food ever/amoebic dysentery‘. Here’s the first, and last, ANBAD recipe*:
  1. Get some octopus legs and cut them into suckery, weird-looking discs.
  2. Boil them with slices of potato.
  3. Put weird, suckery octuopus bits on top of potato.
  4. Sprinkle with paprika.
  5. Shove into idiot mouth.
See? So uncomplicated that it’s hard to believe it could even be considered a local delicacy. But it is, and it’s bowel-tremblingly delicious.
There’s a slightly agonising and obvious parallel to be drawn between the simplicity of Pulpo de Gallega and a good new band. Too many bands pollute songs with Keith-Moon drum fills or guitar noodling. Good bands don’t need frills or tarting-up. They are good because of their natural saltiness.
To draw this simile to an agonising close, Today’s New Band, Forest Fire, are a big cauldron pull of octo-potato tastiness. They write songs that shoot here and there, making the sounds they really desire at the times they actually want to make them.
Plinking and plonking drunkenly, I Make Windows is an end-of-the-night, end-of-the-world hymn to . It stumbles, staggers and sways, keeping on the right track by force of will alone. The band sound like they are scattered in bits and yet tightly bound together all at once. Promise materialises from angry flames and leers with intent; a threatening drum and screech coupled to demented, terrifying word.
You’ll gladly clutch at Forest Fire, ugly suckers and all, because they’ve realised that these bits, which some people try to disguise or round off, are what separate them from the bland. Their music has that vital ingredient: unconfined individuality. Yum. A really very good new band. Listen here!
*barring the inspiration-bereft day when you may receive an article beginning with the old chestnut, “How to make a New Band. Take a pound of jangly guitar, a splash of hi-hats, fold in some moody posing…etc

>Today’s New Band – Radio Spectacular PLUS! FEAR! (The)

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Do you know who’s at number one in the (UK) single charts today? I used to listen to the Top 40 countdown on Radio 1 religiously when I was a callow youth, but who really cares now? To answer the first question – it’s Lily Allen, with her ominously-titled song The Fear.
The song itself is, you know, OK; it’s quite difficult to dislike Lily Allen, and The Fear’s lush, semi-serious pop won’t change that. Anyway, the song further fuels my theory that all British recording artists, after going through the ‘making it big, partying a bit too hard’ phase, suddenly get all introspective and release a song called The Fear.
Pulp, Travis and Ian Brown are all guilty of this, with varying results. Pulp’s stab at it was an atypically glum, downbeat, overly dramatic druggy song from Jarvis’ ill-fated cocaine days; Ian Brown‘s was pretty much the same thing; and Travis‘ doesn’t really bear thinking about.
I can see why writing a song called The Fear is so tempting, conjuring as it does images of Vietnam vets thousand-yard-staring into the distance, sniffing bravely. Pop stars are narcissistic enough to draw parallels between their own boozy miseries and soldiers with post-traumatic stress.
Today’s New Band, Radio Spectacular, wouldn’t write a song about The Fear. They’re not self-absorbed enough, and besides, are too busy writing songs with names like Nina And The Sonic Rainbow to worry about cocaine psychosis.
Writing songs as softly LOUD and exciting as Good To Me probably negates the need for soul-searching. Pounding, detached and yet still enough of a love song to give teenagers enough of an excuse to both kiss and grope on dancefloors, it’ll scrub your brain clean of lethargy, leaving you alert and alive.
You Light Me Up clicks and clacks, finding itself in the spaces in between the sounds. It’s fun enough to make a chorus of “la-a-a-a-a eh-eh-oh” work perfectly. Ghosts and Ghouls isn’t as fiendishly frustrating as the early 90’s video game of almost the same name, but is just as addictive. It’s bouncy, clattering pop with throwaway lyrics like “He thinks he’s really fit, he thinks he’s the shit, the girls are lining up for him,” all over the most insistent rolling piano riff you’ve heard for ages.
Radio Spectacular are from Adelaide, and so may not be touring in my hemisphere any time soon, but my loss is Oceania‘s gain. Based on pure guesswork – which for ANBAD is almost comparable to scientific proof – I’m willing to gamble that their gigs are a riot of pop colour, fun and (hopefully) the aforementioned teenage necking. Get a lovebite with them here!

COMPETITION: Tickets! Getcha Free Tickets!

UPDATE: The winner was @Dot_Communism, with the entry “Oh Mumford & Sons,with your LP like the gift shop at a medium sized slightly out of the way castle”. Congratulations!

Mmmm, live gigs.

Complain as much as you like (or as much as I do) about the stranglehold it has on the music industry right now, in reality very few things in life beat going and standing in a dark, sticky-floored room, with a pint of odd-tasting lager, watching some sullen musicians wearing colourful T-shirts mope onstage.

And they’re the good gigs – even the ones where the band smiles a bit and says “thanks” now and then are worth going to, too.

So Ladbrokes has decided to go borderline crazy, and give away £50 worth of free Ticketmaster vouchers to one lucky ANBAD reader. I know, I know – just think of all the Ed Sheeran tickets you could buy with that (well, OK, it’s probably just two, but you could spend it more wisely on anyone you flippin’ like, because Ticketmaster seem to have them all).

And why is Ladbrokes being all generous with gig ticket vouchers? Well, they’ve just launched a new vinyl-based slot machine on their website that combines the snooty thrills of crate-digging for vinyl with the visceral excitement of winning bags of lovely moolah to buy the overpriced, giant-person, crackly-sounding, sub-CDs in the first place.

So, to win 50 quid of Ticketmaster vouchers, just email or tweet me the answer to this question, with the hashtag #OMGfreetickets:

“Vinyl is often cited as sounding better than competing formats. But – just how average is the new Mumford and Sons LP?”

Best description of how average the new Mumford and Sons LP is, as chosen by me, wins the £50 of vouchers.

Competition ends Sunday 7th October. Go to it!

CloZee: Air Apparant

It’s interesting to observe labels’ releases from afar, and even more interesting to see them select their artists as they move forward.

The posterchild for the new breed of sprightly, nimble and tasteful (urgh) labels is, of course, Bad Panda, but  Neuroplastic is another label who appears to be selecting a string of snappy music makers: Stereo Silence‘s deliciously now music has appeared on these pages before, and other artists like How Green aren’t half bad either.

CloZee is another Neuroplastic signing, and, inevitably, she makes music that is enticingly de rigueur – in the best possible way, of course.

I suppose that the surging, bright and choppy synth-driven music that characterises Jafump T is not shattering too many boundaries – but why should it?

But as a song that actually emotes without words; builds, drops and repeats with consummate ease, this is as sharp as you’d wish for. Soothing in the same way Air’s debut was, and that’s high praise.

MORE: neuroplasticrecords.com/music/clozee-jafump-t-eyes-in-eyes

Michael Jordyn and Greg: Nöt Enöügh Ümläüts

Obsessing over band names and song names is still not a healthy activity. And yet, here I am, doing it again. Some therapists recommend writing a letter ‘to’ the object of your obsession, in order to help clear out the mind. So here we go.

“Dear Michael, Jordyn and Greg. I am a music writer who gets overly excitable on the subject of band names. Don’t judge me. I was born this way and it affects my life insidiously.

“For example: merely seeing the words ‘Kula Shaker’ leaves me frothing at the mouth, clawing at the sky and thrashing at the injustice of it all, and yet ‘Super Furry Animals’ renders me as placid as a milk-sated baby.

“Now, don’t get me wrong. I love the name of your song Wake Up And Smell The Bad Guys. It’s brilliant. Totally bad-ass. And the song itself is a blast. It’s like discovering a dusty LP of music made by teenagers in the 1960’s after they had a room-full of today’s electronic instruments sent back in time to them. It weaves and bobs and burbles so oddly and winningly that I love it to bits.

“It’s just that… well, it’s Michael, Jordyn and Greg. I know that they’re your names. But please try harder on that count. For me. Please.

“I’d love an entirely abstract name, preferably with umlauts and some sort of pun or symbolism, to allow me to judge you before I’ve even heard your music. Your real names just make me picture three nice guys making good songs, and that won’t do at all.

“Yours sincerely, Joe Sparrow.”

michaeljordyngreg.bandcamp.com