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.


 

KID CITY, And The Guaranteed ANBAD Money-Generation Scheme

Hey! Would you like to know how to make big money as a musician? I’ve got the answer, right here. I’ve spoken to a lot of people in the music world, and I’ve got the solution – and it’s a guaranteed, nailed-on, #WINNER! (Sorry, no more Charlie Sheen.)

Ready? No, really, are you ready? Brace yourself. It’s this: be Bon Jovi. That’s it.

Hey, I didn’t say it was easy, or even possible. But it’s still true: Jon Bon & The Crinkly Bunch are one of the very few bands in the world who can still make enough money to live The Rock Life. Everyone else has to make do with juggling rock dreams with part-time office jobs. Sorry.

That said, the current absence of a true money-making stream has led to the implementation of some brilliant ideas.

Old ANBAD favourites Art Brut are trying a quite different approach to cash-generation via Pledge Music, where, yes, you can buy the new Art Brut album, but also – and more excitingly – you can buy your own Art Brut gig, an Art Brut football kit, a Karaoke session with Eddie Argos, and more.

This approach – making all of the fans’ interaction with the band chargeable, like merchandise – is almost certainly the way forward. It’s an approach which new bands like Kid City have been utilising for a while – note the rise of both the Merch Stall, and the imploring from the stage to stop by it on your way out – and it’s a smart move.

Kid City‘s Bloody Face is one of those songs that often gets described as ‘icy’ and ‘crystalline’, often by writers pushed for time (like this one) – but these clichés exist for good reason.

Songs along these lines often sound drab, or boring, or like pale imitations of – shudder – Zero 7. Kid City have taken care to avoid these pitfalls with a combination of Kraftwerkian beat-dollops, leftfield-synth noises and jabbering lyrics that aren’t too serious.

It works well, and if they play their cards right – or simply charge for them – fortune can be theirs, too. Good stuff.

MORE: http://kidcity.bandcamp.com

The Focussed Distraction – Accentuated Misery

One of the more frustrating elements of recent pop music in the UK has been the implementation of faux-regional accents.

The reasoning behind the clumsy wrapping of words around heavily-accentuated vocal stylings is myriad – though you could easily pin it on an aping of Arctic Monkeys’ flat Sheffield tones, a sign of a scrabble for regional identity.

That said, as broad accents are primarily associated with class, such prevalence of lawks-a-mercy-guv’nor trilling may have a strong correlation with the recent revelatory claim that over 60% of chart pop acts are from a privately-educated background, and the usual British embarrassment derived from privilege.

Faux-accents are easy to spot, just as someone pretending to be a rock star can’t hide the truth, no matter how hard they strut on stage. Jon McLeod, aka The Focussed Distraction, has a winsome accent, and it’s a real one, too.

How can I tell? Well, I just can. He’s not faking, and you only need to listen to songs like Misery Jukebox to figure that out for yourself. Moreover, it adds a layer of closeness and empathy that may have otherwise been missing from his prickly, outsider-pop.

A song named Misery Jukebox was always going to be a bit grumpy, and whilst it is indeed that, the lyrical wit and the contorted, catchy guitar grunt is indicative of a songwriter whose sneer contorts quickly into a wry smile (and then back again).

It’s the kind of push-you-away-then-pull-you-close behaviour that, despite ourselves, we all secretly love – and it’ll be the reason for his success too.

MORE: soundcloud.com/thefocusseddistraction

Trash Kit, Tribute Acts, Forest Analogies

All music recycles the past – it has to in order to generate new ideas, just like any other art form. But it’s safe to say that, within the realms of guitar music at least, this retrospective thievery has become the ends and not the means.

‘So what?’, you might say. But when bands steal ideas, attitudes or sounds from the past and fail to add their own splash of colour to the mix, then we’re all being short-changed, and the bands become, essentially, tribute acts.

And if I want tribute act, I’ll brave the onslaught of weak puns and  go and watch AB/CD or The Smyths. The real bands we all want are those that figure out their own sound, or at least have a go at it.

Trash Kit are trying to find a new route through the dense forest of tedious plod-rock. So far, they’re making exciting, white-light excursions into the darkness, and emerging, triumphant, with songs that practically vomit with breathless excitement.

Trash Kit // Cadets

Cadets, frankly, is as stimulating and energetic a song as you could hope for on a Monday morning. Jittering, restless and crammed with texture; waif-like, needle-sharp and blisteringly brief – this is a song from a truly confident band.

Cadets is a song that could only exist right now; Trash Kit having ground up a dozen old songs and formed something new and exciting. And when they make it big, I have first dibs on the following woeful tribute band names: Flash Kit, The Trash Kids and Australian Trash Kit. Back off.

www.myspace.com/trashkit

>Today’s New Band – Thomas Tantrum PLUS! 80’s Reminiscing AND Yet More Confusion

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Pitchfork, the music review website that is both pleasingly with it and, occasionally, maddeningly snobbish all at once, recently published a review of five re-issued versions of New Order‘s albums. It’s a review which, for once, succinctly captures exactly what was so wonderful about them.

In contrast to The Charlatans (see yesterday’s post) who failed to gain heroic status despite years of straining, New Order leapt there instantly without, seemingly, either trying or wanting to be there. I can’t think of many bands who were so delightfully haphazard, arty and contrary, without any of those qualities being excruciatingly embarrassing. The only embarrassment present in New Order‘s case was the sense of awkwardness the band displayed when they suddenly realised they were, for a while, the most excitingly brilliant band in the world.

Unassuming, quiet and haphazard in their approach, they still managed to produce some of the most touching, belligerent and powerfully ecstatic music ever written. No posing, no pondering on how to achieve importance (hi, Bono!), just a heads-down approach to pushing boundaries and having a good time.

If you’re like me, you’ll already be scrolling through iTunes to find Power, Corruption and Lies, but before you take that trip back to 1983, how about Today’s New Band, Thomas Tantrum?

Perhaps reminiscing about one of the greatest ever British bands immediately prior to introducing a new one is a bit unfair, but it doesn’t really matter, ‘cos Thomas Tantrum are great. Moreover, the rigid beats and polymedlodies of their super song Rage Against The Tantrum owe a bit to New Order, so perhaps it’s all a neat circle. Rage Against… made me think of The Popguns a bit, which is enough to make these jaded ears prick up with joy.

Whether they’re veering here and there on Warm Horse, or making the most disorientating pop music of all time on What What What, Thomas Tantrum are a true treat. They pull together the oft-disparate strands of noise rock and sparkly pop with true aplomb, and even find time to inadvertently bait the BNP with the swirling, heady Why The English Are Rubbish. Brilliant. Get confused in a kind of cute, pleasingly disarming way here!

AKA SUGA: DELUXE

akasugaIf I could listen to only one LP for the rest of my life, it’d probably be DJ Shadow‘s Endtroducing (the deluxe edition, because if you’re only going to listen to one LP forever, it may as well be the two-disc version).

As far as LPs go, it’s pretty much perfect in every way; one of the few LPs I enjoy listening to as much now as I did 15 years ago when I first heard it.

The brilliance of the sampling, the composition of the beats and the overarching feeling that we are taking a trip through music and out the other side is inescapable and gorgeous.

Thus, I have a soft spot for choppy, sampled, soul-vibe music. Oh, hi AKA SUGA.

Now, AKA SUGA is not DJ Shadow, durr. But this is pretty great, all the same, and her sales pitch – “I’m a Japanese girl living in Bushwick making hip hop inspired soulful jams,” – is neat enough.

Anyway, slick ‘n’ loopy beats aside, I really like the odd b-boy/b-girl lyrics that feel like they have been parachuted in from another record.

Except of course, they haven’t – which is interestingly counter to the whole sampling malarky in the first place. Good stuff.

>Today’s New Band – Everybody Was In The French Resistance…Now

>Some bands spawn multiple side projects when individual members decide to branch out, like, creatively, maaan. New Order, for example, fractured into not only Electronic, but also Revenge, Freebass – who had three bassists in the band – (three-bass, geddit?), Monaco and The Other Two (who were, erm, the other two left in the band who hadn’t done a side project).

The truely wonderful Art Brut on the other hand, have also spawned a number of side projects, though unusually, all of them seem to have emerged due to the wandering mind of affable frontman Eddie Argos. His blog lists eight bands that he is in – more than enough to create an Eddie Argos Side Project Week here on A New Band A Day, and believe me, such is my admiration for the unlikely Art Brut Lothario, that I seriously toyed with the idea.

However, common sense prevailed, and Everybody Was In The French Resistance…Now alone are today’s new band. Their guiding principles are as entertaining as their tunes – they aim to “correct the mistakes of pop songs past”. Therefore, the super G.I.R.L.F.R.E.N (You Know I’ve Got A) on their MySpace page is a riposte to Avril Lavigne’s recent crud-bucket of a song of a similar name. It is such a happy idea – to take a song in which someone’s been wronged and call in the pop-airstrike to level things out – that it can’t help but work.

Whether you regard this as a merely a slight joke or (hopefully) as good fun blended with yummy tunes, it doesn’t really matter. They don’t care what you think. They’re settling scores in the realms of pop, and your (least) favourite song might be next.

Don’t forget, you can always contact me here at A.N.B.A.D. via email if you have any suggestions for bands you’d like to see featured!

>Today’s New band – Fredrik PLUS! Daniel O’Donnell!

>Sometimes it’s just… difficult to buy albums. Often it’s because there are no decent records being released. December is when the annual CD drought kicks in, due to the proliferation of dreadful CDs aimed at the Christmas market. Yet another oxymoronic Katie Melua ‘Best Of’, anyone? Or Daniel O’Donnell‘s Christmas Album? Yes, I’d prefer to drink Gluwein flavoured with bleach too.

Most times though, it’s just the feeling of not knowing where to start. All those CDs, and so little desire to spend fifteen precious minutes being lectured to by the bearded guy behind the counter about the latest release from their favourite unknown Jazz-Funk combo. My favoured fallback option is to plump for a compilation album – the best friend of the unsure or skint. For the same price as a standard album, you get a whole bundle of songs picked by someone else. It’s a bit like borrowing a friend’s iPod and setting it to shuffle.

The great thing with compilation albums is that they work as intended for everyone involved – the listener gets a taste of a load of new bands; the artists, often without the money, or variety of songs to warrant their own album, get published; and the record execs get to cream off another 10% to spend on coke, champagne and hookers. With this all in mind, I can wholeheartedly recommend any of the brilliant compilation CDs from Rough Trade, or the equally ace Studio One series.

Today’s New Band, Fredrik, are probably on a compilation album somewhere. For good reason, too – they’re the second delicious folky band we’ve had in as many days. They hail from Sweden, and somewhat predictably have the Swedish knack for squeezing a great tune into a four minute pop song. fabulously, they manage to make these songs sonically inventive whilst maintaining pop sensibilities.

Alina’s Place is a clicky, puffing and outrageously enjoyable pop-folk song enlivened by what sounds like the tinkling of jars full of water and gentle vocal chanting. It’s so comforting and cosy that if you listened to it whilst sitting in a bean bag and sipping on a mug of cocoa, you might slip into a coma of joy. Holm shuffles like an old man dancing to his favourite song and Angora Sleepwalking lumbers around, confused but happy, before bursting apart in an muddle of plucking and fiddling.

Fredrik are a folky, accessible cross between Sigur Ros and The Kings of Convenience, and much more fun than either. Their songs fuss along, scattering ever-inventive and enjoyably tactile noises on their way. They are poppy one moment and introspective the next, but their gentle, low-key and unassuming music is always sprightly and determinedly exciting. If you’re somewhere cold, like me, Fredrik are the warmth that you need in your life. Lovely. Listen to them here!

>Today’s New Band – Ace Bushy Striptease

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For someone who specialises in listening to new music, it turns out I don’t know very much about, er, new music. Example: it took me this long to realise that MGMT are American, and not French as I’d assumed. I initially thought I was confusing them French bands like Justice, or MSTRKRFT, until reading that MSTRKRFT are Canadian, which just confirms that I’m an idiot who knows nothing.

I suppose the knowledge of nationality helps further mentally establish a band’s sound – Daft Punk couldn’t really be any other nationality than French, just as Nickleback couldn’t be any more rootin’ tootin’ American if they tried. Wait, they’re Canadian too. Crap.

Today’s New Band are from Birmingham, UK. I’ve double-checked, and that’s definitely correct. So, if my half-formed theory is right, do Ace Bushy Striptease sound British? Well, yes, I suppose so. But no more than they sound Mexican, Japanese or Slovakian. Theory abandoned.

Ace Bushy Striptease have one of the most, er… evocative names featured on ANBAD for a long time. A good name is all-important, and the band members must have known they were half-way to success when they came up with that one.

Luckily, they have the tunes to complete the equation. Iluvya would be a heartbreaking rejection song – “I don’t care what you say, I love ya anyway” – in any other hands, but here it becomes a fun, carefree blast.

Knockabout songs like Mervyn and Isaac Find A CD and the so crazy-it’s-crazy remix-magedddon that is Ace Bushy Exceedddrrrr show Ace Bushy Striptease to be a band that don’t take themselves too seriously. This is an admirable trait, but one that could become grating if it wasn’t tempered with occasional glimpses of substance.

This they do in Heartbreaks In The Snow – an actually affecting song. It’s a delight; a sad, lonely, cold and sweet song. Ace Bushy Striptease are a band brimming with youth, fun coming out of their eyeballs and an ear for a great tune. Expect great things – listen here!

The Zookeepers: Gazing Into The Void, Laughing

Imagine the internet – all the insanity, all the zillions of disparate thoughts, all the ridiculous fetishes – condensed into song, and you will have an idea of The Zookeepers. Perhaps they’re among the first bunch of real Internet Bands: shaped not by the content, but its buzzing, ever-altering nature.

The Zookeepers craft a shuffle of too-short songs and spun-out ideas, each a statement of sorts. It’s all held together with love and sticky-tape, and songs like Chicken are blistering examples of exhilarating Pop – albeit Pop that’s been smashed up and reassembled with demented genius.

The ZookeepersChicken

Fat Tax hammer its blunt beliefs home with even blunter riffs. Ballin Outrageous spurts blood, horns and splashing cymbals – all manically, all at once.

Sometimes they sound like generic teen-punk, sometimes they use that ridiculous vocoder-autotune effect, sometimes they croon like the whitest, slickest boyband. Often all these feats are achieved in one song.

None of these songs means nothing, though some manage to touch that blank void, before skipping away laughing. Brilliant, in a very real sense.

The lack of a new band yesterday was due to excess sex ‘n’ drugs ‘n’ rock ‘n’ roll*. Apologies.

*Actually, it was an internet problem. But that sounds dull, in all honesty.

Aux. Out – Re-Experiencing A Memory

I’ve never been there, but I feel comfortable declaring that Dartmouth is not a Rock ‘n’ Roll city. It might not even be a city.

Its name conjures images of Thermos flasks, warm blankets and plenty of comfy chairs for old people to wait for the sweet release of death.

I may, of course be wrong. I only mention this because of a nugget of info I found in the descriptive tags that accompany Aux. Out‘s music. They read:

acoustic ambient electronica instrumental lo-fi Dartmouth

It would be facile of me to disagree with any of the former words – they’re all true. They’re also pretty cool muso-words, which is why the word Dartmouth stuck on the end made me snigger childishly.

Anyway – here, in Aux. Out, is a rarity: a solo artist who makes loopy, lo-fi song-sketches who also provides us with a photo of his own face. So few of them are willing to show-and-tell these days.

His songs are an indicator that music is like a snake eating its own tail: ever-shortening, re-experiencing itself in an increasingly rapid feedback loop.

So Basic Geography may well have been made with guitars and drums and the like – you know, the old-fashioned stuff – but its direction is influenced by the fiddly coils of ambient electronic music.

There’s almost something lazy about the sounds, dripping in weird patterns, as if under the influence of a non-human hand. Basic Geography is recorded on what, from the warm swathes of fuzz, sounds like an old TDK90 cassette.

For this simple act alone, I recommend Aux. Out wholeheartedly – he has found a supremely non-ironic, non-faux-nostalgic use for the humble tape cassette. It fits his acutely precise/loose songs just so. A dreamy end to the week.

MORE: garrettmombourquette.bandcamp.com