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.


 

The Endless Ecstasy/Agony Of LP Storage

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In an age when vinyl and CDs are not only defunct, but actively being cannibalised, re-shaped and re-used as fruit bowls, beer mats or as sparkly things to scare off birds in the garden, it’s not only charming to see people hoarding and treasuring LPs, but downright life-affirming.

However, this retromaniacal devotion to old technology has physical problems, especially if your collection really runs away with you.

People like musician and vinyl junkie Harry Love own more LPs than he’s had hot dinners, and so to stop them filling every available crevice in his home, IKEA offered to rearrange his record collection.

They then make a video of it, so that his family can use it as blackmail next time he starts squeezing vinyl under the staircase again…

Yourfeetstoobig; Direct Competition and Bonus Bands

Someone who works in publishing told me a story of how, back in the early 90’s, one of the UK’s big music magazines gambled and stuck a CD of songs on the front cover.

It was a risky move at the time – CDs were expensive  – but it paid huge dividends, with the magazine shifting record-breaking numbers.

Soon everyone followed suit, and suddenly cover-mount CDs were the norm. Within a few years, the CDs were worthless and used as impromptu coffee-mats nationwide. Generosity has its downsides.

So the forthcoming generosity which will abound on ANBAD will last only a couple of weeks. But for that time, due to an unprecedented new band surplus, a bonus new band will feature every day, at the foot of the main article.

Who knows – you may find the bonus, tacked-on band better than the main one.  Try it for yourself today, and see what happens.

All of which means that Yourfeetstoobig have some sort of competition today. Disregard any thoughts of comparison and listen to the pulsing synth soup of Young Birch.

Whenever I hear songs that loop and throb like this, I always feel as much admiration for the artist’s decision-making skills, as much as I do their musical ability.

Making electronic music involves selecting one option from an infinite number of permutations, and is often as much a series of bold decisions as musical deftness.

Yourfeetstoobig must be a be one of those people who never dithers over the dessert menu, because this song is bold, definite and tough, despite its bubbly synth shimmer. Cute, and steely.

MORE // yourfeetstoobig.bandcamp.com

TODAY’S BONUS NEW BAND: Minks // FIVE WORD SUMMARY: Echo-deck junk pop bliss.

>Wild Palms, Terrorism and Haircuts

>
A few years ago, a frankly bizarre incident involving avant-garde noise-troubadours Godspeed You! Black Emperor, a confused petrol station clerk, and a crack FBI team who swooped to arrest them. Why was Oklahoma’s finest called into handcuff-clicking action so swiftly? Because the clerk thought they ‘looked unusual’.

On such small sartorial details the security of the free world pivots. And if GY!BE look like terrorists, then I’m surprised that Wild Palms can pop to the cornershop for milk without being bundled into a sensory deprivation cell.

They don’t look like terrorists, you see, just a bit… unusual. Put it this way: if sporting 80’s Liverpudlian scally haircuts and migraine-loud stay-press shirts was a crime, Wild Palms wouldn’t dare get on stage for fear of red laser-sight dots appearing on their foreheads.

Thankfully, this uneasiness of dress translates directly into their music – the punctuation-mocking ……Over…..Time….. is an odd, angular swirl riddled with awkwardness and a chopping guitar sound of real beauty.

Wild Palms – …Over…Time…

The beat insists but never touches the terrors of disco-rock, and shows an appreciation of 80’s Indie without slavishly copying any of it. ….Over….Time…. is a song that could propel the band to deserved renown.

If so, then many more will feel Reason Dazzled battering ears and hearts with its exuberance, all bare popping drums and shrieking guitars; Bleached White will thrill as a lost B52’s b-side covered by The Fall.

Wild Palms: too odd to be arrested, too good to be kept down. Great.

White Collar Boy: The Three R’s

“We dig repetition”, sang Mark E Smith in The Fall’s Repetition. And then he sang it again, just to make a meta-point.

That point, of course, is that repetition is utterly essential in music, and it’s why the most basic of house music is also the most effective; the brain latching onto quickly looping snippets and wandering to the rhythmic hinterland.

White Collar Boy, like many music makers overwhelmed with the vast, unending choice of sounds and instruments laid out before them, have latched onto this repetitive simplicity as his musical lifeboat.

They have produced, in Long Walk Home, a song that grabs hold with dusty, squirming fingers, and won’t let go.

 

Deft production aside, Long Walk Home reeks of a songmaker who longs for a return to the heady cut and thrust of the late 80’s dance scene, where one sound or noise could be looped ad infinitum (or to the capacity of a 12″ single, whichever was shorter) and crowds would lap it up, deranged and happy.

Excellent, addictive, repetitive. And repetitive.

MOREsoundcloud.com/white-collar-boy

>Today’s New Band – Male Bonding

>Some bands, as we know, make records that are documentation of their live shows, and others perform live shows that are attempts at recreating their records. Neither is inferior – just an indicator of the band’s core ethos. So are Today’s New Band better live or on record?

That might depend on your idea of ‘better’, of course. Male Bonding make records that are a delicate balance between generic thrash (headbanging live gigs) and obtuse guitar weirdness (chin-stroking live gigs), and in doing so, create music that lives in its own space that is better than both.

Pumpkin shoots a dart to the centre of the male desire for rowdy singing, with a bludgeoning chorus that’s a cross between a football crowd celebrating a goal and cute 60’s surf-pop, all drowned in the white noise of a battle between guitar and cymbals.

Years Not Long is a headlong rush into similar territory; raw, powerful and jumpy sounds are caressed by lyricism that’s both gentle in intent and brutal in execution.

Male Bonding have an appropriate name. They love noise, energy and VICTORY. Their songs are just that. They don’t need to be anything else. Great. Listen here!

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 13th July 2011

 Lt. Drebin needs distracting this week, as his exterior revenue stream – wads of non-sequential banknotes stuffed into brown envelopes in return for some piffling celeb’s private information – has dried up in the wake of some minor newspaper kerfuffle.

Fortunately, he can put those niggling thoughts of his impending arrest by his colleagues whilst he listens to this excellent Midweek Mixtape:

FIRST! Blood Sport surely take their moniker from the excellent/nonsense Jean-Claude Van Damme movie of the same name. It’s fitting in many senses: not that their music is ludicrously violent, but that their noisy songs like HSFM are a whirlwind of visceral, guiltily enjoyable action. Great.

SECOND! I get the feeling that Be Not Idle In Preparation Of Thy Doom aren’t so concerned with punchy brevity. I’m not sure exactly what gave me that feeling first: the hour-long static buzz of Die Elektrischen Vorspiele or the… wait, it was just that. Like Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music played at half-speed: excellent.

 

THIRD! Timothy Monger‘s The New Britton Sound is almost too pleasant after Be Not Idle…’s electric excess, but, Timothy’s soaring songs are tempered from hitting the heights/lows of MOR via some tasty trumpeteering and delightful harmonies, as in The Lark. Nice, in every way.

 

FOURTH! The Dirty Nil sound like the kind of band who’d write a song called Fuckin’ Up Young, don’t they? And so it goes: it’s a crashingly grubby conflation of ragged vocal chords, spazzed-out guitars and clumpy drums. But you probably guessed that. Nice.

ANBAD’s Best Bands Of 2011 // Top Ten: 10 – 6

If you missed them, here’s Part 1 and Part 2 of the list of bands who didn’t quite make the Top Ten…

Sifting through the hundreds of bands who were splurged all over ANBAD is a task which is part edifying pleasure and part brutal exposure of this writer’s foibles at any one period throughout the year.

Not many bands have ‘aged’ badly in the months since they were first exposed in breathless terms (though some are there, if you’re inclined to find them). If anything, revisiting them has been affirmative: their songs still prickle the same nerve-endings as they did when first heard.

Thus, the following bands are the crème de la crème – the bands that didn’t just age well, but also surprised and charmed even more the second (or third, fourth, fifth) time around.

 #10 – The Parish Of Little Clifton: Exceptionally precise musicians often turn into tedious Phil Collinses, but TPOLC applies his precision in much less horrifying and much more gorgeously skylarking ways:


 ANBAD said: “entirely clear, precise music that ought to cut through mental fug like an industrial laser-beam.”

#9 – Petter Seander: Guess what overriding quality this Swedish songwriter has? BING! Correct – an alarmingly sharp grasp of pop melody, and songs that couldn’t be any more upbeat in execution if they tried. Oh, and they come with free tea. Tea!


ANBAD said: “when Petter croons, ‘nothing lasts forever,‘ the sentiment is met with a shrug and a dizzy shake of the head. Lovely, soaring, tinkling, jittering, perfect pop. Excellent.”

#8 – Petit Fantôme: While we’re making ludicrously unfair generalisations based on nationality, do you reckon that the French band Petit Fantôme has great, swooshing, 70’s synth-choruses or what? You’re right, of course. Excellent, unusual and brightly soft.

ANBAD said“icy but warm; inert but humane; calm but darting; born of technology but realised in the bosom of life’s irrevocable chaos.”

#7 – Tripwires: a band that might not be truly classed as new, with a song that might not truly be considered to belong to 2011. But ignore Tripwires’ Cinnamon at your peril, because it’s too beautifully dozy to be engulfed by such petty squabbles. Delicious.

ANBAD said:a miasmic swirl of hyper-echoed guitars, buried, frantic drumbeats and vocals that dissolve into the ether. Cinnamon might be a blunt instrument, or it might be a deft, monstrously delicate and gossamer-thin thing of beauty – you choose.”

#6 – The Lovely Eggs: here’s a band that generate goodwill. This is very hard to achieve. But The Lovely Eggs have it in spades, because their songs are not only funny, and smart, and knowing, and honest – but brilliant too.

ANBAD said: “Bands progress, and bands change: in the Lovely Eggs’ case, their progression within the space of one song is almost mind-boggling.

Because Allergies isn’t only a song, it’s a heavy-as-lead, psychedelic-lo-fi mini-masterpiece; the ‘Kashmir’ of winsome bedroom indie; the sound of a band shoving everything on red and then hitting ‘Record’.”

Tristram VS Nuclear Holocaust

Last night I met an old man called Yoshiro.  He’s from Nagasaki. He was 11 when it happened. He can remember the blinding flash of light, the furniture shooting across the room, the white heat.

He survived the A-Bomb, but he spend the following days watching his relatives die of radiation poisoning. He remembers the smell. Then, to support his remaining family, he worked from the age of 15 until he retired, aged 70. He’s had cancer twice. He now learns English from Audrey Hepburn movies. He’s pretty much super-human.

There only reason I relayed that story was to a) remind myself that jabbering about new bands every day is actually fairly inconsequential in, you know, the grand scheme of things, and b) simply to ramp up the pressure on Tristram.

Tristram – Dust Disturbed

One lucky member of Tristram had his name adopted as that of the bands’. I’d like to think that they drew lots, but I’m guessing that it’s just the name of the singer. That’s how a band hierarchy works.

Any potential moniker-related bickering was clearly put aside, otherwise a song as fragile and coltish as Dust Disturbed would never have been written. I suppose you could brand many songs ‘gentle and thoughtful’, but that description would rarely be as apt as it is when applied to this song.

Dust Disturbed is a delight, seemingly sprung from nowhere – born of nothing and wanting for just as little. It has exactly the self-contained beauty that most songs strive for, but never attain. Tristram, the man and the band, can be proud. Lovely, in every way.

myspace.com/tristramsongs

ANBAD’s Best Bands Of 2010 // The Runners-Up [Part 1]

Starting today, ANBAD takes a look back at – hyperbole aside – a thrilling year of music.

As we go through the count-down over the next few days, there’ll be some explanations of how ANBAD’s Top Ten Bands Of 2010 were calculated, as well as a few fleeting  thoughts on the bands. Today, the first bunch of runners-up are revealed…

There are plenty of ways to recap on the past year. Most music blogs will publish a ‘Best Of’ list, and in that respect, ANBAD is no different. Most of the bands on this list won’t appear on anyone else’s though. Depending on your point of view, this may or may not be a good thing.

But before we tuck into the meat of the matter, here’s the gristle and skin: the first group of runners-up. These bands that didn’t quite make the Top Five, and yet still jabbed their greasy musical fingers through the tissue paper of my consciousness. They’re all excellent bands, worthy of your time, and/or another listen:

  • Scary Mansion:…as exhilarating as an unexpected, drunken kiss with a stranger in the centre of a nightclub.”

Scary Mansion // No Law

  • Bern And The Brights “have a singer with a voice of scuffed antique silk, and musicians who can keep it simple and, most importantly, keep it affecting.”
  • Evan Voytas: “the delicious sound of a young man who has time, talent and no external monetary influences.”

Evan Voytas // I Run With You, Spirit Animal

  • Pompey: “the kind of songs which connect so directly, it feels like cheating to write about him in such glowing terms.”
  • Tristram: “exactly the self-contained beauty that most songs strive for, but never attain. Lovely, in every way.”
  • Bermuda Bonnie: “cute, longing, lusty and, in a way, as deeply sad as they are intensely happy.”

Bermuda Bonnie // Houseboat

The second bunch of extremely worthy runners-up will be published tomorrow. The Top Five Bands Of 2010 will appear next week. Keep ’em peeled…

>The overthrowing of humanity by Muso-Robots, and Today’s New Band – ALASALAKALASKA

>Human bands are history! A bold proclamation, true, but look at the facts in this video of robo-band The Trons. At the very least, The Trons demonstrate that even crudely-cobbled together bits of old hoovers and Meccano can make better music than The Kooks. Final proof then, that when computers take over the planet and they become our MERCILESS ROBOT OVERLORDS, things won’t be so bad after all.

The Trons aren’t today’s new band, because whilst they are better than the majority of the lumpen nonsense-mongers that call themselves bands, robots just don’t count. When a robot is aware enough to find that comment discriminatory, I’ll alter my stance, but not before.

Today’s New Band are actually Alasalakalaska. No, I haven’t managed to say it out loud correctly yet either, and no, they’re not from professional moron Sarah Palin’s home state. It’s a complicated name which might make them virtually impossible to ever be found via Google, but maybe that’s what they want.

Actually, it’s supposed to be read ‘Alas, Alak, Alaska,’ which, whilst being much more coherent is actually a bit less fun to type. On that basis alone, I’ll stick with the long, incoherent spelling for now.

Alasalakalaska are a strange, pleasant combo of rigid beats, flautists, wobbly vocals and catchy tunes. Crystal Power Attack, woozy, dreamy and echoing, left me feeling slightly drunk and happily confused as it wove its way to a clinking, jolting end.

In Finick While Clicking It’s…, they are confident enough to bolt a lovely, looping quasi-chorus to a lovely, looping song, not worrying too much about traditional composition or structure. It sounds almost entirely new – it may as well have been written by a music-producing computer programme that hasn’t quite been finished yet. Perhaps today’s new band is The Trons after all.

This all means that today, I have learnt two things:

  1. Perhaps The Kooks should lock their instruments in a room with some old washing machines and grandfather clocks, and maybe they’ll release a half-decent album;
  2. Alasalakalaska are wonderful, lilting and overwhelmingly unusual, all of which are reasons enough to listen to their songs here!