>Today’s New Band – Micachu and The Shapes!

>This morning I rang my best friend, who lives in New Zealand. Like passenger jets, inter-continental telecommunication is one of those astonishing human achievements that we all use and all take for granted. Years of human endeavour and ingenuity, from the discovery of electricity until the launch of Sputnik, made it possible for me to yap inanely to the other side of the globe.

And how did my friend and I use this mind-boggling facility, this symbol of the capabilities of the mind at its most creatively brilliant? We talked about women and football, just like we did when we played darts in the pub a decade ago.

But executing well-aimed slaps to the face of towering scientific achievement is an everyday activity to the Me-Generation. Just think, this computer could be being used to find a cure for cancer, but instead you’re using it to read the ramblings of a demented idiot.

Wait! Come back! Because Today’s New Band, Micachu and The Shapes , similarly mock the establishment by whittling creatively unusual songs out of all the instruments they can get their sweaty hands on. There are great tunes to be found here, and then tunes on top of tunes, which fold in on themselves and unfurl to reveal something entirely different but equally brilliant.

Song Just In Case veers all over the place, and you, the shocked listener, will have to concentrate hard to hold on for dear life because you’ll be too busy grinning with happiness at its daring, derring-do and dazzle. Golden Phone isn’t quite as twistingly peculiar, but is a ton more sweet, full of invention and still bizarre enough to scare your grandma.

If Coldplay are as prosaic and dull as stubbing your toe on a lump of rock when digging the garden, then Micachu and The Shapes are the joy experienced when you crack it open and find a huge, multicoloured crystalline arrangement inside. Micachu and The Shapes are a musical middle finger to the safe and the average. You can’t fail to feel the need to clasp them tight to your chest. Listen here!

PS – Something for the weekend, sir? How about this cheeky BRAND NEW! FREE! ANBAD eBook NUMBER 2 to while away those cold springtime evenings?

>Today’s New Band – Screaming Maldini PLUS! Smell!

>Unresearched Glib Pop Music Theory #235680: the act of hearing music has a closer resemblance to the act of smelling than any other sense. Perhaps this seemingly ludicrous claim should be qualified a little. Smell is almost indescribable in any terms other than other smells. Wines, for example, smell of freshly mown lawns, tarmac melting on hot days and hedgerow blossoms.

Melted chocolate smells wonderful because it smells of melted chocolate. It’s self-referential. So is music, cutting, as it does, to the pin-prick centre of your mind/heart/soul – wherever you feel like your most base feelings are housed.

I saw this demonstrated when my 70 year old grandfather, a calm, placid soul if there ever was one, leapt from his chair and danced like a carefree youth on his old orange and yellow living-room carpet, when an old 45 of Mockingbird by Charlie and Inez Foxx was slipped onto the record player. It was like time travel for me – a glimpse of the man he once was – clapping, stamping and hip-swivelling and all. Only a few of our senses can do that, when triggered.

So what will click in you when you hear Today’s New Band, Screaming Maldini? They make the kind of pop-driven tunes that shimmer breezily and also have enough nous to make them several quirky notches above the bland MOR purgatory that such songs can sometimes inhibit.

Secret Sounds is deceptively complex, seemingly a swift jaunt through tinkling pop territory; a closer listen reveals a song that delights in folding in on itself over and over, until compressed into a rough indie diamond. The brass stylings of The Extraordinary casts an eye over its influences that is alternatingly suave and relaxed and then inquisitively scatterbrained. Monkey See Badger Do strikes out from the first squeak of its endearingly wandering melody, and is crazier than a box of frogs.

Orchestral, lush and endlessly inventive, Screaming Maldini stopped worrying about whether they were trying to do too much and just bunged it all in the mix. In doing so, they have hit upon their own magic formula and out has spilled a number of unusual pop songs. Great! Listen 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 – Mongrel

>Supergroups! Don’t you just love their best-of-all-worlds approach to music? Well, no, not usually. Taking X guitarist and Y drummer from a number of big bands often equates to devastatingly bland groups like Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Asia and more recently, Velvet Revolver, who had all the bombast of all their respective mother groups, but with none of the tunes. I can’t even whistle any of the songs by The Good, The Bad and The Queen, who actually endeavoured to create something more than a mere vanity project out of their enticing Blur/Clash/Verve/Tony Allen combination.

None of this bodes well for Today’s New Band, Mongrel, does it? As the name bluntly insinuates, they’re comprised of musicians from all over the shop. The members and ex members of Arctic Monkeys, Babyshambles, Reverend and The Makers, as well as ace producer-artists Adrian Sherwood, Jagz Kooner and Low Key that whelped Mongrel must have, at some point, sat in a room, and thought, “Perhaps this Supergroup thing might work this time, for us.”

And you know what? It does. Their music is one of those rare collaborative efforts where all the member’s respective influences are audible, blending craftily together to form something new, instead of fighting for prominence. Dub, indie and hip-hop sprawl around in Mongrel‘s tightly focused songs, and in some ways, each song is enjoyable merely because the sound works so well. The fact that the songs are good as well is the proverbial icing on the proverbial cake.

Better Than Heavy is a heavy, twanging and dubby lollop that is as inventive as it is fun, pinging form here to there without compromising any ideals. And song Barcode shouldn’t work. It just shouldn’t. No sane mind would try to make such desperate worlds collide, but Mongrel must be collectively crazy, because it sounds just right.

Political and angry in a time when most people are too bothered about the latest minutiae of Britney’s latest weight loss/gain too get angry about anything, let alone politics, Mongrel are a band that might not end up being loved by millions. The fact that all this was even possible should thrill even the most cynical heart, though. They are doing everything they can to make their voices heard, and great tunes, intelligent thoughts and a fierce determination are the best place to start. This is what they’ve got, in spades, so listen here, now!

>Today’s New band – Fredrik PLUS! Daniel O’Donnell!

>Sometimes it’s just… difficult to buy albums. Often it’s because there are no decent records being released. December is when the annual CD drought kicks in, due to the proliferation of dreadful CDs aimed at the Christmas market. Yet another oxymoronic Katie Melua ‘Best Of’, anyone? Or Daniel O’Donnell‘s Christmas Album? Yes, I’d prefer to drink Gluwein flavoured with bleach too.

Most times though, it’s just the feeling of not knowing where to start. All those CDs, and so little desire to spend fifteen precious minutes being lectured to by the bearded guy behind the counter about the latest release from their favourite unknown Jazz-Funk combo. My favoured fallback option is to plump for a compilation album – the best friend of the unsure or skint. For the same price as a standard album, you get a whole bundle of songs picked by someone else. It’s a bit like borrowing a friend’s iPod and setting it to shuffle.

The great thing with compilation albums is that they work as intended for everyone involved – the listener gets a taste of a load of new bands; the artists, often without the money, or variety of songs to warrant their own album, get published; and the record execs get to cream off another 10% to spend on coke, champagne and hookers. With this all in mind, I can wholeheartedly recommend any of the brilliant compilation CDs from Rough Trade, or the equally ace Studio One series.

Today’s New Band, Fredrik, are probably on a compilation album somewhere. For good reason, too – they’re the second delicious folky band we’ve had in as many days. They hail from Sweden, and somewhat predictably have the Swedish knack for squeezing a great tune into a four minute pop song. fabulously, they manage to make these songs sonically inventive whilst maintaining pop sensibilities.

Alina’s Place is a clicky, puffing and outrageously enjoyable pop-folk song enlivened by what sounds like the tinkling of jars full of water and gentle vocal chanting. It’s so comforting and cosy that if you listened to it whilst sitting in a bean bag and sipping on a mug of cocoa, you might slip into a coma of joy. Holm shuffles like an old man dancing to his favourite song and Angora Sleepwalking lumbers around, confused but happy, before bursting apart in an muddle of plucking and fiddling.

Fredrik are a folky, accessible cross between Sigur Ros and The Kings of Convenience, and much more fun than either. Their songs fuss along, scattering ever-inventive and enjoyably tactile noises on their way. They are poppy one moment and introspective the next, but their gentle, low-key and unassuming music is always sprightly and determinedly exciting. If you’re somewhere cold, like me, Fredrik are the warmth that you need in your life. Lovely. Listen to them 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?

>Jealousy, Insanity, San Francisco and Today’s New Band – Tartufi

>I’m jealous of Today’s New Band. They’re from San Francisco. I spent a month in San Francisco a couple of years ago and I’d happily give my eye teeth to go back to there RIGHT NOW. San Francisco is one of those cities where all of the things you’ve heard, and all of the things you haven’t heard about it are true, and very visible. I was repeatedly told that it was ‘very European’, but it wasn’t in the slightest.

It wasn’t even American. It was its own, eye-rattlingly strange, determinedly varied world, packed full of crazies, stoners and professional ‘characters’. I loved it, and walked around, mouth open at the shining brilliance of EVERYTHING I gawped at. It was all I could do from chaining myself to something very large so that I couldn’t be deported when my visa expired.

Tartufi are Today’s New Band. They were the band whose songs were playing in my addled mind while I was stumbling through Haight, Chinatown or the Mission, except I didn’t know it yet. Much like you’d hope from a San Franciscan band, their music is a strange mix of prog sensibilities and indie lo-fi practice. I’m aware that that sounds like a match-up specifically invented by someone who is out to spoil your fun, but it fits nicely, and Tartufi sound ace.

Mourning’s Wake, the title of which fulfils A New Band A Day’s Weekly Pun Quotient in one fell swoop, clinks and clanks like the sound of a miniature xylophone falling down the stairs of a doll’s house. It has that welcome Blue Monday-esque trick of not introducing vocals until at least halfway through the song, then dashes here and there like an (admittedly oxymoronic) well-rehearsed jam. Ebeneezer You Are Rotten further demonstrates their impatience, flipping from noise-rock to tinkling nursery rhyme and back again without care for your nervous fragility, before soaring stratospherically, all echoey guitars squeals and mad cymbal splashes.

Tartufi sound like they’d be a great band to see play live – and if you live in the US, you might be able to find out, as they’re touring RIGHT NOW! Everyone else should visit their Myspace page and experience the audio equivalent of jumping in seven directions at once.

>Today’s New Band – Munch Munch

>There’s a lot to be said for precision and organisation. Streamline your life for mega profit! A tidy home is a tidy mind! De-clutter your surroundings for SUPER ZEN! There’s a reason that Chuck D is such a furious individual, you know – he hasn’t tidied his Rumpus room for years.

Whilst the idea of Chuck D calming down purely because he’s broken out the Dustbuster might be slightly* untrue, there really is as much to be said for disorganisation too. OK, so a desk chock full of papers might cause your plate of toast to fall to the floor, inevitably butter-side down; but how else would you find out whether you like the taste of floor fluff on your toast or not?

The point is that apparent chaos can have pleasant, unexpected results. Today’s New Band don’t seem to merely thrive on the unexpected noise that’s made as they bash instruments, but have adopted it as an ethos. They’re the appropriately named Munch Munch, chomping, as they do, through instruments, sounds and styles, all with fabulous disdain for convention.

The gloriously bonkers-named Endolphins is a twinkling frenzy of invention, clattering, shimmering and splashing all over the place through all of its 3 minutes – and yet there’s a lovely melody that occasionally resurfaces when it feels brave enough. Wedding begins in barely-there chaos, all noise and no direction, before suddenly transforming into a super-fun fairground organ-led pop song, and then reinventing itself for a second time in the same song a few minutes later.

Gloriously deranged, Munch Munch are flailing, crazily, sticking thumbs into pies here, there and everywhere and yet managing to pull out a plum each time. Welcome back, insanity. Embrace it wholeheartedly here!


>Indica Ritual – Today’s New Band

>I had one of those iPod mental tics this morning. You’ll recognise the problem – wandering along, scrolling through the albums, but none of them that scram up the screen seem to be the one that’s just right for that exact moment in time. This morning I knew that I needed a sound that was just so, something that was fast, hard and upbeat but that wasn’t gabba or screamcore. Something like a cross between early-90’s period Prodigy and, I dunno, The Fall. One of those kind of moods.

Funnily enough, I couldn’t find any songs that fitted hitherto-yet untested combination of cranky Mancunian miserablism and mentalist bonkers-core aggro-noise. In a fit of idiocy, I picked the full 10-minute mix of So Much Love To Give by Thomas Bangalter & DJ Falcon. After 8 minutes, I realised that my infatuation with Thomas Bangalter perhaps doesn’t stretch to a full 10 minutes of the same loop over and over again, however LOL! AWESOME! it sounds to start with.

It later occurred to me that what I actually wanted to listen to was Today’s New Band, Indica Ritual. Their song Top Forty is all of these things: 1) Bonkers, 2) Super-duper funky, and 3) Sounds like a test version of the 1973 Tomorrow’s World TV theme tune that was rejected for being too ‘out there’. Mostly, though, it’s a superbly alert, twitchy song that sounds confident and cocky. It’s modern without being arch or knowingly ironic, taking the path of least resistance to the parts of your brain marked ‘fun’ and ‘quirky’. Dad’s Wristband nicks the ace crunchy guitar sound off the first half of David Bowie’s Low and moulds it into a tasty, inventive instrumental. And surely Num Lock sounds more creative, more wild and more new than is plausible.

Indica Ritual are quite possibly the band you have been looking for, like, ages. They are actually brilliant, in every sense of the word. You must listen to them now, or your life will be that much poorer. Drown yourself, laughing, in their songs right here!

P.S. This is the second Liverpool band in a row on A.N.B.A.D. Could another accidental trilogy be the making? Tune in tomorrow to find out!