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.


 

2013: Guitar Music’s (In)Glorious Return

***This article was brought to you by MyVoucherCodes***

2013 is the Year That Guitar Music Rises From Its Grave In A Blaze Of Jangly Indie Glory. It’s going to happen whether you want it to or not, simply because a whole host of respected media outlets – all entirely coincidentally, of course – have announced that that’s what will happen in 2013.

(The crafty among you may find this to be an appropriate time to use free voucher codes to get discounts on instruments at Amazon,then to form your own band and capitalise on such temperate musical climes.)

ANBAD would never sanction such ruthless, lucre-centric behaviour, but couldn’t blame anyone who did. If the predicted rise of any musical movement seems so carefully predetermined, why stick to your guns when cynicism forms the start, middle and end points of the alternative?

There is, unusually, an important point here, and it all boils down to artistic value, personal fulfilment, and – ha! – money. Moreover, it all has to do with which order you rank these closely connected (and yet seemingly aeon-distant) facets.

So, while the rise of guitar bands this year might mean a glut of gigs, allowing you to find great deals on gig tickets, you may also ask: at what wider cost?

Guitar bands are potentially hugely lucrative to muzik bizniz people. The Arctic Monkeys et al have historically made shedloads of cash for all involved. It’s easy to see why the music biz, wizened and dazed, is keen to make guitar bands the focus again.

But it does smack of falsehood, of minor desperation and of one last roll of a battered dice: it’s harder to monetise, on a grand scale, the brilliant music that is flowing forth out of laptops all over the world – and straight onto Soundlcoud and Bandcamp, as opposed to the old label-distributer-high street system.

Guitar bands fit that system – however broken or archaic – better.

Now, guitar bands aren’t going to vanish simply because a few pasty music bloggers have mooted the feeling that everything new that can be done with a guitar has now been done, yeah?

People still love guitar bands and demonstrate this love via their wallets (dig out Paramore’s gig ticket receipts from 2012 and prepare to set your mind to ‘boggle’).

So, caution should be exercised by all, but especially from new artists tempted to put down the laptop, pick up a knock-off Gibson SG and join in, just because there’s a nagging feeling it’ll make them more likely to appear on Radio 1.

And here’s that cautionary tale you were waiting for, in the form of 2010’s most unknown band, Wu Lyf – a guitar band who had hype galore, tours, limited edition vinyl, expensive merch and appearances on Letterman, for God’s sake – and then who fell apart at the seams before they even released a second album.

They appeared to be a group for whom being a guitar band was just part of the package. And why not? But the facade – their look, their hype – was front and centre. Where would they be if they’d followed their hearts? Or did they?

Madeaux: Echoes Of The Kitchen Sink

Where now for bass music and dubstep, post-Skrillex’s industry-crow-barring/acceptance into the mainstream?

While the heady gloop and rumble of bass music has been busy soundtracking almost everything of (self) importance recently, those producing it have scrabbled around looking for its next logical progression.

And it turns out that the (il-)logical progression is a return to UK Garage, whose resurgence is as baffling as it is ludicrous.

This, what for the brave souls who continue to make the music that brought about such unforseen U-turns? It transpires that, if they’re anything like Madeaux, they’re still making enormous, slightly jazzy, bass tunes.

Karma in Reverse – which, if we’re being pedantic, makes the song title Amrak – is a subtle nod to evolution in new and old directions, none of which are UK Garage.

Slivers of warm, Inner City Life-esque drum ‘n’ bass appear and vanish, and golden swashes of house synths breeze through.

It’s not blithe kitchen-sinkism, but by throwing a few other ideas into the mix, Madeaux is gently, in his own way, pushing towards the future.

MORE: soundcloud.com/madeaux

Brand New Blog Ahoy: BAD COVER VERSIONS!

A New Band A Day celebrates creativity, daring and cunning.

Rock, however, doesn’t do a lot of cunning, and even less creativity.

What it does do is a lot of is stupid, as demonstrated by the truly dreadful decisions made when bands start to cover other band’s songs.

Evidence? Take Duran Duran, surely one of the more feeble bands to ever attain worldwide adoration – and consider: would you ever recommend to Le Bon and co that covering Public Enemy‘s 911 Is A Joke was a good idea?

No, neither would I – however, thankfully, someone did – and as such we can now revel in the video footage of what must be the most ridiculous cover version of all time.

Stupidity of this magnitude would arouse anyone’s curiosity, and so here is the result: www.badcoverversions.com. It’s a blog that wholeheartedly celebrates the stupid, the misguided and the rankly moronic in rock, and acts as a handy repository of videos of the dumbest covers ever whelped.

Dip in, and luxuriate in other such mind-boggling covers as Sting turning a two-minute Jimi Hendrix song into a ten-minute atrocity, rap-frat-idiots Limp Bizkit making George Michael’s Faith even worse than it already was, and – coming very soon – a country and western version of Fight For Your Right To Party, an 80’s teen idol performing a jazz-funk cover of Love Will Tear Us Apart, and much, much worse.

Share and enjoy!

Joe // www.badcoverversions.com

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…

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

Dream Koala: Heavy Youth

As birthdays begin to whistle by, and the realisation that you’ll soon be halfway through slowly dawns, people begin to say inappropriate things to you, as if shifting their own mortality-panic onto someone else is either beneficial or kind.

And yet, continue they do, pointing out how a lot of people are younger than us these days, and have you noticed how the Younger Generation are inferior to us in some ill-defined way.

None of this is true: The Kids, as we already know, Are Alright. And the kid du jour, Dream Koala, is a 17 year-old French man-boy called Yndi.

Strictly speaking, Dream Koala‘s name is written as DRE∆M KO∆L∆, but time demands and the lack of appropriate Alt-code keyboard shortcut knowledge has resulted in a merely normal spelling of the name on ANBAD. Kids these days.

The beauty of youth is that it is endlessly rejecting the past, and in Alice, we hear a song that would unkindly be bracketed by lazier writers as Post-Dubstep, but is actually a world away from the clumsy World of Wub-Wub.

There’s a clumsy, out-of-time feel to the bassline, which contrasts nicely with the crisp precision of aggressive snapping noises that accompany it.

Dream Koala has created a song which exists on its own terms; as heavy as it is ethereal, misty as it is crystal clear, spiky as it is plaster-smooth. Ace.

MORE: dreamkoala.tumblr.com

Tigercats – Honestly Hunky-Dory

This week, ANBAD is picking our favourite new bands that are appearing at Salford’s forthcoming Sounds From The Other City festival, and today, it’s the turn of Tigercats…

Tigercats are a rarity in a way that’s hard to properly pin down. Warning: vague stabs at corroboration follow.

Maybe it’s that their photographs show a band that look like they’re just out to have fun as opposed to pouting moodily with one eye one a hair product advertising contract.

Maybe it’s that their candour is refreshing. Maybe it’s that they swaddle their songs in fun, love, and youthful loopiness.

Or maybe it’s that, in a musical world where faux-nostaligia provides the backbone, guts and brains of most bands’ sound, this one sounds like they’re somehow more honest in their application of influence from days gone by.

I don’t think that Tigercats are trying to ape the sound of Pavement, or a host of C86 bands – it has just turned out that way. And that’s just hunky-dory.

Thus, Easter Island couldn’t be jauntier if it tried – but it’s no tired glockenspiel quaintcore nostalgia-fest, jittering and flailing under its own kinetic lunacy, and the genuinely excellent 1985 is steely and brittle beneath its raggedy velveteen exterior.

Their songs betray no alterior motives of forced cool, and are interested only in establishing their public image as an enthusiastic young band in love with making songs. Excellent, alive, and bright.

MORE: myspace.com/tigercatswearinghats

Ezra Furman: Life In The New Dog, Yet

ezrafurmanSeeing as these days I’m pushing the (admittedly always-shaky) concept of writng about a new band every day, I feel a lot less troubled by the fact that today’s ‘new’ artist isn’t terribly new in every sense of the word.

This is because Ezra Furman has had his own band, and then spent a bunch of years fronting another (Harpoons), and is now a fully-fledged solo project.

His solo LP’s just come out. Only a handful of blogs have written about this song.

So… I’m off the hook, right?

 

Doesn’t matter either way, actually, because My Zero is so loveable, so bright, so delicious, that each spin is like a warm embrace from an old friend, and each rollocking sweep through the chorus provides the same joys as an evening holed up in a good pub with a loved one.

Ezra has a voice that cuts through the swathes of bland voices that populate the majority of pop music. How can you help but connect on a very base level to his sprightly, croaky vox? His voice is a springboard for the music to soar from; and vice-versa.

In this way, he reminds me of old ANBAD faves Straw Bear, who weave glorious vocals and glistening music to similarly lovely effect.

My Zero is fabulous. Proof that the old guitar ‘n’ singer combo can still ignite the kind of thrills that nothing else can. What a tune!

MORE: ezrafurman.com

>Today’s New Band – Yes Please!, Miserablism and Grey Skies

>Winter has well and truly arrived here in Manchester. Initially, it came in fits and starts, drunkenly staggering frostily here and there, but now it’s running its icy fingers up and down all our spines, and my extremities are in a constant state of chilly anxiety.

Manchester is renowned for its dreadful weather. Pewter-grey skies are the norm, usually accompanied by a constant fine drizzle which, helpfully, saps one’s will to live within days. Look at this webcam, and I’m willing to gamble the image you’ll see will be 50% fuzzy grey. Living in Manchester is like living inside Tupperware. It’s no wonder Mancunian bands like The Smiths, Joy Division and The Fall are so relentlessly downbeat.

Today’s New Band, Yes Please! hail from the outrageously named places of Espoo, Olari, Uusimaa in Finland. If that isn’t making you splutter into your mug of coffee, then you, sir/madam, are not human.

At ANBAD, we have a soft spot for bands from the north of Europe, due to their almost unwavering lust for jangly pop songs. Yes Please! proudly exhibit this love too. Imaginary Success is about as growlingly hostile as Finnish guitar pop gets, a big heaving song that runs and runs and runs and then collapses. Enjoy and Laugh also flits between their twin ideals of brassy pop and earnestness.

Yes Please! was the name of the Happy Monday’s last, dreadful album. They were from Manchester too, but their music was stupendously, well, happy – though this may have had something to do with the industrial quantities of drugs they consumed. Yes Please! the band are nothing like the Happy Mondays, but their music is just as joyfully enthusiastic. Listen here!

ExR (Feat Lady Leshurr) – Song X From Tomorrow

Because ANBAD is so stupidly and relentlessly determined to look in the other direction to everyone else, I often feel just as out of the loop as the majority.

I mean, I think I know what sounds good – but is the The Sound Of Now? And how do you define that?

I think the only real way you can try to get a handle on that is by asking whether Song X sounds like it comes from tomorrow.

And t0morrow, in the world of new music, is as close to being today as you can hope to get.

Thus, ExR – or Etta Bond and Raf Riley to their significant others – have produced Song X, in the form of the inexplicably terrific Boring Bitches.

ExR Feat. Lady Leshurr BORING BITCHES

So while I figure out ways of making this blog less deeply un-zeitgiesty, wallow in the manic brilliance of Boring Bitches: a song that pierces the fabric of not only today’s self-obsessive culture, but also gets to the heart of what’s wrong with it – a total lack of fun.

Boring Bitches represents a high watermark in many respects – it’s a song with a wicked sense of humour, and the sound of the future, all condensed into one pop-culture nugget. Excellent.

MORE: emergency-room.co.uk

NB: Another rarity – here is the video to accompany Boring Bitches, which is far too brilliant to ignore: