>The Narrator: Deader than Disco

Today’s band is from the ‘Wait – Haven’t They Already Split Up?’ file, because, indeed, The Narrator have already split up. Months ago, in fact. So they’re not so much of a new band as a an ex-new band, which might indeed make them post-new. I don’t really know. Such are the perils of genre-defiance.

But old-new bands can still be new, even when they’re dead – ask any teenager who discovered their dad’s copy of The Stooges and inquisitively popped it into their CD player. I missed The Narrator the first time around, and so did you, probably. This is not a good enough reason to miss out on their lovely, sloping music.

Son Of The Son Of The Kiss Of Death, exuberant and alive, delights in its own skew-whiff angularity. The guitars might be tuned, or they might be slightly out of tune, or they might, indeed, be slightly in tune. It doesn’t matter – there’s something happening in this song, and you’ll want to be part of it too. Delicious, relentless, carefree, whatever. Son Of The Son… is so fresh it still has that new car smell.

The Narrator – Son Of The Son Of The Kiss Of Death

You, like me, will wish you’d heard them a few years ago, and when So The End, sad and jittery, suddenly lurches from so-so guitar strum into a a beautiful, rousing chorus, you’ll realise you’ve found a fitting point of closure to mourn their passing. This is the beauty of making music: The Narrator are still with us. Revel in the band as much as the sentiment.

Photo by Clayton Hauck – www.everyoneisfamous.com

>Today’s New Band – Projekt A-Ko

>So, one of your favourite noisenik bands from the 90’s falls to bits and then slowly builds itself up again, like possessed Lego, into something new, but of the same constituant bits. Does the new band constitute a ‘new’ band, or not? Are we allowed to ramble quasi-coherently about them or not?

Such complex philosophical demands are placed upon the bewildered ANBAD staff all the time. In the spirit of exploration, let’s just go with it and see. Today’s New Band are Projekt A-Ko, are named after a Japanese cartoon, and make ace clanky lo-fi indie. They used to be the ace Urusei Yatsura, who were named after a Japanese cartoon, and made ace clanky lo-fi indie. So far, so Naughties ‘brand reboot’, right? Well, no – that’d be almost entirely unfair.

Of course, there’s a smattering of Urusei Yatsura-ness about them, but Supertriste Duxelle is entirely, excitingly, its own band’s beast – shuddering, skittering and crashing along, with a charming tune and a lovely chorus.

Here Comes New Challenger! ought to take you straight back to your childhood days spent in the arcade at your local bowling alley. If it doesn’t – congratulations, your early teenage years weren’t wasted after all. Still, when the song hits its considerable stride, it rains sonic blows on you in the same way that Eddie Honda from Street Fighter II did when you played your mate Dave, who really should have found something better to do with his life.

Possibly the best compliment to pay Projekt A-Ko is that memories of their previous incarnation don’t register when you’re listening to their lovely Lo-Fi songs. Proof then, that moving on, in the forever backward-looking world of RockNPop, is possible. Good work, Projekt A-Ko! Listen here!

>All Sorts of Idiocy, Failure and Today’s New (OLD) Band – The Unicorns

>So, two stories to tell today. Firstly, I somehow only remembered at the very last minute that I wouldn’t have time to post anything today, due to innumerable computer/human interface-complications. Panic set in immediately. This is Idiotic Moment Number 2.

The GOOD NEWS, though, was that the consequences of Idiotic Moment Number 2 has been rescued by Idiotic Moment Number 1, which was usefully conceived and executed a few weeks ago, and then stored away for a rainy day like this. I knew this combination of a hoarding instinct and innate stupidity would pay dividends one day.

Idiotic Moment Number 1 began when I was recommended a band, who were so great I immediately began typing the review, before I’d checked small details like, “are they new and/or still functioning as a group?” only to find after writing that neither was indeed the case. This particular band has been around for a few years and split up a while ago. Durrrr.

So I saved it anyway, and now it’s reprinted below for your delectation. Yum. Enjoy the flavour of stupidity.


Like a few bands we’ve featured recently, Today’s New Band The Unicorns have our ipod generation’s mix-and-match hotchpotch of influences. And sure enough, they metaphorically scroll the clickwheel and skip from one tune to another, all within one song.

Look at their most brilliant song I Was Born A Unicorn. The guitar starts out as an African jangle before veering off into a garage-punk crunch. The vocals are a croon, a yelp and then a drunken sing-along. The drums pound from military to dancefloor to disco. You get the idea. From here to there and then over there too, for good measure.

See also Tuff Ghost – the song has the music you’d hear on a spooky Japanese-only imported SEGA game from 1989. Jellybones is the sound of a dial-up modem remixed into a surprisingly lush and heartfelt song.

If you can’t find what you want in The Unicorns, you must be a James Blunt fan. And as that’s about as overwhelmingly good a recommendation as I could give them, why not listen here?

>Today’s New Band – Held By Hands

>Much like a good joke, the outcomes of life’s intricacies depend on great, erm, you know…. timing. We’ve all thought of the right thing to do or say just 10 minutes later than would have been useful – the witty put-down to the brainless idiot who mocked you in a bar, or the slowly dawning realisation that maybe saying ‘yes’ to an asymmetrical mullet may not have been the right course of action.

The same is true with bands. So many bands have been in the right place at the wrong time that it’s painful. It’s a horrible truth is that if you are out of kilter with the majority, the chances of recognition are minimal – you could call it Van Gogh Syndrome. Fortunately most musicians don’t follow his example to the letter, otherwise there would be severed ears scattered around guitar shops and recording studios all over the country.

Today’s New Band, Held By Hands, were one that I had on my ‘to do’ list for a few months. As much of the decision-making process behind electing each day’s new abnd is almost entirely arbitrary, today suddenly felt right to be a Held By Hands day. Their porcelain-delicate songs, which build and build but still seem as light as air at the end, were just perfect for easing gently into the coming week.

So how bowel-churningly typical that I revisited their Myspace page to find that Held By Hands split up about 3 weeks ago. This all leaves their beautiful song, Trading on Past Treasures, even more poignant, and definitely more fitting. It’s a typically light, thoughtful and pretty swoop through introspectiveness, reaching a chorus of, “My God we were innocent/ My God, it was such a good time.” Listen to their songs here, before they disappear, and mourn a bit for the passing of a lovely, unique band.

>Today’s New(ish) Band – The Royal We

>Splitting up a band at the right time is tough. Some bands split up far too late (or worse, not at all), casually pissing all over their good legacy by releasing an ever increasing number of pointless, going-through-the-motions records. Some bands split up just after things get good, and The Big Time is just beginning to beckon its evil gold-laden hand, thus leaving an ever-lasting legacy of music bores yapping on about ‘ what might have been’.

Therefore it’s hard to say whether today’s New Band, Glasgow’s The Royal We, are rabid-dog crazy or rocket-science clever, as they have already split up whilst they can still be considered a new band.

Just listen to any of the songs on their MySpace site, http://www.myspace.com/theroyalweee , for proof of their actual brilliance.

Especially listen to “All the Rage” and then listen to it again, and then again, because it’s going to get stuck in your head anyway, so you may as well beat your brain to the manic repetition bit.

Perhaps it’s all a brilliant post-post-modern statement. Instead of droning on in the NME about how you’re going to record a load of great songs and then split up, ‘cos they’re so rock and roll, The Royal We just went out and actually did it. They’ve got a great mini-album, also called The Royal We, which is about 20 minutes long and has a Chris Issacs cover on it. How much more convincing do you need?

So to recap:

  1. Eponymous debut album

  2. Chris Isaacs cover

  3. Attractive and highly talented female lead singer

  4. Best song of the last 12 months

  5. Already split up

If that doesn’t convince you, nothing will. Let us know what you think!

—Don’t forget, ANBAD is running a reduced service this week, due to being on holiday and eating a lot of dried cod in Portugal. Full service as per usual next week—