>Today’s New Band – The Letmedowns PLUS! Indie Leanings!

>Who doesn’t like to see themselves as an idealist? I’d like to think that A New Band A Day features a wide, measured, variety of bands; a bit of Hip-Hop here, some Bassline there, the odd Atmospheric Sludge Metal group now and then. In fact, a quick pootle through the annals of ANBAD reveals that I’ve mainly featured indie guitar bands.

These bands are my hard-wired staring point. The first gig I went to see was Suede, the first single I bought as a pimply teen was Kung Fu by Ash, and the first album I illegally copied onto a TDK C90 was Elastica’s debut disc. It’s probably ingrained that ANBAD will often lean towards bands of that ilk, as I search for that same teenage rush of naive joy.

Here’s a promise then: more ‘diversity’ on ANBAD from now on. Well, after just one more guitar band, maybe. But as a sop to the notion of change, Today’s New Band is not jangly at all. In fact, they have a refreshing connection with early 90’s rock than The Smiths.

They’re The Letmedowns, are from Athens (in Georgia), and are a band with confidence, tunes and something approaching a fuck-you attitude which sometimes becomes an actually-you’re-not-all-that-bad attitude. And, let’s face it, thy have a great name for a suitably grouchy punky band. Down In Flames is a a weighty pile of crunchy power chords, rushing around, grumpy and aggressive.

Don’t Need This shows that they have a melodic loveliness that you might not expect, and listening to Hanging On makes you realise that they have a knack for finding their own route around a well-worn rock template. The Letmedowns like the connection with the simplicity of rock’s inherent thrills, whilst disliking convention.

So, the first step into the brave new ANBAD world was a lot like the previous ones, and there’ll be no 3D House Of Beef-style bands just yet. But in The Letmedowns is a band that want to dive of the Rock Diving Board and to see what happens on the way down. It’s an old and noble aim, and they do it with aplomb. Catch up with them, mid-plummet, here!

>Today’s New Band – The Trees PLUS! SEX, PAEDOPHILES and the DECAY OF BRITISH LIFE!

>In the mornings, whilst I’m shoveling yoghurt, museli and toast into my flapping mouth, I need to watch TV to to kick-start my addled brain. The only real option outside of the dull and worthy news channels is GMTV, which is the televisual equivalent of reading the Daily Mail whilst eating a full ENGLISH breakfast and complaining loudly about IMMIGRANTS and IT WASN’T LIKE THIS IN THE OLD DAYS.

This morning I wasn’t able to perform my usual trick of phasing out all the moronic elements of GMTV, treating it purely as a mass of moving colours and shapes, and was forced to look elsewhere, in fear that I’d start worrying that a PAEDOPHILE IS ON EVERY STREET CORNER OH WHAT HAS THE WORLD COME TO.

I landed in desperation on an infomercial for a compilation of ‘Midnight Soul’ songs that featured tight harmonies and even tighter trouser crotches. The gist of the infomercial was, “Buy this nine-CD collection for only £39.99 and you are guaranteed SEX”

This is a decent selling point, I suppose, though one of the collection’s featured artists was someone called Keith Sweat, which, unless you like spending sweaty intimate time with crooning men called Keith, is about as anti-sexy a name as there is. Today’s New Band won’t guarantee you sex. Let’s make this absolutely clear now. They are The Trees, and they are from Basildon.

Neither of those details reek of imminent sexual gratification, but then again, would you want them to? The Trees are also another recession-friendly band (see yesterday’s post), accessible to all and ready to jump into a Transit Van and tour the country. Their music is both comforting and sharpening, like a mug of cocoa laced with ground-up caffeine tablets.

Stop Talking, after warming up, pummels you into submission, drums relentlessly splashing and pounding. The song occasionally stops to ponder whether to cross the perilous line into late 80’s baggy. Fortunately it never does, and we are all winners because of this. It sounds like lazy thrash. Good.

Dirty Money is a straight-up, excitable Riff-O-Rama, which all makes their song Odd One Out, the, er, odd one out, being folksy, dreamy and soft as a pile of goose down. The Trees are a band to end a tumultuous week on ANBAD with appropriate and disparate tumultuousness. Listen to them here!

PS – Oh, and next week, we’re proud, in every sense of the word, to welcome a brand new writer on ANBAD, who’ll be thrilling you with another New Band Perspective. More info, tantalisingly, next week…

>Today’s New Band – Sister PLUS! High Yield Commodity Price Movements!

>Seeing as people are getting all stroppy about money now the economy’s plunged down the toilet, solid, tangible and safe things suddenly seem attractive. The price of gold has rocketed again as people realised that their money wasn’t actually safe in, say, those 15 unbuilt city-centre apartments that are now mothballed.

This trait has drifted into rock ‘n roll as well. At this point, allow me to engage in a some very minor name-dropping. I was chatting to the drummer out of Pete and The Pirates (CLANG) the other night, and he was commiserating with me over the excessive ticket price for the gig.

Even the bigger bands, he said, make the vast majority of their money from live gigs as opposed to CD sales now. Thus, the one thing that can’t be bootlegged or put on a torrent site – the live gig, the un-digitisible tangible – is now the safe money maker, just like gold and oil and jewels.

So in times like these, perhaps the good ol’ four-square rock band setup of guitars and drums and bass and singers will have more luck. Thus, invest your time, and money, if you have any left, into Today’s New Band, Sister.

None of their songs depart from a standard rock template, giving singer Gemma a solid grounding to leap from. You won’t need to see any of Sister’s publicity photos to guess that she’s very clearly the focal point, and for a truly valid reason – her vocals are engaging, believable and direct. Taking this straightforward rock starting point and create something that deviates from the norm is tough, but Sister have managed it, carving out songs that are bold, brash and yet sweet and articulate.

And as such, Satellite is heartfelt without descending into melodrama. It sounds pounding and sparse. Lovers of Today pops a large chorus into a song that seemed too fragile to hold it, but it works. Listen to them for yourself, right here, and stop fretting about the money you lost on High Yeild Commodity Price Movements, whatever they are.

>Paris Hilton, Verb Confusion and Today’s New Band – I Am Austin

>I’m still persevering with my Spanish class, much to the surprise of, well, me, mainly. I think it’s because it was paid for up front and I’m too tight to drop out. Anyway, any progress that was being made courtesy of my guapa Argentinian teacher was dashed last night when it was revealed to us that in Spain they have two verbs for “to be”.

This mind-boggling Ta-Da! Surprise! threw me, as the decision of whether you use Estar or Ser – the offending verbs – hinges on some sort of arbitrary psychological hunch of whatever situation is being described. And all the while, my well-meaning teacher was making personal guarantees that Spanish is actually a very easy language.

Simplicity is comforting. This alone can explain the popularity of say, Paris Hilton. You know exactly what you’re going to get – and in her case it’s teeth-grindingly annoying vacuousness. It gives people a nice simple starting point for whatever they want to do or feel next.

Music is the same. There’s a reason that DJs at wedding discos the world over always play the same crappy songs ad nauseum. You won’t find Uncle Tony frugging to Aphex Twin‘s Canticle Drawl after a few too many sherries anywhere.

Today’s New Band are super simple – a straight down the line, groin thrusting, cymbal smashing rock band. It’s a combination that produces duff bands with unerring regularity. I am Austin though, have got it right, right, right. Stripper sounds as sleazy and grimy as you’d expect. It’s about strippers, having a good time, and then writing a song that describes it all. What more do you want for it? Contextual analysis?

I Am Austin are all hair, hormones and songs about lust. This Air Is Acid, which I hope is a song regaling the pungency of a particularly toxic fart, lurches at you drunkenly, scrabbling for balance and not finding it. It’s a big, bruising song that always threatens to explode violently. Similarly, Zombie Town rages and clanks dementedly.

I Am Austin are in that happy, early, just-enjoying-the-feeling-of-making-this loud-noise phase, with the added pleasure of creating great, mental songs along the way. And none of the band members are called Austin, either. I like that. You’ll like them too – listen here!

>Today’s New Band – Copy Write This

>Short, sharp shocks. That’s what you need sometimes. Not necessarily like receiving a one-inch punch to the throat from a previously hidden ninja when you pop out to the shop to buy the paper, mind. But an experience or – in particular – noise that shakes you from a slumber or from lethargy, is super-duper for all sorts of reasons. Laziness infects even the most thrusting young soul, and it’d be a huge LIE to say that we don’t all need a wake-up call now and again.

Today’s New Band, Copy Write This, is the aural equivalent of someone pinching your nose when you’re asleep, except pleasurable. Dubiously pun-tastic name aside, and whilst their songs are thin on the ground, the ones they do have are mental smelling salts. Pulling a title from the School of Bleeding Obvious Song Names, Twitching and Salivating is as rabid and jumpy as suggested, using all the build-up-and-drop tricks in the book to create a rumbling face-smasher of a tune. Thumping crudely yet delicately along, it’d be a stone-hearted person who wouldn’t get drawn in to it’s bombastic thrills.

Copy Write This’ other song, Brain Food, samples an oft-visited source of vocal idiocy, everyone’s favourite brain-dead mouth-breather, George W. Bush. On paper, this seems like a cheap and easy target – who hasn’t heard a million jibes at Dubya by now – but the song is actually a nicely abrupt stapling-together of his most cretinous moments, with an equally nice pulsating grumbly bass-heavy carpet beneath it.

So, a great chance to hear a really new work-in-progress musician, whose early stuff turns out to be a blustering rampage through a cauldron of clanking noise. Great. Listen here and wake yourself up!

>IT’S GLIB COMPARISON WEEK ALL WEEK! – Today’s New Band – William

>After the RIP-ROARING SUCCESS of the lazy comparisons undertaken whilst reviewing last Thursday’s Band Of The Day, Monster Island, I took a long, deliberate ponder during the 25-minute ‘Holocaust’ brain-destroyer section at the end of the My Bloody Valentine gig on Saturday. Just before their mind-bogglingly loud replication of the sound of 20 jet planes all taking off at once, then crashing one by one into a volcano caused my soul to leak out of my ears, it occurred to me to continue this easy reviewing style for one week only, and brand it Glib Comparison Week. So expect this week’s dazzlingly good array of new bands to be wholeheartedly sullied by an increasingly stupid method of review.

Moronic, bowel-looseningly-loud-noise-induced decisions aside, this week’s first New Band Of The Day is really rather special. They’re from London – but isn’t everyone? – and are called William. Like James, The Smiths, and, er, The Johnsons out of Antony and the Johnsons, they’re following in the noble tradition of having a band name that’s also a person’s name. It’s a mystery as to which William they’re named after, though I’d hazard a guess that it’s more likely to be this one than the tabloid-friendly Prince. William, frankly, sound great, with punchy melodies and half-yelped, half-casually drawled lyrics. South of the Border is urgent and a bit weary at the same time, and Five Minute Wonder is even better, picking up pace as it rattles along, churning guitars not able to mask a lackadaisical cry of “I spend too much time on my own…You do too? Well, alright.”

Their songs are a huge stride ahead of the mundane identikit rock that’s polluting CD players worldwide at the moment. Listen to their great songs here, and catch them live in the next month – but only after you’ve been overwhelmed by the half-baked lump of lazy reviewing below:

TODAY’S GLIB COMPARISON: “A bit like the Pixies slowdancing suggestively with the White Stripes as Art Brut play non-po-faced Jam covers.”

>Today’s New Band – Dinosaur Pile-Up: DINOSAUR WEEK CONTINUES!

>Gimmick, Schmimmick. This dinosaur-theme is a goer, I tell you. The eagle-eyed of you will sport that this is the third consecutive dino-related band in a row, and while some may accuse us here at A.N.B.A.D. of mild idiocy, it turns out that there is method behind this Bronto-Madness. (NB: See previous posts, below, for the previous excursion into Dino-sounds)

That’s because the search for dino-bands – archeology, maybe – has unearthed yet another great band: Today’s New Band, Dinosaur Pile-Up. Firstly, let’s childishly focus again on how super the name is – anything that causes you to imagine a huge collision of freaking dinosaurs and the resulting pile-up is surely enough to make you as giddy as a 10 year old girl watching Hannah Montana – The 3D Movie.

Happily, Dinosaur Pile-up‘s music is great too. My Rock And Roll is a chunky, Pavement-y, Pixies-ish blast, singer Matt mumble-yelling “Since I was young, I always felt some sort of trouble.” It seems that writing great rock songs is outside of this trouble-sphere, as rock ‘n’ roll is a tough thing to get right, but Dinosaur Pile-Up can do it, seemingly without effort. My Rock and Roll is a fantastic song from a great-sounding band, who don’t seem to be slavishly following current musical trends. Fantastic – and apparently, unsigned. Crazy.

Check out their music at their Myspace page, here!

*No new band on Monday – it’s a Bank Holiday! So we’ll be sitting inside, sheltering from the rain, as usual.*