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.


 

ILL

ill

Well, this is like being punched in the face by brilliantly carefree fury. Smart, fun and more interesting than a million bands with a “∆” in their name.

 

Darwin Tunes: Music Beyond Humanity / Always Looking For Mistakes

I have long postulated that we have crossed an irreversible threshold in music creation.

The laptop and associated technology has freed individuals from the social constraints of being in a band, constantly compromising individual ideals for the good of the group.

Now anyone can make the exact music they want; as imagined by them, as controlled by them, as produced/promoted/distributed by them.

This has resulted in a veritable glut of terrific, dazzlingly original and gorgeously  individual music: just cast your attention towards ANBAD alumni Mmoths, D/R/U/G/S, Mujuice et al.

Life, however, works to a pattern as predictable as the ticking of a clock. Everything refines itself to the nth degree eventually.

And now, we have left even the individual behind, and are entering the realm of musician-less music; the new-band-less new band of the day.

Darwin Tunes is part musical project, part scientific experiment set in motion by two professors: Doctor Bob and Professor Armand, from the Imperial College London.

The idea is simple: an algorithm randomly generates electronic noises. They are voted upon by anonymous listeners. The pleasant sounds survive and mutate with other sounds (to form other, more pleasant loops of sound), and the unpleasant sounds wither and die out.

 

So what begins as slightly atonal muddled noodling at 150 generations of evolution becomes a sprightly pop nugget at 900 generations, and ends up as a full-blown, carefully paced, near-modernist electronic jabbering at 3520 generations.

Throw in some reverb or other FX and it could sit alongside any number of new electronic tracks I receive every day.

 

My art teacher used to tell me to “look for mistakes” when painting – the rationale being that within errors lies the randomness of natural beauty that the conscious mind is unable to bring to art. Darwin Music is the same idea, writ large.

Don’t even try to resist. This is the future, like it or not. And it’s surprisingly beautiful.

MORE: Join in and help evolve music here

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 14th December 2011

And so, whilst End-Of-Year lists scatter all around us, ANBAD introduces the final Midweek Mixtape of the year. And, as always, putting it together each week has been a guilty shove-’em-in-and-see-what-happens pleasure.

Star of this year’s Mixtape show has been Britpop’s King Of Cheese. No, not, Liam Gallagher – although his Beady Eye gigs have had a distinct whiff of Stilton about them – but Alex James, a man who spent a million pounds on Champagne whilst being the Handsome One Out Of Blur.

He’s been pouring his own-brand molten cheese over a relevant person each week. As a special treat for Christmas, this week he’s aiming for cheese upon cheese upon cheese: Cheese-ception.

MIXTAPE!

FIRST! Super Clarks have an endearing quality that is hard to pin down – but such categorisation is, as always, needless when the songs are good fun. And that’s exactly what Interesting, Not is: a polyrhythmic shudder of grooves, excitement and jangling.

SECOND! Little Chestnuts are, like Lisboans Super Clarks, a Euro-band of the sort I always feel pangs of guilt and empathy towards because I know that they’re being cruelly overlooked by an Anglo-centric press. Fight the power, kids: and enjoy this super-classy slice of slick pop from Genova.

THIRD! Greater Alexander isn’t gloomy – his records just make him seem that way. Any Way Out Of It‘s acoustic pitter-patter pummels your mind with a thousand tiny, fluffy bean bags, and, briefly, time stands stiller than still. Aaaaah.

Yanmolby; and Blur, Oasis, Trapezoids

Togetherness is good. Sharing is caring. It’s nice to be nice.

Look at the lengthy comments clustering around this opinion piece on live gigs from a few weeks ago, and wonder how much better off we’d all be if bands and audiences actually got together to chat.

Rather than eyeing each other suspiciously from opposite grimy corners of their local venue and sullenly exchanging trapezoidally mis-cut flyers as if they were at an anti-capitalist rally, what if they collaborated, shared and revealed?

Indie music has always been tribal, reaching its bowel-loosening nadir in 1995’s Oasis Vs Blur fiasco – and the only beneficiary has been the  industry coffers.

This is not just a shame, it’s a catastrophe of sorts: how many kids who determinedly identify themselves with Arctic Monkeys, say, would give Yanmolby the time of day?

Yanmolby // I’m A Blur

Two of Yanmolby ‘make the beats’. Another plays the bass. It sounds like the middle-class-attempt-to-be-cool from hell, but this assessment is miles wide of the mark. I’m A Blur is a sneakily brilliant assault on the dancefloor, the frontal lobe and your speed-freak heart.

All dance music is repetitive, insistent and driving, but there’s a razor-thin line between ‘drab looping noise’ and ‘delicate/thundering ingenuity’. Guess which side Yanmolby fall on?

www.myspace.com/yanmolby

Grrrl Friend – Grimy Grrrls

Grrrl Friend make the music you’d expect from a bunch of guys who like each other’s company, beer, pizza and listening to records.

That is: distantly noisy, buzz-soaked, Echoplex-disjointed slump-rock.

They also name their songs things like Bestiality BBQ, II and  Black Jesus Christ, and it’s hard to dislike such throw-away provocativeness.

What I love about this kind of crunchy, lazy-sounding rock is the accompanying feeling that everything was recorded on the first take: loose, grimy, warts-and-all.

So judging by the innate vibrancy of Happening Now could well be, indeed, exactly that. The band shunt noises here and there, almost casually, voicing their thoughts as they do so.

Grrrl Friend make songs you’ll  love or hate. You’ll either soak up the scrubby atmospherics of the sound or you’ll shrink away for a cleansing dose of a band that is more clear.

But either way, you’ll have dipped a toe into their murky waters, and on their terms.

MORE: grrrlfriend.bandcamp.com

 

HAVE YOU EVER SEEN THE JANE FONDA AEROBIC VHS?

Jane-Fonda-VHS-press3-by-Heidi-Kero

Can we talk about this band name for a second? Have You Ever Seen The Jane Fonda Aerobic VHS? is the best band name I have heard for aeons.

Everyone I mention it to loves it. It’s marketing genius: commanding poster real estate, gobbling up tweets and annihilating flyers all across Europe. Brilliant. I went to see them at Musik & Frieden almost exclusively because of their name. Oh, and because Family Man is a great tune.

Family Man has colourful tones, sweet chirrups and bouncy melodies, wrapped in sheets of poppy, punky noise. The chorus pricked a memory deep in my brain, and I strained to think of the song that it reminded me of. I’m not sure that it exists. Imagine a sped-up “D.A.N.C.E.” with better melodies, more exuberance, more fun, and less studied cool.

The band, relatively unknown in Berlin, did what any good band does – which is to win over an uncertain crowd. By halfway, the girls were dancing – always a good sign – and by the end, even the boys had joined in too.

Oh, and the Jane Fondas (they are understandably abbreviated in conversation) are loud. On the mixing desk was a sound meter and a large sign next to it with the all-bold-caps reminder: “MAXIMUM 115Db!!!”.

A concerned man scurried over every five minutes and shone a torch on the meter. Each time, the readout was exactly 114Db, and each time he’d give a respectful whaddayagonnado? shrug. Not only are this band loud, they’re adept at going as loud as they possibly can.

Their manager, Martin, assured me that the band has, “officially the loudest drummer in Finland.” I popped my earplugs out for a moment, and, well – let’s say that I don’t doubt his claim for a second.

Great stuff. Catch them soon at The Great Escape, if you’re going.

JEDENPUS: Twice in a row

jedenpus

Cor. I have a few days off from writing on ANBAD, and the guilt is almost overwhelming.

Almost.

Actually, in the meantime, I schlepped off down to London, and aside from being struck by how svelte and aloof most people were, my thoughts on What It Is To Be In The Music Industry These Days kind-of solidified a bit more.

Basically, my thinking thus far is as follows, and none of it is very original:

  1. The tech industry is to today what the music biz was to 20 years ago
  2. This applies to all comparable points on the compass: emerging wannabes to monoliths
  3. If you want to have the Rock ‘n’ Roll experience of cash thrown all over you, and then hoovered away from you just as quickly, then start coding, not playing the guitar
  4. We’re not letting traditionally off-the-wall artists shape our culture as much any more – and no-one is really sure how that will affect things
  5. That’s it.

Hey, I said it was unoriginal. Maybe the point is that music and tech are so intertwined now that they are practically the same thing, except now you pay loads of money for the objects that provide the music (iPods, iPhones and gigs) and virtually nothing to the artist itself.

Maybe nothing’s changed after all. And yet, people are clamouring to be heard, and we are all happily complicit in milking their keenness. Ain’t we all stinkers?

Anyway. The flip side is that it’s the reason this blog is still (sporadically) being run, and why people are not content to simply play the same Beatles LP forever instead of finding something new, and why Jedenpus made this devilishly simple semi-lullaby.

I don’t know anything about Jedenpus at all, and I dunno how much of the lovely, brief, affecting Wake Up My Love (Tribute To Haruko) is just copied-and-pasted, or lifted off a virtual shelf, or what have you.

I don’t really care, because not caring about originality or provenance is the point of pop music. And this is a song that I played twice in a row.

>Today’s New Band – 747Music

>One accusation that I sometimes hear levelled at the truly incredible Boards Of Canada is that they’ve found a ‘sound’, and just ground out three albums’ worth of songs that are all slight variations on a theme. There is probably an element of truthiness in this, but frankly, fans of BoC don’t care. They just want MORE, because even assuming that BoC are a one-trick pony, it’s such a wonderful trick, complaining just sounds silly.

But what would BoC sound like, if, you know, they shuffled things up a bit? Well, maybe somewhere close to Today’s New Band, 747Music. Hailing from Ontario, 747Music is a self-confessed BoC nut, as an initial listen to his music will confirm. The love of softly and harshly deformed analogue-y sounds are all there as well as the samples of voices, and the tasty beats. But his work is no mere copying exercise – Untitled is a rolling, crunchy electric behemoth and Electric Epiphony is 10 times harder and faster than anything BoC have ever done, punching forward until it falls to bits. The songs are short, lilting and worm their way into your mind, and in some ways, they’re mini-epics – a series of mental day trips, if you will. Worth a listen, without doubt – so do so here!

Today’s Glib Comparison: Well, yes. Boards Of Canada having sex with The BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Whilst, inevitably, The Pixies watch, silently.

Honeydrum; Idle Thoughts, Brevity and Choke-Holds

In my more idle moments – whilst stuffing envelopes as work or dragging my limbs out of bed before the sun has risen to hammer out words on an recalcitrant computer – I wonder why I never joined a band.

I mean, hey – I can play the guitar. Who can’t? The band could have been brilliant! The world tours! The groupies! The arguments over seating arrangements in the van! Halcyon days, my friend, halcyon days.

In reality, I would have hated being in a band – if only because the idea of playing the same 13 songs over and over again strikes me as being trapped in a uniquely demented corner of hell.

Honeydrum seem to have broached this issue by ensuring that all their songs are about two minutes in length. The threat of self-induced boredom successfully nullified by brevity, they have them concentrated on the important stuff, like making a bunch of sweet and dizzy lo-fi pop songs.

Those Babes twinkles as delicately as it growls with latent menace, before soaring with a restrained glory in the last quarter of the song – which in the context of a two-minute song equates to approximately 15 seconds of dazzling gorgeousness.

This seems like a fair ratio, and one that enables Honeydrum to maintain their focus, without tipping them into a spiral of drugs, doubt and feuding. It’ll retain choke-hold on your attention too, almost guaranteeing a replay the instant it finishes. Smart, sweet and insistent.

MORE: honeydrum.tumblr.com

MIDWEEK(-ish) MIXTAPE // 27th Jan 2011

ANBAD is taking the week off and dodging the fact that it’s a Landmark Birthday of the sort that leads people to ask if I shouldn’t really be getting a proper job by now.

Don’t be distracted by my existential crisis – Drebin’s holding the new Duran Duran single is only moments away from playing it. The playing of this could only multiply any agonies that any of us may be experiencing right now. Here’s the Midweek Mixtape instead:

FIRST! Sen Segur appear to tick all my boxes: Very young, new band? Check. Recorded EP with ex-member of Gorky’s Zygotic Munki? Check. Welsh Language vocals so I can make up my own meanings? Check. Lovely, soft psyche pop songs? Oh yes. Great stuff.

Sen Segur // Cyfoeth Gwlyb

SECOND! Blondes In Tokyo are a band of whom I’m unsure of collective hair colour or geographic location. However, I do know that they make throbbing monster pop songs like Running Miles, and frankly, that’s all I’m interested in.

THIRD! No Monster Club: making songs like The Last Bottle In The World must be a lot of fun. If it isn’t, then they sure are good at making it sound like it on their scrappy, scruffy, loveable recordings. Rip-roaring fun:

FINALLY! De Staat are, apparently, “Holland’s No.1 act right now”. I’m far too lazy to verify a claim like that, but with such excellent, hypnotically clanky songs as Sweat Shop up their sleeves, I’m inclined to believe it.

NB: ANBAD will be back as usual, a little older, a little wiser, next week.