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.


 

Soft Priest – Rearranging The Furniture

One of the oddest repercussions of the widespread availability sampling and mixing software is not the massive explosion in the production of electronic music, but the massive explosion in the production of very similar-sounding electronic music.

Much of the electronic music I receive does indeed sound different – but only in that the sonic elements have been tweaked. The templates are almost always the same. Shuffling the furniture around in your living room doesn’t suddenly create a new home.

It’s strange that, when presented with a limitless array of options for making music, people still follow the herd. A quirk of humanity perhaps. And speaking of quirks, here’s Soft Priest.

Soft Priest // In The Bosom

If the majority of new electronic bands have been rearranging the three-piece suite, then Soft Priest has shaken the whole house like a snow-globe. In The Bosom is – and here’s a word I don’t use often – a masterfully executed dalliance with electronica; a song that retains vestiges of humanity, clarity and fun whilst remaining firmly positioned in the ‘defiantly weird’ camp.

In effect, this song is a six minute, soft-play smokescreen behind which Soft Priest is hiding. We learn nothing and sense everything. Why would you want to want to know anything else? Excellent.

www.myspace.com/softpriest

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 23rd June 2010

ANBAD likes nothing more than to wallow in abject failure,. So these last two weeks watching the England team flop around like caught fish, hopeless, hapless and helpless, have been strangely enjoyable.

Moreover, watching England’s star striker have a hissy fit engaged emotions that teetered somewhere between deep sadness and sniggering. The ANBAD New Bands Donkey, perhaps a fitting animal to draw comparison with a player who apparently left his first touch back at Heathrow, has responded in kind.

Mixtape:

FIRST! The Good Gods may well have had their name yelled in exasperation many times when England misplaced yet another pass against Algeria. Clever viral marketing.

The Good Gods // Lying On Our Bright Red Backs

Why are their backs red? Are they England hoolies who have spent too many hours drinking in the baking sun, and are about to thrown their plastic chairs at police armed with water cannons? We may never know. But their songs are noisy, sharp and clever – as if we’re listening to the secret rock ‘n’ roll recordings of the uncool kids at school, unleashing their frustration with the world for the first time. Really good stuff.

SECOND! Personal Space Invaders have a name that made me do a little half-chuckle when I first heard it, and Lo, they were in the mixtape. It’s that easy. That their music, especially You’re Not My Boyfriend, sounds like the Boss level on one of the Metal Slug video games just seals the deal.

THIRD! Love In The Asylum, eh? Whatever gets your engine running, I suppose. I know Angelina Jolie has said in the past that she likes crazy sex, but I think even she would rule out having sex with mentally disturbed people. The band’s song Pull The Plug is a curious mix of jaunty jangle-pop and RAWK-vocals, and is therefore highly recommended as a curio, at the very least.

LAST! War Eagle Risinghow could you fail to love a band with a name like War Eagle Rising? It’s literally impossible. Their music is of the superior chugga-chugga type that Beavis and Butthead would love, and frankly, so do I. If you’re a man, and want to feel the electric buzz of your teenage years again, listen forthwith. If you’re a woman, and still can’t figure out why men are so mindless, listen too, and see if it becomes a bit clearer.

DONE!

Ducktails: Classification, Be Gone!

After touching lightly on the various inherent idiocies of the micro-sub-genre yesterday, here’s an opportunity to blow apart any lingering suggestions that these infinitesimally-slivered categorisations are in any way useful.

Ducktails // Hamilton Road

Take the ultra-new classification of Hypnagogic Pop. No, please. Here is a perfect example of the wholly unneeded and indeed, unhelpful, tagging of a bunch of loosely-connected bands. All these bands may well have their own merits, but are wholly steamrollered into a faded window-display cardboard cut-out of themselves when lumped together.

Ducktails may or may not have been named after the frankly second-rate 90’s Disney spin-off cartoon, but what is certain is that Matthew Mondanile’s one-man creation has been drawn into the orbit of Planet Hypnagogia.

What is also blindingly obvious is that Ducktails’ Hamilton Road is the work of a sly genius  – lithe, light and airily gorgeous. If any song was to be played whilst laying on your back, on a Californian beach, surf lapping around tired toes, then this is it. The song lollops happily, shifting its weight with the elation of someone who has stayed up all night having a good time, and is now enjoying the quickly warming sunrise on the way home.

You will struggle to find an agreed, or useful, definition of Hypnagogic Pop anywhere. Maybe it caught on because it sounds like a smart thing to drop into conversation. Be smarter still and cut you and everyone else free from such close moorings by listening to the genuinely wonderful, beautiful Ducktails – and then call them whatever you like.

www.myspace.com/ducktailss

>Today’s New Band – The Voluntary Butler Scheme

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If gentle and quaint are crimes, then Today’s New Band, The Voluntary Butler Scheme, are such career criminals they may as well be wearing stripey jumpers and carrying bags marked ‘Swag’. These traits are not the wishy-washy characteristics they might always seem. In the right hands, they become the perfect tools to squeeze the most basic and endearing feelings out of their audience.

The Voluntary Butler Scheme, then, are dexterous in the extreme. Crazed and cute love couplets, plus persistent handclaps, and a cheap ‘n’ cheerful guitar chunter appear in one song: Trading Things In is a song to warm your cockles and leave you charmed by the smallest things in life. Lyrics like”If you were broccoli I’d turn vegetarian for you” and “If you bought running shoes, as out of breath as I’d get, I’d buy running shoes too,” don’t grow on trees, you know.

Tabasco Sole, driven by a guitar jangle that hints at and out-shimmers ABC by the Jackson Five, skips and bounces with delight: a kitchen sink love song that’s so desperate to embrace the world that the sounds themselves spring out of the speakers and have a damn good go.

It’s further proof that The Voluntary Butler Scheme are incapable of writing songs other than breathless exhortations of the world itself. Fasten your belts tightly – they’ll charm your pants right off. Listen here!

photo by Mark Sherratt

Mesita: A Dusty Collapse

The ANBAD output, you may have noticed, has ground resolutely to a halt over the last few days.

For once it’s not due to the fabled ANBAD New Band Demo Mountain finally collapsing under its own weight and swamping me neck-deep; but due to my de-camping to Austin, Texas, where I’m helping to throw spanners in the works whilst the Hype Machine’s Hype Hotel gears up for SXSW.

It would follow that this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity would allow me to feature plenty of Austin-bound bands on ANBAD, but that would be almost too simple, right?

Instead, here’s Mesita, who – as far as I’m humanly aware – are not playing

SXSW, but such is the bloated and confused nature of the festival that they may well be here somewhere, sleeping on a dusty floor and facing a punishing schedule of gigs in tiny back-rooms.

If they are indeed here, the throngs of Austin would do well to put down their free Mountain Dew merch, leave the Bikini Bar on 6th Street, and hunt them down.

Because Mesita’s Everything Is Burning is a deceptively contorted, hazy, mescal-pop song, that takes pleasure in its own dusty colourful nature.

As the song builds, deflates and then rummages itself together again, the feeling of deep comfort and happiness within the band becomes clear. A moment of clarity made melodic. Great.

MORE: mesita.bandcamp.com/

>Today’s New Band – Curly Hair

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Now wait a second. It’s true that wi-fi has proven a bit tough to come by on the road. But I’m not suggesting for a second that the beautiful, proud nations of Spain, Portugal, Italy and Croatia are lacking in up-to-date wireless computing facilities*, even though being able to catch up with what’s happening to ANBAD while I’m zipping around Europe has proven as difficult as finding a radio station not playing mid-90’s Depeche Mode on loop.

Anyway – when I finally managed to check my ANBAD emails again, and browsed through all the bands suggested by you lovely readers, I suddenly realised that if I didn’t act soon, there would be more good bands to review than there are days in the year. So today, while Slovenian wi-fi is briefly a part of my life again, I’m trying to redress the balance and reviewing bands like crazy.
Thus, clutch to your bosom Today’s New Band, Curly Hair, who were suggested to me so long ago, I can only hope that they haven’t toured, become superstars, had number one albums, descended into Coke Hell and split up in the meantime. This is probably not the case if the glut of new, sweet ‘n’ curious songs posted on their Myspage page is anything to go by.
Blow The House Down is a deceptively slender, sugary love-ish song with fly-away organ tinkling and corduroy-trousered backing vocals. The song is a gently-lulling delight, bringing to mind the innocence and charm of an infant school classroom project singing lesson where the lucid suggestions of the pupils have been used to form a special sea-shanty.
And in High Fives, Low Fives and The Bus Song, they continue their single minded attempt to craft – and that’s what they’re doing, possibly with sugar paper and glitter glue – one lovely song after another.
Curly Hair have discovered a rich seam of these charming, cheerful songs, that will have you clapping your hands in glee, or just out of pure admiration. They’re kind enough to share them with us, in a kind of Cute Indie/Lo-Fi Show ‘n’ Tell. Sit quietly at your desk and enjoy.
*And even if I was, I’d hastily add that its absence is wholly compensated for by the vast numbers of truly beautiful people that cram themselves into each town in these countries

Sturle Dagsland: Alien Nightclubs

It’s not often that my jaded ears prick up at a song simply because it’s so downright unusual, but today I’m skipping the preamble and getting right to the chase, because Sturle Dagsland did just that.

The last time this happened, it was Seward who reached through my lugs into my brain, tickled the Parahippocampal gyrus, and ended up as ANBAD’s band of 2012.

And what was so unusual about Seward – their unique application of sound and language into music – is also the devastatingly enthralling trait in Sturle Dagsland’s terrifyingly brief Mokèlé-mbèmbé.

 

Well. Here’s a unique song.

It begins with a scream and ends with a flurry of sweet, rich noise. In between, over the course of a minute and a half, dish after dish of aural delicacies are placed unceremoniously onto this particular feasting table.

It’s rare to find a song that sounds so different, so unusual and so appealing all at once. It occurred to me at one point that this might be what poking your head into an alien nightclub sounds like.

Is all of Sturle Dagsland‘s music like this? No. It couldn’t possibly be. But this is brilliant and enthralling.

MORE: facebook.com/sturledagsland

GPSYMTH: Order Out Of Chaos

My ANBAD email inbox is chaos. It used to be so ordered, so clean – but these days I have a zebra-striped clutter of read and unread messages stretching back two months or so. The perils of moderate blogging success.

Here’s the result of an email that got through the carnage of my Inbox (267): GPSYMTH. The email that Peter (for it is he) sent is a lesson in curtailed clarity – brief, tempting, concise. It was one of those “I am X, I make music that is Y, if you put it on the blog, I’ll pay you Z.”

OK, the last bit was a joke.

GPSYMTH got through the e-maze mainly because the songs he makes are so damn airy. Listen to Hamilton. It’s a song about what it’s like being a tree.

 

 

I find myself in constant surprise how the same bunch of synth sounds can be applied in enough different ways to make so many different, soaring songs, of which Hamilton is one.

This is a song to soundtrack events that simply won’t happen: a float through the troposphere on a lilo, idly dangling a hand into whipped-foam cloudlets below; an hour-long swim underwater in warm tropical seas, examining gritty iridescent shells with wrinkled salty fingers.

Deliriously otherworldly.

MORE:  gpsymth.bandcamp.com

EDAPOLLO & Hello, Shoegaze; Goodbye, Shoegaze

edapolloSilly me. And to think: I was starting to worry about the rash of average submissions buried deep in my inbox.

A quick summation:

  • A truly surprising amount of German-language hip-hop
  • Hyperbole-tastic drab guitar bands (“Towering guitars”, “Poetic basslines”)
  • Shoegaze; so much fucking shoegaze (Good news, you guys, Slowdive are BACK!)

Ah, yes, the glut o’ shoegaze. Such is the pervasiveness of plodding, fuzzed-out neo-MBV wannabes now that I’m half-longing for a second wave of Britpop to come along and sweep away all these wan, fey saps in a wave of dress shirts and Adidas tops. That’s how bad it’s got.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, Bad Panda Records saved the day again. See almost all my posts, passim.

 

I suppose Edapollo sounds very now; I also don’t suppose that’s a very bad thing. At least they haven’t simply looked back to the first genre of music they can’t remember and copied it, like all these neo-Shoegaze bands.

Dan Leno: Dead (Good)

Is Dan Leno a man? A woman? A Victorian burlesque act? Or merely a puzzle to confuse us all?

I don’t think we’re supposed to know, and frankly, I like the idea of a band who bill themselves as a solo artist, confusing the unwitting audience members who have been as remiss to have not googled the band first. (Kids: real rock fans do internet research, yeah?)

Of course, all of the above is a moot point, unless you do go to gigs expecting the reappearance of (aforementioned) long-deceased Victorian burlesque acts. For Dan Leno are indeed, a band – one who make sweet ‘n’ sour jangle-pop, at that.

 

The World I Heard You Wait, light, fluffy and gentle, floats by quickly – so quickly that I missed it the first few times. But the fact that I kept re-listening, hankering after the connection with the heart at the centre of the song, speaks volume.

Because this is a song full of heart, of love and hope. And that’s just peachy, isn’t it?

NB: I suppose there are fewer tricky copyright issues naming yourself after a (very) dead bloke when compared to those that, say, Com Truise will/may face. Yet another complication for new bands to consider.

MORE: danleno.com