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.


 

Hanetration: Odd, But Alive

Does confusing music derive from a confused mind, or our confused times?

Is the succession of complex, uncomfortable and intentionally difficult music an projection of its creators complex mind or is it the fact that the endless roll-out of technology makes the act of exploring the nuts and blots of sound and music itself easier to perform?

Hanetration’s songs could barely me labelled as music, and yet there is something intriguing about them.

Where does the song end and the series of collated noises begin? Are these questions the point of making Rex in the first place?

 

There’s no real rhythm to Rex. Sure, there are shuddering beats here and there, but it is mainly a whirl of groans, drones and machine-made hiccups.

What the listener takes from this is up to them – it may be disgust, it may be furrowed interest. But I guarantee this: it will separate the curious from the closed-minded. Odd, but alive.

MORE: hanetration.bandcamp.com

YOUNG BLOOD: Zero-Sum

Young Blood tricked me into some sort of inner-zero-sum scenario.

What else was I supposed to do with a youthful new band called Young Blood?

By ticking all the boxes – they’re crafty and smart new artists, they have a snappy name, they write nice emails –  I couldn’t really not feature them on ANBAD, but then, but the same token, it seems almost glib to do so.

Sigh.

The truly great news is that Young Blood, with a feather-light touch, crush any silly latent worries like those listed above: crushed by the lead-like weight of dapper tunes, production warmer and breezier than the Mistral, and a dull but compelling relentlessness to their careful, sweet songs.

 

Tell Her From Me is a deeply gentle song, created in a time where gentle songs usually indicate either a band’s soppy centre or a tedious stab at FM-friendly ubiquity.

This is neither: a heartfelt, human and honest song, alive with shimmering happiness. Great.

MORE: soundcloud.com/youngbloodband

Big Troubles – Lost in Fuzz

“The thing is with your website,” a friend ventured last night, “is that you get so excited about every new band you write about.”

I think her point is that the world continues to spew forth a slightly bewildering number of very good new bands – or at least that’s how I’m interpreting it.

A case in point: Big Troubles are one of these good new bands over which all these superlatives are being spilt, and for good reason (as always).

I’m sure that, for new bands, the temptation of turning up all the knobs on the fuzz pedal is ever-present, and I admire all musicians who resist such base urges.

But when the result of doing exactly that sound as supremely, blissfully stratospheric as Bite Yr Tongue, who could argue against doing so?

 

Smartly, Big Troubles couple the transcendent blizzard of soft fuzz with elasticated, monotone vocals, and any concerns that we’re headed for a bout of hardcore navel-gazing are just about nullified. Nice.

MORE: bigtroubless.angelfire.com/ (Angelfire! Amazing…)

NOSAJ THING // Bestival 2011 Preview

Here’s the final Bestival Preview before the ‘ANBAD massive’ head off to the delightful mud-stravaganza festival  itself tomorrow.

After that we’ll be live-blogging and tweeting about how the mud isn’t stopping us from having a good time, OK?

OK – let’s cut to the chase.

ANBAD is obsessively curious about band names. And NOSAJ THING is an artist name with what is surely his real first name spelt backwards in it and in doing so forms a weak pun. It’s a match made in heaven.

Thus, NOSAJ THING was always going to be featured on ANBAD. The planets align like that sometimes. Fortunately, the music justifies inclusion as well. Phew.

Nightcrawler is positively alive with vast, lukewarm synth washes, punchy drums and swarms of  relaxation-CD noise-fog, but it’s the unusual sense of width and disconnection that marks the songs apart.

Spacey house music populates the music blog world so densely that it may as well be the default background music, but NOSAJ THING has succeeded in making this music a double-headed beast: you can concentrate on it or allow it to invade your mind insidiously. Both work, but in different ways.

MORE: nosajthing.com

SKELETOR! CHUGGA-CHUGGA-CHUGGA!

“Dear Joe,

This is probably not the correct place for a death metal band, but I just love to be irrational from time to time…”

So began the email from Bram, the guitarist from Skeletor, a Dutch death metal band. The Dutch speak simply wonderful English.

Happily for all of us, Bram couldn’t be more wrong. It’s true that Skeletor is the first death metal band to appear on ANBAD since the entertainingly disgusting Coprophagia a couple of years ago, but that doesn’t mean that ANBAD is death-metal-phobic.

It’s just that death metal is the kind of thing that most people only listen to every few years. When you do choose to listen though, remember to ensure that Skeletor are your go-to death metal band.

Skeletor //  Deathmarch

There is so much that I love about death metal, that I don’t really know where to start. Part of it is the sub-genre itself: ‘metal just isn’t gloomy enough’, someone must have thought, ‘I’m going to introduce mortality into the equation.’ This is the same reasoning that brought us Epic Doom Metal, by the way – an altogether more ridiculous brand of noise.

Simply put though, death metal sounds like a whole ton of fun: alternately howling and chugga-chugga guitars, pulverising drumming, and vocals that sound as if sung by the results of a human-wolf gene-splicing experiment gone wrong.

Skeletor might not make music that you’d admit to liking, or have even considered liking, but they are as entertaining as hell. Prove yourself wrong.

www.myspace.com/skeletormetalband

Bad Apes: Layers of Layers

Yesterday, for the thousandth time, Kevin Shields confirmed his status as Music’s Biggest Troll, by announcing that My Bloody Valentine‘s follow-up to Loveless will – honestly, no, really, I promise – finally be released before the end of 2012.

Figuring out how to react to such bare-faced (tongue-in-)cheek is tricky, because he has been making the same occasional proclamations for – count them – 21 long, My Bloody Valentine-less years.

Whilst ANBAD appreciates any form of trolling, Kevin’s trolling-is-a-dish-best-served-cold approach is remarkable in its bravery, and ANBAD Towers has been ringin out with appreciative applause all day long.

Kevin Shields also meekly points out that not everyone will be pleased with this long, long, long-awaited album. Oh, Kevin, don’t let me down. Please push it for another 21 years, and then release a posthumous album of Cliff Richard covers. It’s the world’s latent desire.

Until then, I’m more than happy to make do with Bad Apes, who, like a few bands, have figured out Kevin Shields’ spaghetti-like guitar pedal arrangement, and have – indeed – aped the warm, wobbly sound to a tee.

 

The Pacifier Crashes may lean heavily on Loveless‘ drone and depth, but thankfully the band are smart enough to distance themselves from mere pastiche: and cleverly emphasise the oft-overlooked thrash-punk of MBV’s myriad influences.

Thus, vocals are thrust forward, howling, heavy and angered. The contrast between this and the softness of the guitars is almost perfectly balanced. Neither intrudes on the other, and both layers are appreciated simultaneously. Bad Apes are great. Let’s see if they can maintain this for 21 years, though.

MORE: soundcloud.com/badapes

THE WARP/THE WEFT: The Month Of May

warpweftANBADSTAR

My, oh my.

When was the last time you heard a voice quite like this? Spouting lyrics like these? Over such beautifully confusing sounds like these?

Honestly, the last time I could remember my curiosity was prickled in this way was when I heard Seward, about this time last year. And then I remembered I said the same thing about Sturle Dagsland about three weeks ago.

Maybe it’s the month of May. Maybe I’m wrong.

Maybe The Warp/The Weft are brilliant. Who can say?

 

Chances are, The Warp/The Weft are, in fact just brilliant – Storm & Wake is a simply – and I use this word inadvisedly – impressive song. Because it is, in every way; a terrifically coiling song that allows plenty of breathing space (a rarity today) and pushes a tremulously delicious voice to the fore.

Mentions of dorsal fins fly by as the oddly brief lyric scuttles past half as fast as you’d expect. The ending becomes an extended coda that you will to roll on and on. I’m not sure why you’re still reading this now. Just listen.

MOREthewarptheweft.com

>Today’s New Band – Monster Island

>One of the really hard things to resist when reviewing bands is to draw comparisons between them and other, more established, bands. On one hand, it gives the reader an instant point of reference, but on the other, it does neither party any favours. No band sounds exactly like another (apart from Razorlight, who seem to have cribbed the Boomtown Rats’ sound wholesale). But when a band comes along that sounds like a combination of three great bands – let’s say, The Fall, Pavement and The Pixies – wouldn’t it just be more stupid not to mention the fact?

Thought so. Thus, let’s start by stating right now that Today’s New Band, Monster Island, sounds like a ragged combination of The Fall, Pavement and The Pixies. This sounds like a grand boast, but it’s true. To mention The Fall is a bit of a given – Monster Island are an off-beat indie band from Manchester, and therefore it’s virtually a legal obligation to mention Mark E. Smith’s grumpy lot. But it’s fair, this time, as in songs like Hothouse, there’s the same sparse, threatening griminess that pervades the best Fall records. See Twin Towns too for a Pavement-y lollop and and the Pixies’ patented loud ‘n’ quiet dynamics are oozing out all over too.

Beyond glib comparisons, there was one moment when listening to Monster Island‘s songs that actually delighted me. Yup, actual, tangible delight, bordering on glee, a feeling which made my wizened, blackened heart start to flutter. Throughout their chuntering (and free-to-download) song They Never Sleep, the music is occasionally interpolated with screeching sounds of tapes rewinding, bleeping and electronic interference. Deliberate or not, it’s a fabulous, pointless detail which screams of lethargic, understated, inventiveness. Brilliant.

So that’s my justification for taking the easy comparative route to describing them. Listen for yourself here, on their Myspace page.

>List-O-Matic: Albums Of The Year

>

***A New Band A Day is taking a ‘well-earned’ break until the New Year, so no more new bands until then***
So, the end of the world year is here. On New Year’s Day, we’ll be struggling out of bed to post the wetly anticipated New Bands of The Year List, which will also be the end of this List Mentalism. So here’s the ANBAD Top Four Albums of the Year! Why Four? Because, that’s why.
ALBUM OF THE YEAR – M83 – Saturdays=Youth
Happily shrugging off fiendish attempts to be shoehorned into the mercifully brief Nu-Gaze ‘scene’, Saturdays=Youth instantly transports you back to your youthful summers when limbs were gangly, oily skin was a given and the opposite sex was so irresistible that even the most ham-fisted attempts at conversation were minor victories. Kim and Jessie is bold enough to utilise the 80’s synth-pop palette and, against the odds, create a song of soaring, simple, touching beauty. If you were ever young or shy or awkward or all three, you’ll go all doe-eyed and tongue-tied at this album.
Hot Chip – Made In The Dark
We said: “The album where The Chip finally mutated into the acid house-rock monster that they always hinted at becoming. Their live act is in turns charming, banging and air-punchingly fabulous, and this album is where that live brilliance is equalled in the studio. Hot Chip are without pretence but are also full of humour and sincerity. They’re pretty much the New New Order, and that’s high praise.”
Frank Black – Svn Fngrs
Frank Black only popped into the studio to record some B-sides, and yet whelped this ace mini-album. Full of the same cranky inventiveness that made the Pixies so stupidly great and also the rock anthem tricks that makes album climax When They Come To Murder Me the first song for a long time that made me go to the record shop the moment I heard it.
Dan Le Sac Vs Scroobius Pip – Angles
Because DLS V SP‘s album was greeted either bilious hatred or fawning praise – but nothing in between – it’s one of the stand out albums of the year. They must be doing something right to earn such polarity of opinions. Whatever you think of Scroobius Pip‘s voice, delivery or quasi-poetry-slam lyrics, it’s tough to argue with songs as catchy as The Beat That My Heart Skipped. Yes, sometimes it feel like we’re being preached at, but you don’t have to align your philosophy with everything that’s being said to appreciate it, do you? Or do you?

Turquoise Memories: Re-appropriation For The Nation

ANBAD has just ceased living out of a rucksack and has a place to call home again.

This might not sound like a huge deal, but 10 months spent whittling daily necessaries down so that they fit into a bag has, simultaneously, both a wildly calming and maddening effect. It’s an interesting – if perhaps not recommended – experiment in minimalism, decision making and creative compromising.

Turquoise MemoriesAll I Need To Say has a similar dichotomy – a wilfully calm, ponderous pace, but peppered with disembodied vocals detuned to the point of anxiety.

 

OK, so far, so de rigueur – who doesn’t detune their vocals these days? – but as they squark over soft cascades of synth and snappy drums, you realise that some crazes catch on for a reason. All I Need To Say might take cues from its peers, but this is no crime, and the results are almost overwhelmingly euphoric.

As a side note, the sudden widespread re-appropriation of what, to these old ears, sounds a lot like mid-to-late-90’s commercial house music, is endlessly fascinating, especially when performed with as much finesse as Turquoise Memories.

MORE: facebook.com/turquoisememories