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.


 

Acid Glasses: Not Ellie Goulding

Now we’re firmly entrenched in the age of the bedroom artiste, you’d think there’d be more defiantly obtuse music than ever, but really it just means that there are even more people who want to be Ellie Goulding than ever before.

Any band that has both the panache and the cojones to break a song down via a false CD-skip sound effect is worth a listen – and indeed, My Pale Garden proves its worth.

I mean, just marvel at the daring: who has CDs to get that reference these days anyway? Acid Glasses, my friends, are truly on the edge.

Fading in, and fading out and back again at will, My Pale Garden is as avant-garde a pop song as you’ll hear this week.

Because, despite all the pitch-shifted lyrics, crumbling song structure and K-hole echo bleeding all over the surface, at the heart of the angular jumble lies a pretty pop song.

Moreover, the band know that the pop song within is the key – and fight their urges throughout, pushing it to the fore and pulling it back.

A risky, neat trick, and one that – just – works. Challenging fun.

MORE: acidglasses.tumblr.com

Vampyramiden; Occult, Conspiracy, Trolls

As a native English speaker, there’s something hugely satisfying about listening to and reading Scandinavian languages.

Because of the very distant link between our languages, if you squint or strain your ears it almost starts to make sense. It’s like tuning the FM-Radio dial of comprehension down just a few notches – confusing but comforting; a leap into the past, the unknown, another world, or all three simultaneously.

Languages like Swedish can either sound like English spoken by very drunk people or give you the feeling that you’ve just had a bump on the head. Bands like Vampyramiden will make you grateful for such feelings.

Any band that uses a portmanteau to scrape the occult and conspiracy theories into one blisteringly brilliant name is worth a few minutes of our time, right?

Vampyramiden // En Stad Och En Trollkarl

I have been making ill-educated guess as to what En Stad Och En Trollkarl means, none of which I will post here, for fear of offence and embarrassment. Oh OK then: the best I came up with was In The Stadium Of A Troll Called Carl. Things we derive such pleasure from don’t need to make sense, OK?

The song itself is a sweet, crystalline gem: delicate to the point of fragility, melodic to the point of heartbreak. Hovering in a newly-defined spot between twee, folk, space-tinkling and sing-along pop, Vampyramiden have managed to make a song that will charm all our pants clean off.

It is entirely superfluous to point out that Scandinavian bands seem to make these sort of songs by accident, but it is worth remembering such geographical oddities.

Vampyramiden might find themselves in the ridiculous situation of being crowded out of their local market because everyone else’s songs are just as excellent. They can move here and entertain me any time. And teach me some Swedish too.

www.myspace.com/vampyramiden

DIMMAN: NATIVE TONGUES

dimman

Dimman means fog in Swedish. I find that there’s a weird low-level cognisance between English and Scandinavian languages.

It’s that feeling of not understanding the words specifically, but the meaning somehow drifting across the cultural void; a bit like when someone with an almost incomprehensibly broad accent speaks to you in your native tongue.

Perhaps the same is true for Scandinavian pop music, which has been one of the most warmly embraced exports of the region.

Scandinavian pop is very recognisably pop; but it’s not quite the same, if you smell what I’m stepping in.

Anyway – this is why Dimman‘s Tiny Tokyo is enjoyable: its slight skew-whiffedness.

It’s too long to be a pop song, but is a pop song. It always teases the prospect of lyrics, but none arrive. It seems to be too languid for a simple pop song, but obeys all the pop rules.

A clever trick. Nice work, Dimman.

ANBAD’s Best Bands Of 2011 // Top Ten: 5-3

As we trundle imperceptibly closer to the frothing climax of ANBAD’s 2011 Top Ten, the bands are getting weirder, more coiling, and more devious in nature.

Just like capitalism, the closer you get to that top 5%, the more sly and crafty it’s inhibitors are.

ANBAD: you’ll come for the bands, but stay for the politics.

Don’t forget to check out the runners up (Parts One and, indeed, Two), as well as the bands who are ranked from 10-6.

#5 – Tech Coast/Tours: So many bands present themselves anonymously these days, that soon all bands will be faceless, and they’ll have to start changing their name every few weeks to keep us on our toes.

Tech Coast have already begun the trend, changing their name to the slightly more generic Tours. Oh well – it doesn’t matter. Tours make wonderful music.

 

ANBAD said:Eyes to the sky, wrists to the heavens: If a song was ever cloudy, then this is it. Vast, open and – once you crack past the rigidity of the form – softer and more unctuous than egg custard.

This, I suppose, makes Tech Coast‘s music the crème brûlée of dance. And I love crème brûlées. Excellent, excellent, excellent.”

#4 –  Baaneex: ANBAD has a fresh-dog-turd-soft spot for bands that are deliberately obtuse. Make of that what you will, but while Baaneex are indeed just that, they are also brilliantly – wait for it – groovy, and unafraid to smash songs to bits part-way through.

For all these nods to eccentricity, awkwardness and perversity, they’re a band who deserve to be heard, even before their great songs are taken into consideration.

 

 

ANBAD said: “This song is so terrifically obtuse and accessible all at once it will fool you into thinking it has no antecedents… you could just as easily get lost in the fabulous density of a song that has so many constituent parts that it should never, ever work – and yet emerges triumphant as the most complicatedly wonderful song to appear on ANBAD for ages.”

#3 – Tigercats are simply adorable. In the flesh, as, barefoot and shy, they clang at their instruments and sway along to their own melodies; or on record where you’ll want to do the same – they will snag your eyes and ears.

Here’s a band who are the equivalent of the beautiful teenage girl who doesn’t realise her own powerful attractiveness yet. Similarly, you’ll want to put a protective arm around them. For now, at least.

 

ANBAD said: “…the genuinely excellent 1985 is steely and brittle beneath its raggedy velveteen exterior.

Their songs betray no ulterior 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.”

DANTEVILLES – Even David Bowie Lost It

I’m not sure if being a blogger makes you into a navel-gazer or if that being a navel-gazer is a prerequisite – one which all bloggers pretend that they, and only they, are exempt from.

You can consider the above sentence some sort of meta-navel-gazing, by the way.

Anyway – I often gaze at mine and generally I wonder if I’m going a bit, you know, soft. (Actually that thought often goes through my head when I’m gazing a few inches lower, too, but that’s another story).

The theory was best propagated in Trainspotting: that everyone has it, then loses it, and there are no examples of this not being true. “Even David Bowie lost it,” is the trumping argument.

Bloggers worry if they were cool, and are no longer cool. It’s all we have. And thus, I wonder if recommending a nice, simple, nuanced, folky guitar pop song about love and life means I’m on the one-way track to middle age.

And then I decided to get over myself and enjoy Dantevilles for what they are: purveyors of nice, simple, nuanced, folky guitar pop songs about love and life. And what’s uncool about that?

 

Instead of Dinner is kind of a sexy title when you put it in context, and it has that whole guitar-music-that-is-influenced by 90’s R’n’B thing that The Kids just adore.

And you know, it works well: here in Dantevilles is a band that’s unafraid to let their songs stretch out a bit and breathe, resulting in songs that are delicate and yet glossy. I haven’t heard many guitar songs do that since… ooh, the turn of the Millennium. Whoah. Maybe I am past it after all.

MORE: soundcloud.com/dantevilles

The Eversons Doth Protest Too Little

Back in the 90’s, Edwyn Collins sang about, “Too many protest singers, not enough protest songs,” although today he might note that there aren’t many of the former either.

The Eversons probably don’t consider themselves particularly political, but perhaps those who truly bring about change never really do.

It’s true that writing a song from the point of view of a straight-laced everyman might not exactly be up there with hunger strikes and self-immolation, but hey – you can only eat an elephant by taking small bites.

So maybe He’s A Conservative is only the start of their crusade. Or maybe it’s just a hyper-enjoyable rock ‘n’ roll song with smart lyrics, clever construction and lovely harmonies of the type you almost never hear any more.

 

Make no mistake: this song is simple, but the most effective and enjoyable things in life often are.

The Eversons are from New Zealand. The Chills are also from New Zealand. I’m prepared to allow my love for one bleed into the other. Great stuff.

MORE: facebook.com/pages/The-Eversons

>Today’s New Band – Run DMT

>
My friend Martin is also a friend of The Lines, a rather good band from the unfashionable West Midlands. A disproportionate number of Britain’s bands come from the West Midlands (Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath to name two), partly, I always assume, because being in a band is a good way to get out of there.

Martin recently joined the band on a road trip to play in a festival in Austria, and got to say things like, “I’m with the band,” to girls, pester Jarvis Cocker backstage and live like a rock star. He told me a number of stories that would scare your mother, all of which featured heavy drinking and an enjoyable lack of morals, cleanliness and social etiquette.

Such is the life of a hard-working rock band. I often wonder whether the characteristics of any given band is related to their behind-the-scenes behaviour. If this is true, then I worry for Today’s New Band, Run DMT, whose schizophrenic music is a jumble of wired creativity.

Run DMT don’t take music to bits as much as crazily stomp all over it. Songs like the pun-gasmically named Tequila Mockingbird are so newborn and rough that they sound as if they have been streamed directly from their creator’s mind. Though hardly consisting of any more than sound of a drumkit falling down the stairs, it is fascinating, wild and skewed.

Dramatics Mix (Fuck) is an Aphex twin B-side slowed down to a tenth of its normal speed, groaning, squealing and plucking tortuously, and then rebirthing itself over and over. Let It Load is a wild banjo shoot-out, and the title of the song Mad Weed, a slow, blindingly bright chill-shimmer, might hint to the source of such invention.

Run DMT are daring, imaginative and downright bizarre. Their songs sound like they were born after some sort of perverse musical DNA-splicing experiments, or if your iPod could separate individual sounds from a million songs and then shuffle-play ten of them at once. Listen – it’ll be an exhilarating brush with real creativity.

**Note: A worthy, wierd recipient of an ANBAD ‘Actual Brilliance’ tag.**

Top Surprise – Shiny Happy People

Another day, another new band that deserves an exclamation mark after their name. Call me a huge pedant, but a surprise doesn’t feel surprising unless there’s the relevant punctuation to ram home the shock. Such are the myriad nuances of life.

Top Surprise! recorded their new EP in their bedrooms – I imagine the drummer was shoved in the bathroom (drummers are always made to record in the bathroom) – over a two day period. This nugget of information is all the justification I need to continue to complain loudly about bands who spend small fortunes over many weeks recording deeply average albums. (Hi, Coldplay!)

So by jangling their fuzzy guitars whilst perched on the porcelain, Top Surprise prove that the important thing is the song – it’s always the song – and everything else is superfluous. A good song sounds good even if it was recorded in a toilet on a Dictaphone and then played over AM radio. So listen to More Than Cool, and tell me if you care how, when and where it was recorded:

Top Surprise // More Than Cool by pugrecs

More Than Cool is exactly not that: endearing, warm and welcoming in approach, satisfyingly crunchy and brief in function. Top Surprise are from Brazil – a country about whose music scene I know very little, but am spurred on to investigate further with each excellent release that shimmies forth, happy, sunny and anxious to please.

Similarly, I know very little about Top Surprise, but am willing to make these simple judgements from theirs songs and their rather endearing photo: They are nice people who make nice music. In an ‘industry’ awash with poseurs and cynicism, perhaps that’s the real shocker.

www.myspace.com/topsurprise

Ball Of Flame Shoot Fire; Exclamation Marks Optional

People will tell you that, when writing, never use an exclamation mark if you want humour to be taken seriously. People are stupid.

Because if one band ever cried out for an exclamation mark, it’s Ball Of Flame Shoot Fire. Perhaps agonising over the punctuation of a band’s name is endlessly petty, or, frankly, autistic – or both – but there, I’ve said it: Ball Of Flame Shoot Fire! is just better.

But then if you’re a band that writes songs as frolicking and carefree as Patience, punctuation becomes moot.

Ball Of Flame Shoot Fire // Patience

It’s a truly strange song. Articulate and tangible in its weirdness, Patience rigidly rambles, deviates and tramples over its own vapour streams. Songs that are fully disarming and genuinely affecting are rare; this one, then, is both precious and shiny.

As such, grab the chance to hear a song that seems less fragile and more curious with every listen, and wonder why – as it sounds so easy, so effortless – everyone else isn’t doing it too. Excellent, strange, true.

www.myspace.com/bofsf

>The Top Five Bands in November on A New Band A Day!

>
November is the least fun month in many ways. With the crippling cold, the leaves falling dejectedly from the trees and the prospect of Christmas just too far away to be properly exciting, you can be left scrabbling around for any viable crumb of comfort.

Fortunately, on ANBAD, we’ve had a bumper month of excitement to compensate, what with all the fancy-pants website redesign, new writers, the thrilling ANBAD eBook and the emergence of My First Hate Email. And this is all before you consider all the great bands that have swilled around the place like drunken sailors on shore leave. No wonder I’ve hit the Meth even harder than usual these past four weeks.

So as usual, here’s the best of the new lot from November, in no particular order:

Death Of ConcordeWe said: “shimmers, wanes and echoes like a tape recording of an orchestra put through a guitar chorus effect pedal, always just on the right side of becoming all-out white noise.”

Feral ChildrenWe said: Their songs shoot around wildly, inventively and boisterously whilst keeping their laser-guided focus on tightly-honed rock.

Yes Please! – We said: ” about as growlingly hostile as Finnish guitar pop gets, big heaving songs that run and run and run and then collapse.”

Thomas Tantrum – We said: “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. “

AND A BIG FROSTY ‘CONGRATULATIONS’ TO NOVEMBER’S BAND OF THE MONTH:

Ex Lovers – We said: “There’s something softly defiant about Ex Lovers – all the songs sound like they are just about to dissolve nihilistically into warm fuzz. Their songs are like soft electricity, a description which I freely accept is the most pretentious phrase I have ever typed. But it fits.”

Phew! A busy, fulfilling month indeedy. BUT WAIT! It’s December now, which can only mean one thing: rampant consumerism, over-consumption and shameless End-Of Year Best-Of Lists! Starting this week! Keep them peeled!