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.


 

Cuckoo Chaos, and The Pleasure of Lateness

You’d be forgiven for thinking that ANBAD sometimes wilfully ignores breakthrough bands in exchange for focussing obsessively on the agonisingly obscure ones (and you’d be half right, too).

So while other music blogs scrambled to be first! to cover Cuckoo Chaos a couple of months ago, I have allowed their music to reach my ears in it’s own time – i.e., when I’d finally got around to clearing three months’ backlog of emails.

Still, there are distinct advantages to this approach. As a payoff for being a month and a half late in their discovery – a lifetime in music blogging terms – their music can be heard with fresh, unhurried ears.

I suppose a song that is taken from a forthcoming album named Most Extreme Chill can be absorbed with a pinch of salt, and WWRHD is indeed tongue-in-cheek, irony-laden, and has one eyebrow raised to straining point.

But here is a song that would benefit from a slower pace of discovery: it’s a slow burner disguised as a club-backroom stomper, building its own structures, parameters and grooves, before disassembling it all again in a flurry of artfully chosen spoken-word samples.

Ignoring the PR rush: it’s the future. Also, this allows my tardiness to be excused. Good.

MORE: cuckoochaos.com

>Today’s New Band – Kaiton

>I started a Spanish class yesterday. I already knew a bit of Spanish, or so I thought. This is what I learnt:

  1. That the word for ‘handcuffs’ in Spanish is the same as the word for ‘wife’
  2. The word to describe a cute child is the same as ‘monkey’
  3. That I knew how to ask whether a hotel has a room for two people, for three nights, (preferably with a bathroom), but was stumped when I had to explain what my age and name is.

This minor idiotic trait of my brain – to forget the basics and cling onto the less useful – is actually probably shared by many of you reading this. You want to listen to something new, flighty and inventive that might be either great or awful, not just to plump for the safe dirge of the new Oasis album. This is the musical equivalent of my brain’s linguistic forgetfulness.

This all probably makes Today’s New Band, Kaiton, Spanish for “I need you to to discombobulate my goat”, though the music itself isn’t quite that leftfield. Tingle pulses with the electronic bleeps you’d expect to hear in the monitoring room of a nuclear power plant, all the while building into a driving, wide-open song. Field Study 24 slides slowly by like a big container boat, and making similarly oceanic, large ‘n’ quiet noises.

Kaiton‘s music is exploratory, pushing outwards, here and there, and finding new alleyways to creep down. To call electronic music ‘organic’ is both a cliché and disingenuous, but it kind of fits with Kaiton. Music to watch time-lapse films of plants growing to. Listen here!

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 9TH Feb 2011

This post is much curtailed, due to the fact that I wrote it once and then managed to delete the whole thing. So the following is a kind of ‘Previously, on ANBAD…’ round-up. Apologies. It probably wasn’t that good anyway.

Have you noticed how hefty singers like Barry White, Aretha Franklin and SuBo also sound chubby on their records? Their voices practically drip with bacon grease.

It occurred to me this week that roly-poly BRIT-school faux-soul Bellower Of Blandness Adele can be added to this inglorious list.

Adele is  a woman whose MOR dirge is enlivened only by the fact that if you listen to it carefully, you can hear the patter of melted butter landing on the studio microphone as it sprays from her lips.

Lt. Drebin is threatening to play her record. The mixtape, quick-quick:

FIRST! Mackaper are not MacGyver, but then I’m not sure I’d want to listen to the sound of a man solving crime with the aid of elastic bands and bent coat-hangers. Mackaper, on the other hand, make lovely, ice-cold thin-fingered pop.

SECOND! The Dead Beggars Club mark a return to the sort of monster-chord, giant guiatr pop that would never have been accepted by the masses even two years ago. Oh, time, you fickle mistress. Nice.

THIRD! Muddy Suzuki: puns-a-plenty, PLUS – Prog, buzzsaw punk and lo-fi pop all in the same song. An acheivment.

FINALLY! Honheehonhee, I think, are gently mocking the kind of generic-French noise people who can’t speak French make. I like that. I also like A Is For Animal‘s epic pop:

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 19th Sept 2012

It’s (semi-)official: the ANBAD/Alex James Cheese-Monger infatuation is fading, much like a wilting rose, or the weakening miasma from a year-old Stilton.

The equation of Alex James + weak topical gag = humour (Or AJ + Hmm = LOL/1000) is no longer spritzing my Chablis. It’s a shame, but all things must pass, as always.

So. The Midweek Mixtape focusses, for once, on the, er… mixtape. About time, too.

FIRST! GuMM‘s Lionheart sounds, like, totally early-90’s. At least the start does, when the swirling My Bloody Valentine-esque fuzz consumes the song whole. It doesn’t stay like that, though: the lyrics are audible, which, of course, is where the MBV comparisons end, naturally. Still – great:

 

SECOND! If these are the The Symptoms, what is the disease? And why would we not all want it, considering that Don’t Leave is as sulkily poppy as you could possibly hope for?

 

THIRD! Apparently, Speak Galactic was on ANBAD before – although it took me a quick search before I remembered. This is no slur against the band, just a reflection of my terrible memory, and the fact that there have been too many bands to count now (OK, it’s 917). Pfft, who cares anyway – Precautionary Measures is great, clattering stuff.

 

FOURTH! Devoted Friend have made a clunky, lo-fi, hissing album of clunky, lo-fi, hissing songs that sound like they were recorded in a bedroom, or an old warehouse. Sometimes, I can think of nothing I’d prefer to listen to. Balled Up Pt. 1 hits all number of spots in this regard. Slight and wistful and weird.

 

>Bank Holiday Special – Last Month’s New Bands Round-Up

>Ah, refreshing holidays. I don’t know about those of you outside the UK, but we’re having a national holiday today – and as a consequence, the weather is average at best. Great Times.

So how better to spend a drizzly day than to peruse the best of last month’s new bands from anewbandaday.com? So here the pick of the bunch are, bunched into half-hearted categories:

GERMANIC, MEATY

The super Like A Stuntman were featured at the beginning-ish of the month. They are great, and from Hamburg. Which makes them Hamburgers. Insert your own foodstuff-joke here.

Then we went balls-to-the-wall crazy and featured their compatriots Emi & Sophie, who appear to have already changed their name to the more catchily angsty Teenage Suicide.

BANGIN’ CHOONZ

LA PRIEST is ace, and features electro-cats on his records. Say no more.

And after Emi & Sophie’s name change, here’s the second 13-19 age-group-themed band last month: Teenage Bad Girl. A frankly ridiculously bouncy tune resource.

Not quite catagoris-able, but fantastic are The Alibies. They told me they’re trying to get an album released very soon, and they deserve to get signed on the basis of the songs on their website.

LIKE, PROPER BANDS, MAAAN

There were some good ‘uns in April: The Brownies, all sexy and aggressive; Record Hop, all wonderfully crunchy and 90’s; and The Cruiser Chimps, who are about as much fun as you can have without invading the monkey pen in the zoo.

APRIL’S BAND OF THE MONTH:

Is Pixel H8. He’s just brilliant, and makes his music with Nintendos and Commodore 64s, as if you needed any more persuading.

More great bands as of tomorrow! As always, if you’re in a band, or know one that you think should be on here, or have anything else you want to say email me and let me know!

Also, don’t forget you can subscribe to ANBAD by email at the link up on the right!

Thanks for those of you who emailed asking about my holiday. To answer your questions, I mainly ate dried fish and custard (not at the same time), I did get sunburned (on ankles – putting socks on is fun now) and I was offered hashish approximately 9 Trazillion times.

Left Channel: Work/Un-Work

I’ve long postulated that songs will become shorter, and more spazmodic as time increases.

The rush and buzz of modern technology practically demands it: we all multi-task to the tune dictated by our smartphones and browsers – I imagine you have half a dozen tabs open right now and are only lingering on this one until another takes your fancy.

This behaviour is probably ruinous for our collective sanity. Such is life.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your point of view), Left Channel supplies the time-bereft with schizophrenic musical niblets to match the behaviour of scattergun minds.

In some ways, My Cathode Spike simply doesn’t work; this is also the song’s greatest strength.

No single beat gets going for more than a bar or two; listening is both dazzling and exhausting.

Our attention bounces as freely as the beat, and listeners will be left either impressed by Left Channel‘s dedication to chaos of concerned for their mental well-being.  Like simultaneously watching 15 TV channels whilst grinding your teeth.

NB: People of an anxious disposition ought to prepare some whale music to listen to afterwards.

MORE: thephilosophyofthemindsofthepeople.com

>Stars and Sons – Today’s New Band

>I sometimes feel sorry for bands. Not that sorry, what with all the booze, girls and urinating up against the Alamo that they manage to find time to do, but a bit sorry all the same. It must be tough to keep touring material that you love, only to find that either a) it doesn’t fit in with the majority’s taste; or b) they come under pressure to make it more in fitting with the mainstream. Some bands then choose the “We-do-what-we-do-and-if-anyone-else-likes-it-that’s-a-bonus” route and plough on regardless, whilst others let their record company lead them around like little piggies.

Other bands find themselves in that happy spot which pleases both camps. I think today’s new band, Stars And Sons, might have accidentally achieved that difficult blend of individuality and appealability, and their songs bristle with excitement as a result.

Fights Already Fought is a strangely subdued song that also manages to be uptempo at the same time. It rattles and shakes softly, as if waiting to be released for a big reprise that never arrives. It’s lovely, and dissolves into a quick, quasi-Spiritualized fuzz at the end. In The Ocean is almost its exact opposite, a fun romp that bounds forwards with all the enthusiasm and wonder of a new puppy. A pop-rock puppy that plays the piano, but a puppy nonetheless.

The feeling is with Stars and Sons is one of trying to break away from the norm, whilst still holding with one hand onto their base sound. Calling it ‘quirky power pop’ is just too obvious, but songs like Out of View could be made to sound incredibly mundane very easily by other bands, and yet Stars and Sons keep yanking it over into the leftfield a little bit, keeping everyone on their toes and happy. Good work, Stars and Sons. Listen to them here!

Pompey: Nervous Brilliance

It takes nerve to write music that departs from the norm. Nerve is needed to fight the ever-present temptation to round off the sharp corners and produce a more generic sound, and to silence the fearful thoughts that such music will never get you on MTV.

Nerve will take you places you never dreamed of, whereas playing to the gallery will lead to to exactly where you expected.

Pompey is an artist who has been making music for a while – so his appearance becomes one of the ‘new-as-in-new-to-ANBAD‘ variety, as opposed to the ‘only-picked-up-a-glockenspiel-for-the-first-time-last-week‘ kind.

Pompey // Bivouac Sack

None of this controversial machination will matter a jot when you’ve heard Bivouac Sack, a song so kaleidoscopically beauiful and hypnotic, that the song sows the seeds of it’s own sonic destruction half way through, lest the listening audience slips unwittingly into an inert state of comfort.

It takes a true artist to create a song so multi-layered, so loopily and beautifully colourful and so lilting that time itself drags, stupified. It takes a bold artist to then consider this not progressive enough, and to chuck a big clump of fractured, devious noise-pollution into the middle to jolt the audience awake and allow the song to move on.

Pompey‘s are the kind of songs which connect with me so directly, it feels like cheating to write about him in such glowing terms. Such is life. Pompey’s songs feel urgent, necessary and yet totally calming. Excellent.

Download the full-fat version of the excellent Bivouac Sack here

MIDWEEK MOUTHPIECE: New Music – Natural Selection Vs Intelligent Design

Matthew Young runs the excellent Song, By Toad blog, and a similarly-named, similarly excellent record label.

He loves new music, and talking about new music, preferably whilst sharing drinks with you, as I have discovered on many a queasy occasion.

Because of his garrulous and idiosyncratic nature, he gets asked to speak on panels, usually about the “Future of the Music Industry”, which is pretty much the title of every panel at ever music conference, ever.

At The Great Escape, he announced that “Last FM and Pandora are fucking pointless”, and a selection of music/tech people blew a collective gasket. (Matthew later addressed what he said in a more eloquent manner here.)

It doesn’t take too long in Matthew’s company to realise that hyperbole is part of his method of discussion, but such humour does not always translate to all and sundry.

I do agree with a lot of his provocative statement, although maybe in a different way: the non-human element of music discovery sites can be disconcerting or disappointing.

We have not, and (happily) never will, replace the wildly unexpected nature of say, John Peels’ radio show, with an algorithmically-curated creation yet.

Your view on whether this is a good thing will boil down to this choice: maybe you’d have discovered, say, the Swedish band Leanids via an online tool. Would you have preferred to have found them via a trusted human instead?


I don’t use Pandora, but there are elements of Last FM that I think are brilliantly useful: recording my music playing history and linking it to Spotify/This Is My Jam/etc will be useful for evermore, in whichever way music consumption evolves form hereon.

As a player of music, however, I’ve found Last FM only partially useful, and my experience do mirror Matthew’s somewhat: it doesn’t give me quite what I crave. I want wild variety, the unexpected, and weird stuff that tests my boundaries. I understand that the bulk of Last FM’s user base may not want this, however.

But this is why I run A New Band A Day, and why I spend hours trawling through zany PR emails and Soundcloud when I could be getting vitamin D outside in the sunshine.

The Last FM app in Spotify is very useful for the reason Matthew mentioned: “I can’t think of anything better to guide you through Spotify’s featureless wasteland of unlimited availability” – but I prefer Soundrop, the user-sourced ‘radio’ app: which brings us back to the matter of human intervention.

So what is the future? What is the best model to replace these unpredictable humans with something that can appear on a glossy screen instead of a fiddly FM radio?

Now, I do have a (minor) vested interest in Hype Machine, but I think their model is closest to what works for me. I can listen to a selection of songs that a (filtered) human system has put together; I enjoy some, skip some, and despair at others.

But I’m hearing new things all the time, and none of them (on the ‘Popular’ stream, for example) are ‘tailored’ to me beyond the idea that I will probably be at least interested in what’s being thrown up on the screen, because I trust the aggregated list of bloggers to at least screen out the obvious and the dross.

It’s also telling that one of Hype Machine’s main features is a monthly, human-curated radio show.

My art teacher always used to tell me “look for mistakes” when painting: the idea being that the natural leakage of gouache into an area of the painting that it was not intended to was not as undesirable as it might instinctively appear.

Humans make mistakes, have quirks. John Peel had a bewildering hankering for Happy Hardcore (*cough* as do I *cough*), and it’s easy to forget that each of his radio shows, now held aloft as the pinnacle of musical taste, curation and foresight, always – always – contained its fair share of clunkers amongst the gems.

And this exactly was why I, and others religiously listened.

NB: Part of this article was derived from a comment I wrote here.

Koloto: In The Chromo-zone

koloto

Here’s something dreadful: I listened to Koloto‘s music, liked it; and then saw that it was made by a woman, and then I made a judgement.

I couldn’t even help it. It wasn’t a negative judgement, just that I suddenly looked at the music in a whole new way, merely because I found out that this producer of electronic music, unusually, was not a man.

Sigh.

But just to clarify: there is nothing ‘female’ about Kill Screen, just as there is nothing ‘masculine’ about, say, Underworld’s Skyscraper, I Love You. (Well, unless you subscribe to the skyscraper/phallus imagery theory, but I digress).

But my automatic response is quite odd, and probably says a lot; although about what, I’m not sure.

Anyway – Koloto is extremely talented when it comes to assembling a collage of noises and making them into a happy, jittering mess. see what you can pick out: I’m sure at one point there is a quick sample of coins being dropped onto a table.

 

Kill Screen is a game of two halves, and whilst the second, madly jabbering half is a perfect juxtaposition, I prefer the first half, which builds lazily, with odd sounds punctuating it; teasing the inevitable heaviness to follow.

And if we have to return to the thorny issue of gender for a second, isn’t it wonderful that the internet effectively rules out any prejudice and that a song can be appreciated for exactly what it is? No wonder so many artists hide under anonymity. Smart cookies.

MORE: soundcloud.com/koloto