>Today’s New Band – Polychromatic

>Right now – right now – my favourite band ever is The Fall. I just can’t stop playing The Classical and its lyrics (“Hey there fuckface! Hey there fuckface!”) are rattling around my brain like loose bolts in a grumpy, sweary machine.

Last week, my favourite band ever was The Pixies. Two weeks before that, it was The Smiths. And so on. People who have an all-time favourite band that never changes aren’t to be trusted, or are Oasis fans.

Who, then, is Today’s New Band’s favourite of all time? Polychromatic‘s songs don’t really give it away. They take a bit of this and a bit of that to create songs that are sometimes dreamy, sometime deranged and sometimes both simultaneously.

Skitter-scattering and cascading manically, I Fell Through (Polychromatic Remix) could be the deranged offspring of a song from the Tron soundtrack. Diamonds Are For Never and Always shimmers like the glare off a lake in a computer-generated world; it’s sweet, warm and exhilarating. Songs like CSI crunch and swoosh assuredly.

Polychromatic takes a vague swipe at the 8-bit compu-sound ethos, but mainly incorporates his own sensibilities, which are, confusingly, both a deftness of touch and a love of manic beats. It works. Listen here!

>Today’s New Band – Akira!

>I often wonder how songwriters start. To clarify: where does the aimless strumming of a guitar end and the song begin to form? Perhaps the act of thinking about it negates the ability to understand. I don’t know.

I don’t know where Today’s New Band, Akira, start, either. But I do know that it’s not from the aimless strumming of anything. Their songs are cut from a different cloth, to a rhythm from a different drum. Actually, no – they wouldn’t beat something as prosaic as a drum.

Akira’s songs sound like remixes of other songs they’ve made but don’t want you to hear, and are only willing to expose suggestions of them in the form of crazed noise. ­Lights In The Sky, a near-bewildering array of clattering beats, guitars, chipmunk voices and mechanical buzzes and whistles scrapes itself together to form a snappy rock song. Starting from a quiet standstill, it creeps in steps to pull itself into something out of the ordinary.

You’rereallystarting2pissmeoff is a grab-bag of zappy electronic sounds, demented squawking and shouting – as if someone mashed up a horror film, thrash metal and a drum machine that has gained terrifying sentience. It grunts bassily, breathes heavily, and would scare old ladies to their very cores. End is a gloomy doom-filled march towards the END OF THE WORLD, but with a robot counting out loud whilst you’re doing it.

Akira scan the horizons and invent accordingly. There is madness in their methods. They sight Phillip K. Dick, Chris Morris and Jesus as influences. That makes sense. Listen here!

>Today’s New Band – The Gospel According To John – PLUS! Modern Art!

>I have a theory about modern art, which has come from studying art myself. No, wait! Come back! There’s a New Band angle on this, I promise. My theory is cynical, and born of frustration, but I think I’m onto something.

Here it is: the complex, philosophical meanings attached to modern art are just tacked on at the end after coming up with the idea of image/object, to justify cutting a sheep in half and submerging it in formaldehyde.

When Rachel Whiteread filled a house with plaster and then removed the bricks and mortar, in effect making a giant, house-shaped plaster jelly, what was her thought process? Did her initial pondering on the unseen resonance of negative space lead to the final product, or, did she suddenly blurt out to her friends during a blurry night at the pub, “would it be ace to fill a whole fucking house with plaster or what?” and then worry about the meaning later?

Artists used to be ‘mere’ craftsmen, and now they’re our most highly-regarded thinkers. I don’t like thinking. This is probably why I’m now writing about skinny indie janglers instead of lying through my teeth to gallery curators.

So here’s Today’s New Band, The Gospel According To John. In fairness, their skinniness is only an assumption, but they are definitely jangly, and one of these usually leads to the other in the Indie world.

The Gospel According To John aren’t great thinkers either. This is a compliment. Unburdened by theory, philosophical coherency or dazzling insight into society’s ills, they are left with the desire to make great tunes. This, really, is how rock music should be – dumbly unaware of the real world and concerned only with Having A Good Time All The Time.

Their bouncy song Say Yes To Strangers is so dizzily carefree that even the use of words isn’t much of a concern. Instead, a smattering of sax and a good guitar line is thrust centre stage for us all to dance to. Maybe it’s because they’re revolutionary anti-thought pop stars, or maybe it’s that they’re all about 16. Who cares.

Art Brut say that modern art makes you ‘want to rock out’. The Gospel According To John would disagree. Disappointingly, none of the band is named John. This is only a minor failing. Their songs are full of life. Refill yourself here!

>Today’s New Band – The Unbearables PLUS! Old Newness!

>When is a new band not a new band? Occasionally people post irate comments on A New Band A Day complaining that “Band X aren’t new, they’ve been around for ages, and I’ve got all their white label 7″ discs blah blah blah.”

Well, when anyone slavishly follows a band, they become a little belligerent and outlandish. “They’ve been around for ages” often actually means “since June 2007” in our confusingly short-termed mindset.

In some ways I understand these complaints – new means new, right? Well, yes and no. Those who complained have forgotten the basic rule of ANBAD: Consistency Bad, Needless Complication Good.

As the FAQs page doesn’t really clear this up, here’s semi-clarification, in the form of Today’s New Band, who are The Unbearables, are from Texas, and are – Jesus – six years old. But they are still new – to me and you too, probably – and thus the flimsy ANBAD criteria are fulfilled yet again.

Their song The Darker Part leaps out of the silence fawn-like, startled and bounding. It’s a combination of unbridled tinkling and wide-eyed joy. Imagine an army of technicolour flautists marching over a meadowed hill, and you’re about there.

And then, just when you were still luxuriating in that song’s soft, dewy moss of happiness, Zombies Unite leaps out and gnaws you to a bloody pulp in the most cheerful way possible. Clunky guitars, and a gruesomely threatening choir meet to create a call-to-arms (or call-to-arm-stumps, maybe) for all the most effervescent and good-natured undead fiends.

There’s A Whole Lot Of People In Here is a big, rowdy sing-a-long. It sounds like the band and the producer went for a good night out, then, having rolled back to the studio, pressed record, pushed all the faders up, and then cranked out the song on the first go. In an ideal world, all songs would be recorded like that.

So, whilst being older than both Youtube and Souja Boy‘s unfortunate career, they posses enough spirit, vitality and ideas to be ‘new’ in my (admittedly confused) mind. Great. Listen to them here!

P.S! Thrillingly, ANBAD was featured (albeit briefly) in The Guardian today! Hooray! Celebrate this new-found media acceptance by downloading the free ANBAD eBook, and then foolishly pretending that it’s a whole newspaper about us!

>Today’s New Band – Superpowerless PLUS! EPIC DOOM METAL!

>Genres. Bands hate them. You can bet your bottom dollar Muse hate being bracketed as Prog Rock, but ask someone on the street what kind of music they play and if they don’t begin with the words, “A sort of Proggy…”, then they’re just trying too hard to be best friends with the band.

Labels like Prog, Deep Bolivian House and Grindcore are all useful for us mere mortals who just listen to the music as opposed to being tortured artists, offended by all and sundry.

This means that when your auntie asks you what sort of music you listen to, you can mention “Epic Doom-Metal,” and then move swiftly on to enquiring about the health of her cat. Sub-genres like this decorate the interesting fringes of music, and it’s where the most ridiculous and the most quirkily new music appears.

Today’s New Band, Superpowerless, have meshed together types of music that are far removed from each other, and created something that should be so wrong, but actually drags itself into a strange new place. As you can tell from their name, which conjures up pop culture, irony and failure all at once, Superpowerless are a bit – whisper it – Emo.

So by coupling lyrical introspectiveness with bleepy Chiptunes and growling metal guitars they shatter attempts to be housed happily in the record shop. Electro-Emo-Bleep-Death-Chip-Core just wont fit on the shelf.

I think there’s a knowing sort of ridiculousness in their music – singing “I won’t leave your life/I can’t see your scars,” over what sounds like the song to California Raisins: The Grape Escape video game and being expected to be taken seriously is just an stretch too far for even the most stubborn self-loather.

More Than You is bleepy Nintendo-gone-wrong, with a computerised voice repeating “I like those bastards more than you*” and some super-metal guitars lingering threateningly in the background. It’s nicely effective, with the gibbering bounciness of the NES-a-like melody and the mildly insane undertones of the words.

Superpowerless thrill at generating some of the most happily-executed and satisfying Chiptune bleeping (see Wasted My Time) and then have as much fun getting gloomy at the same time (listen to the lyrics in the same song). For that type of nihilistic vision alone, they deserve to be saluted wildly, so do so, here!

*Oliver from the band tells me it’s actually “I like Ghostbusters more than you.” Perhaps it’s me that’s deranged.

>Today’s New Band – Owl Brain Atlas PLUS! Nightmares! Sweat! Christmas!

>Every morning I walk through Manchester city centre. And every morning I listen to my iPod on the way. So far, so mundane. Like everyone, sometimes I find it tough to match the music with my mood. This morning, though, there was a pleasing moment where I found myself to be in the crossover area of a music/life Venn Diagram.

Perched on a traffic island, between two lanes of thundering, aggro-pumped office-drone drivers, Orbital‘s The Box pinged into life, and suddenly, there was a real-time musical soundtrack seemingly reacting to the furious ebb and flow of the whooshing city life. Feeling detached from the real world, I fairly skipped on through the streets.

It’s amazing that music can tally so closely with what you are doing. I imagine that if i was wandering through the mean streets of Bournemouth – a town memorably described by Bill Bryson as “God’s waiting room” – and Cliff Richard‘s Millennium Prayer popped onto the radio, the world might end in a vortex of synchronicity.

If I found myself in the place where the sounds of Today’s New Band fitted perfectly, I’d probably head for the hills sharpish. Owl Brain Atlas (Yes!!!) make sound that would fit in your most lucid nightmares, or most confusing dreams. Also, let’s just dwell on Owl Brain Atlas‘ name for a second. Barking mad, and yet fittingly weird for the sound-poems of J. D. Nelson, the brains behind the, er, Brain.

He says his music is, “spoken noise, ambient word, lo-fi noise poems, electroacoustic sound art,” and this description is a good example of the nail/head interface being struck cleanly. His music/sound/wordless poetry might sound like a pretentious idea, but it’s executed in a pared-down yet dense manner; substance clearly triumphing over style. Like bad dreams, the ‘songs’ are short, direct and terrifyingly evocative of the clammy panic of a turbulent night’s sleep.

There are separate tracks, with titles like Doktor Tongues, 1 and Music For Zilbread, but listen to them altogether for the full dosage. It’s a heady, dizzy experience that’ll leave you even more thankful for the upcoming comfort of Christmas with your loved ones. Listen here!

>The Mourning of British Summer Time, Sleepless Nights and Today’s New Band – Cut Cut Shape

>The clocks going back a single measly hour confused me almost completely this weekend. On the night itself, I woke up repeatedly, churning over the bowel-loosening possibility that I might be waking up a WHOLE HOUR earlier or later than I thought. This, apparently, is of great importance to my subconscious self, much to my sleepy frustration.

If my mind boggled so pathetically at the prospect of gaining an extra hour in bed, imagine what turning back the clock 20 years or so might do. Bands manage to do this all of the time, endlessly recycling, rejuvenating and scrabbling for new scraps of interest to find new sounds and new directions, without spending all night thrashing around with worry. Perhaps it’s another sign that I would have been a hopeless rock star.

Conversely, Today’s New Band, Cut Cut Copy, have all the signs of making a very good rock band. It’s hard to tell whether Heart For You is an of-the-moment rock song, with its angular, choppy guitars and urgent drumbeat, or a song which shows a band deliberately not courting Cool. Cut Cut Shape find themselves looking back to when big echoey guitars were de rigeur and even bigger, croony vocals weren’t something to be embarrassed about. Swirling and cavernous, but without any bloat or pretence, Heart For You is a neat calling card for their sound.

There’s something incredibly satisfying about the manner in how whichever Cut Cut Shaper it is that delivers the vocals (it might be one or more from: Tom, Joe, Jake, Josh or George – which sounds a bit like the line-up from a crime-solving gang in an Enid Blyton book). It’s a voice that’s heartfelt, unconcerned with artifice and not at all worried about trying to force an awful faux-Estuary Accent down our throats like The Kooks, Scouting For Girls et al. Crossing The Line is a good song made better as the vocals’ directness engages with you, lapel-grabbing and alive.

There’s something indefinable about Cut Cut Shape that, I dunno, sounds old and yet new. A hopeless description, yes, but that’s about as fully formed an opinion as I feel capable of. This is hopefully due to their unusually dynamic and powerful sound, and not my unreasonable confusion that has arisen since the clocks went back, but who can know for sure? Well, you can, young ‘un, by visiting their Myspace page, right here.

>Today’s New Band – Internet Forver

>Life is constantly full of surprises, which is what makes the whole ‘being alive’ thing so much fun. Here are just two surprise discoveries I have made in the last few days:

  1. That Schindler’s List actually has funny bits. Not just ones that make you smile wryly, and then get back to sobbing uncontrollably, either; but big, guffaw-inducing parts. Not many, granted, but they are there, if look (or drink) hard enough.
  2. Dogs look like deflated dog-shaped balloons if you turn them upside down.

The nicest surprise of all though was to find out that old A.N.B.A.D. favourites Heartbeeps have teamed up with Laura Wolf and spawned a whole new muso-being. Even more happily, both of their respective traits of loopy pop and twinkly lo-fi seem to have melded perfectly into a whole new pop/lo-fi (po-fi?) BEAST.

Warm to the lupine howls of Internet Forever, and find yourself involuntarily thrusting towards the saccharine-sweet buzzy drone of Break Bones. It’s like discovering an old unlabelled TDK C90 and finding a whistling, two-tone indie pop classic amongst the static. 3D nearly reaches Jesus and Mary Chain heights of ear-bothering fuzz and crunch, furnishing itself with a chorus that is both sturdy and chirpy.

So, a happy and disorientating end to a happy and disorientating week on A New Band A Day. Perfect. Listen to the dream-buzz of Internet Forever, and wait for the weekend’s loving embrace.

>Today’s New Band – David Cronenberg’s Wife

>Oasis are in the process of releasing their new album, Dig Out Your Soul, at the moment. This is still Big News in the UK, and especially so here in Manchester, their home town. Seizing on the fact that this new-fangled ‘internet’ thing might be a good promotional tool, they have used a little-known website, MySpace.com, to allow YOU, the public at large, to listen to the whole album in it’s entirety before it’s released, you know, in shops.

So, here’s the brief A New Band A Day review:

  1. It’s a clunker
  2. Noel isn’t even the best songwriter in Oasis any more.

I don’t enjoy criticising Oasis, though it’s fashionable to do so. I was 14 when they released Definitely Maybe, and it was one of those fabulous defining moments that you get now and then in your teenage years.

Oasis list The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Sex Pistols among their influences. Today’s New Band, David Cronenberg’s Wife, list the Germs, Swans and The Birthday Party in the same section. One band is producing interesting and inventive music, and the other the same old cobblers. You guess which one is which.

Runaway Pram is a swirling, organ ‘n’ guitar-led, echoing stomper of a song that seems to have been recorded to deliberately disorientate the listener. At times, it’s so heavily soaked in reverb that I wondered if it had been accidentally remixed by Lee Perry in one of his more bloody-minded moods. It’s equal parts mid 60’s Psych and Garage, Goth and 96 Tears by ? and The Mysterians. Their music swirls around you, teasing and taunting you into having a good, weird, time.

David Cronenberg’s Wife – blurring the line between so many genres you’ll experience the pleasant feeling of been punched in the head with the contents of a Virgin Records bargain bin. Listen to them here!

>Today’s New Band – Ten Tigers

>I like surprises. Well, to a point – those, “darling, I’m pregnant,” shocks don’t get easier even the 14th time around – but as a rule, happy accidents and unexpected pleasures are the best bits of life.

Bands that spring a tasty surprise make me want to hunt them down and smother them to death with hugs, such is the prevalence of charmless, bland bands. So, usher in quietly Today’s New Band, Ten Tigers from Southend, whose songs veer from spazzy-punk to contemplative-campfire singing, and don’t give a monkey’s what you think.

For example: their song Superlucky is a simple, crunchy, yelpy, sharply-female buzzfest that sounds like it’d be a great song to open a gig with. It’d set out the stall, to use football manager’s parlance, and everyone would know exactly what to expect. Except their other songs aren’t even like it at all, or even like each other. Possessing the shortest attention span in pop, song ’82 has a verse that’s a bold attempt to rescue the Wah-Wah pedal from Blaxploitatio-clichés, before strolling into a lovely, heavy, yomping chorus of “Everyone was gay in 1982”. It goes without saying that Runaway and Sunny Shades are altogether different again (a summertime lilt and the aforementioned campfire sunset sing-song respectively).

They’re hit-and-miss, but that’s a given – it seems an ingrained part of Ten Tigers’ nature. So what if you only like half of their songs? It’s better than having middling feelings towards a band that treads a carefully safe route. A sensation of swinging between love and hate makes you feel alive, dagnammit, so ponder their songs here!