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.


 

>Today’s New Band – The Covergirls PLUS! Crystal Ball-Gazing!

>It seems important to hit the ground running in the New Year. Christmas was an inevitable blur of overindulgence and snoozing, without thought of the future or the past. Come the first of January though, and both eyes swivel, panicked and wide, towards the TERRIBLE, INEVITABLE AND RAPIDLY APPROACHING future.

It therefore seems reasonable to have a quick look at the year ahead, and what might snare your attention in it. Predictably, not all of this will be pretty.

Music is all about revivals, whether you like it or not. As a quick example of what might happen in the next 12 months, here’s two people who might benefit from this unlovable trend:

2009 might be the year when we find a group of people brave enough to rekindle The KLF‘s art/noise/stadium house/chaos regime again, and if Pop Incorporated start dumping dead sheep around London, we’ll know it worked. Or maybe it’ll be the year when too-cool-for-school ironic-facial hair supremo Master Shortie ‘goes mainstream’, as if his slick late-08’s-with-a-slant pop sound wasn’t aimed there all along. Who knows.

For us at A New Band A Day, though, the news that ANBAD darlings Art Brut are recording an album with Black Francis from The Pixies sent us into spasms of joy, incredulity and OMGOMGOMGOMG. This surely is the musical meeting of minds that will Win Big, as The Kids say. Time will indeed tell.

To keep our feverish minds distracted whilst we wait for the Best Album Ever, we’ll be featuring a great new band, every day, as usual. So dubious congratulations to The Covergirls, who are the first New Band of 2009!

Yet another band unearthed from the rich seam in the Glasgow Great Bands Pit, The Covergirls’ songs are musical ADHD – in turns scuzzy, twinkly and robotic. Songs like Catch The Tiger and La Casilla de la Muerte stomp aggressively just as unexpectedly as they tiptoe melodically, as if the band’s kid sister has crept into the studio and is cheekily flicking the Fuzz/Clean switch on the guitar amps at random.

Riffs, clobbered drums and sweetly cooed vocals all meet in the middle, hoping to reconcile, but just end up having a spectacularly colourful and enjoyable brawl. As a consequence, songs like Say It Don’t Spray It features one of the most violently choppy riffs heard for ages, and the band thrashes around to keep up.

Then, finally, in an attempt to lever more praise from us Pun-Lovers at ANBAD (but probably not), they even bung in a corker of a song title in the form of Slouching Digger Paper Waggon. The Covergirls are a jolting, fun and thrillingly noisy start top the year. Got cobwebs? Blow them away here!

>Today’s New Band – Spazzys

>Women often get left behind in rock ‘n’ roll bands. Usually relegated to the status of either doe-eyed ‘n’ slutty hanger-on or occasionally bunged the token role of bassist (because it’s ‘easy’ and ‘not as strenuous as drumming’), women are severely underrepresented, with only the fearsome Courtney Love a household name.

I suppose one of the joys of hearing a woman-centric band is that, at a very basic level, they are simply a break from the masculine norm. As a male listener, it’s a happy change to hear women singing about the same things as men – sex, having a good time all the time, etc – but from a different perspective. I presume (but may be wrong) that women enjoy hearing the same things for the same reasons.

It’s therefore always a bit of a thrill to hear an all-female band, and Today’s New Band, Spazzys are that bit of a thrilla triple-pronged Australian one at that. On their Myspace page, they list a bewildering assortment of female movie and TV characters as ‘influences’ – some are cutesy, and some are obscure, but all of them could kick your arse.

Spazzys are more than ‘just a break from the masculine norm’ though. They have sex, sazz and guile – “When the show is over, drive off down the street and when it gets dark, slip into the back seat,” they sing on Zatopeks, a buzzy song full of hooks and big, dumb, satisfying chord changes. Like their other songs, it’s a heady mix of 60’s Shirelles pop and 80’s girl-punk – a neat link between two different eras.

I Want a Divorce is a straight-up punk thrash, and while the title is a request, it’s actually a statement of intent. “I’m taking everything you own”, they yelp, and then have the temerity to nick Tammy Wynnette’s D.I.V.O.R.C.E. refrain too. Great. Listen to Spazzys here!

Giant Burger: Re-Spawned

Bands don’t usually get second chances on ANBAD.

It’s nothing personal; it’s just the nature of the beast that is ANBAD (and if you’re trying to picture the beast in question, look no further than here.)

Besides, moving relentlessly from one new band to another, without pausing for thought is so de rigueur. I’m just holding a mirror to the music industry, like, yeah?

One band have found a way to sneak through the system: ANBAD’s Fourth Best Band of 2011, who were Baaneex, and have now re-spawned as  Giant Burger. Oh, go on then…

 

 

Interestingly/worryingly, Lancelot on the Dole is described by the band as “Doom Meat Pop”.

This is, on reflection, appropriate. It is a giant slab of marbled, meaty prog-folk-rock, of the kind that stopped being cool a long time ago; and yet, here’s a song that makes you wonder if, not for the first time, popular opinion is totally wrong.

Baaneex were/are a band of perverse, complex curiousness, and whilst their new configuration is almost wholly different in appearance, they still have a defiant oddness pervading throughout. Uncool. Great.

MOREgiantburger.bandcamp.com

Girls Names: Clashing With A Wedding

You’re not reading this, are you? You’re watching the Royal Wedding, like everyone else – and that’s just fine. So, fret not, I’ll keep this post brief.

It’s easy to get swept along by the dizzy thrills of Kate ‘n’ Wills’ big day. Or it could just be the gin.

Even if you manage to dodge out of the miasma of chat surrounding Kate’s dress, you’ll step right into the firing line of curmudgeons like me who are just complaining about it.

So why try to compete? Why not burn the bunting, shoot the TV,  flip the laptop shut and listen to some new bands instead?

Browsing through a list of bands playing at a festival, as I have been for the forthcoming Sounds From The Other City, is a thankless task. Best to pick them on the basis of who has the best moniker.

I chose Girls Names, who, indeed, have a good, er, name.

Their sound is buzzy, young and lithe; although all of this exuberance fights for prominence with a thick blanket of dense, droning echo.

As such, I Lose manages to throb with both youthful vim and menace. Some achievement. OK, done. You can get back to the nuptials now.

MORE: gogogirlsnames.blogspot.com

Julian Fulton and the Zombie Gospel: Practiced

Some debuts are so accomplished that I jot a note next to the band’s name on my Big List O’ New Bands: “Check they’re actually new”.

Julian Fulton and the Zombie Gospel are one of these bands whose inherent  ability caused me to question their authenticity. This is today’s reward for hard work and hundreds of hours of practice: suspicion. This world, eh?

Still, it raises a larger question, which is of huge importance: just because bands can now write, record, release and promote a song all on their own, all on the same day, should they?

There is more extremely average music floating around than ever before: songs that should have been aborted, culled or never left the rehearsal room – or at least spent a lot longer in it.

Julian Fulton and the Zombie Gospel are one of the bands that have been holed up in rehearsal for a long time. You can tell by the way the songs are, you know, accomplished.

Lie is the work of a band who have put in the hours, gained the callouses, had the arguments and hit the lows as well as the highs. It’s a rambling but focussed song of minor theatricality, restrained and shambolic; and it’s about love, of course.

Julian Fulton and the Zombie Gospel seem to have a idea of how to do things properly: good songs, well written, refined , re-written; then launch with a bang. If they get big, they only have themselves to blame. And that’s cheerfully refreshing.

MOREjulianfulton.com

FIVE YEARS; WHAT A SURPRISE

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!

>Today’s New Band – We Fly Ships PLUS! Hatred!

>NB: Since publishing this post, Julian and I have conversed via email. Julian’s actually a good guy whose frustration with the music industry’s reluctance to give bands time to develop got the better of him, and I was just the person he vented his spleen to on the spur of the moment.

I don’t blame him for his frustration – I share it – so happily, him and I have the same basic ideas and views on music, and all is well. However, the core points of the post remain important, so I’m keeping it up, though with this caveat.

————————–


Excitingly,
I got my first hate e-mail the other day. It was from a man called Julian Deane, who apparently runs a company called Raygun Music Management. He manages a few decent bands. Julian said that ‘most of the bands on ANBAD are shite’ and that ‘any idiot can post a Myspace address every day‘.

Hate mail is rewarding in so many ways – it means that something I’ve done has riled someone enough to actually spend time letting me know how they feel. Hate mail has as much impact as the praising emails that I get, in that it further confirmed that ANBAD is on the right track – by aiming not to please all of the people all of the time.

I’ll happily admit that not all the bands on ANBAD are as ‘good’ as the others, but only if you define ‘good’ by, say, the likelihood that lots and lots of people will like them, which in some people’s eyes also translates into ‘potential for record sales’.

ANBAD isn’t about taking part in some sort of dick-swinging contest, desperately trying to find the next big band before anyone else. There are loads of websites doing that. We just want to find bands which sound like something we haven’t heard before. That’s the only criteria, really. If a band does go on to bigger things, just like early ANBAD alumi Dinosaur Pile-Up appears to be doing, we’re more than happy.

With all that in mind, maybe you’ll like Today’s New Band, or maybe you won’t. Hopefully, you’ll think that We Fly Ships sound like something that you haven’t entirely heard before. We Fly Ships are perfect week-ending material, half relaxing and half bangin’, just like all good weekends should be.

Sometimes they manage both of these opposing feelings in the space of one song – World in Reverse spends the first, loopy, misty minute threatening to explode, and then transforms into something big, fuzzy and enveloping. Listen to it and try to resist being groped by its tempting grooves and luxurious melody. You’ll wish that you could be listening to it a lot louder in the same way that Orbital‘s albums are never quite as earth-shattering as their live, loud counterparts.

The Bears Are Dead is, frankly, a wonderful mixture of warm synth washes, clattering drums and manic dog-barking. Yes, it’s verging on the boundaries of sanity, but that’s usually a good thing. It sounds like an early Spiritualized song remixed by Adrian Sherwood which is then remixed again by, oooh, Mr Oizo.

We Fly Ships are as warm, loving and intimidating as getting a hug off someone who’s E’d up to the eyeballs. Snuggle up to them here – maybe you’ll be enraged enough to write me a stroppy email. And then read ANBAD – The eBook and work yourself into a frenzy of righteous anger.

Osian Rhys: Standards Slipping Upwards

It’s not even worth pretending that ANBAD does not have a soft spot for Welsh music. Better to embrace these little weaknesses, right?

Not that anyone could ever, in all honesty, find any negative connotations to anyone having a bias towards the music of a minority language?

This becomes especially irrelevant when you realise that Welsh lends itself so beautifully to wistful, lilting songs like Osian RhysA Oes ‘Na Le (I Oeri Gwres Fy Nghalon). Yes, I typed that correctly on the first go.

The (coincidentally) Welsh music critic, Simon Price recently suggested in a radio interview that we’re now elevating and celebrating singer-songwriters merely for having the ability to play a guitar and sing their own songs, whilst looking pleasant. His argued that songwriting standards have slipped.

Well, Osian Rhys makes gorgeous folk songs, written and sung on a guitar. Maybe he agrees with Simon. Maybe Osian isn’t photogenic enough (although I’m sure he’s super-handsome – he sure does have good hair).

Either way, A Oes ‘Na Le (I Oeri Gwres Fy Nghalon) is astonishingly beautiful; a song that creeps into your life and wraps a warm but worried pair of arms around your thoughts.

There are times when guitar-based music re-affirms itself. For this listener, these moments become increasingly infrequent. But Osian has produced one of them. Lovely.

MORE: soundcloud.com/osian-rhys

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 21st July 2010

Hey, look: it’s Mercury Music Prize again, and this year the Über-cool scenester panel have selected a particularly wan and underwhelming final 10.

This isn’t the first time that the Mercury panel have made huge, lumbering mistakes: witness the hilarious dilly-dallying around facts on their own website, when summing up the 1994 award, where M People were awarded the prize over Parklife, His N Hers and Music For The Jilted Generation.

Today, the ANBAD Donkey serves as the Trusty Scales Of Justice, demonstrating the ratio of Good Nominees to Bad Ones.

Note: Each band on this mixtape will be marked with a percentage rating relating to their worthiness of Mercury Nomination compared to Corinne Bailey Rae.

FIRST! Bear Driver (200% more worthy of nomination) Bear Driver make songs that are gentler than the touch of a hidden cobweb, yet just as difficult to ignore.

A Thousand Samurais is deft, wafer-light and gorgeous. That said, can you imagine glueing a little steering wheel on top of a big Kodiak Bear’s head, mounting its shoulders and trying to drive it like a clown car? Hilarious gore.

SECOND! Crooked Mountain, Crooked Sea (150%) are clanky, crunchy and noisy, and yet their musical dynamic is such that the listener isn’t overwhelmed with NOISE, as is so often the case with bands like them. CMCS shake you angrily by the lapels, but then will feed you Flumps afterwards. How kind.

THIRD! Thee Ludds (178%) are morons. No, really. They think so too. Their song, I’m A Moron, is quite explicit on this count. The song, unsurprisingly, is rough around the edges and pretty… direct. But this is endearing, isn’t it sweetheart? That’s right, give mummy the scissors. Play with the soft toys. Don’t eat the sand.

FINALLY! Larsen B (190%) are named after an ice shelf. Their music is a lot more warm. The Gold Cup is so warm and cosy that I was almost lulled to sleep whilst listening to… zzzzzz… Mmmmm. Lovely.

DONE! Yep, done.

>Today’s New Band – Oreagonomics

>Williams Syndrome is a brain disorder. Those who have it often display likable symptoms – extraordinary love for music, unusual communication skills and a general happiness, whilst lacking in common sense and predictability. Today’s New Band, Oreaganomics, personify all these things, playing fast, loose and carelessly with all the noise they’ve just realised is at their disposal.

So then Happy Plate is a fairground organ gone bad, wild, disordered and drifting in and out of coherency; the happy-sinister music you’d expect to be playing when the Joker appeared in the 1960’s TV version of Batman. It’s a hip-hop skip through a dream where everything is in terrifyingly bright Technicolour, until the buzzy lo-fi guitar ending that’s as welcome as it is unexpected. Iceberg shuffles insistently, tramping a rough beat over and over, obliterating and then re-discovering itself again.

Leaping sideways just when you don’t expect it, I Feel Fine is as washed-out as Fabio‘s jeans, albeit with less tightly defined buns and much more substance. It swishes back and forth like a lazy wave humping a beach, sparse and loose.

Oreaganomics give you an idea of what today’s music would sound like if all records were still pressed onto wax cylinder. Spasmodic, restless and inventive, they burst with eclectic frenzy, over and over again. Great. Let Oreaganomics melt your mind here!