>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.

>Eccentric Millionaires, The Worst Band in The World, and Today’s New Band – Weird Gear

>Here’s a horrible truth: the rock ‘n’ roll world is overwhelmingly unfair. Unfairer even than real life, where bad stuff happens randomly to whoever, whenever. In Rock ‘n’ Roll World, the odds are actually stacked against you if your band is one or any of the following:

  1. New
  2. Inventive
  3. Good

This is a bit of a problem. Surely all of those things are what everyone actually wants to hear? And weren’t bands like, duh, The Beatles all of those things and a bit of a success? Well, yes and yes. BUT – here’s the trump card: Scouting For Girls. Not only are they a band utterly devoid of imagination, talent or likability, but they are also hugely successful.

They have sold over half a million copies of their execrable debut album. I have been clinging onto a vain hope that this figure is so inflated because an eccentric millionaire, driven crazy by the gut-wrenching inanity of the omnipresent She’s So Lovely, has been buying every copy available to prevent the general public from ever having to listen to it. But I think this might not be the case.

What is so galling about Scouting For Girls’ success is that, at heart, they are a simple Indie band that plays simple Indie tunes – much like the wonderful Popguns did in the late 80’s. But guess which band sold a bazillion copies of their album, and which one sold half a dozen?

Celebrate the good bands, while you can, is the moral of this story. One of these good bands is Today’s New Band. Weird Gear have taken the soundtrack from a low budget early-80’s sci-fi TV show and made it into music that is both enjoyable and danceable. This alone is some achievement, especially if you’ve ever sat through an early-80’s BBC sci-fi show.

While the title of Hamm Ond Cheese is almost too pun-tastic for words, it bubbles enthusiastically along, pulsing forwards with all the electro lo-fi nerdishness you’d expect of a band that have excitedly drawn up, in mind-boggling detail, a list of every single piece of electronic gubbins they used to create the sounds.

This is all part of Weird Gear‘s charm – electro-instrumental nerds are still outsiders in the four-square guitar-drums-bass-singer world of Rock ‘n’ Indie. Songs like Moulange, synth-o-tronic and sweeping, are so out of place with music today that they travel full circle and become vital in their opposition to the norm. Cobble together a Dalek out of toilet rolls and papier maché and travel back in time with Weird Gear here!

>The overthrowing of humanity by Muso-Robots, and Today’s New Band – ALASALAKALASKA

>Human bands are history! A bold proclamation, true, but look at the facts in this video of robo-band The Trons. At the very least, The Trons demonstrate that even crudely-cobbled together bits of old hoovers and Meccano can make better music than The Kooks. Final proof then, that when computers take over the planet and they become our MERCILESS ROBOT OVERLORDS, things won’t be so bad after all.

The Trons aren’t today’s new band, because whilst they are better than the majority of the lumpen nonsense-mongers that call themselves bands, robots just don’t count. When a robot is aware enough to find that comment discriminatory, I’ll alter my stance, but not before.

Today’s New Band are actually Alasalakalaska. No, I haven’t managed to say it out loud correctly yet either, and no, they’re not from professional moron Sarah Palin’s home state. It’s a complicated name which might make them virtually impossible to ever be found via Google, but maybe that’s what they want.

Actually, it’s supposed to be read ‘Alas, Alak, Alaska,’ which, whilst being much more coherent is actually a bit less fun to type. On that basis alone, I’ll stick with the long, incoherent spelling for now.

Alasalakalaska are a strange, pleasant combo of rigid beats, flautists, wobbly vocals and catchy tunes. Crystal Power Attack, woozy, dreamy and echoing, left me feeling slightly drunk and happily confused as it wove its way to a clinking, jolting end.

In Finick While Clicking It’s…, they are confident enough to bolt a lovely, looping quasi-chorus to a lovely, looping song, not worrying too much about traditional composition or structure. It sounds almost entirely new – it may as well have been written by a music-producing computer programme that hasn’t quite been finished yet. Perhaps today’s new band is The Trons after all.

This all means that today, I have learnt two things:

  1. Perhaps The Kooks should lock their instruments in a room with some old washing machines and grandfather clocks, and maybe they’ll release a half-decent album;
  2. Alasalakalaska are wonderful, lilting and overwhelmingly unusual, all of which are reasons enough to listen to their songs here!

>Today’s New Band – Mi-Kuhmi

>I’ve got a headache today. That’s why all the following sentences are short and childlike, to match my mindset and attention span. It was there when I woke up as a kernel of a headache – a suggestion of a headache, if you like – and has slowly bloomed into the thumping, head-in-vice throbber that is located between the eyes at the moment. How unfair. This aggression will not stand, brain.

Fortunately, one of music’s most compelling traits is the ability to, y’know, make you feel stuff. Feelings come from the brain, and my brain is what is hurting now. Perhaps one can affect the other. This, I fear, is classically flawed male logic, but I’m willing to put it to the test.

Popping out of the silver foil and emerging as Today’s New Band is Mi-Kuhmi, who may or may not be minor Klingon character in Star Trek. I don’t usually quote what bands have to say about themselves, but Mi-Kuhmi‘s description of the songs as, “tiny desperate songs which talk about sadness, love, nature, future, past, happiness, bubbles, knifes, chairs, everything or just nothing,” is quite lovely.

The songs themselves are like glimpses of other songs, sound-ideas and noises that Mi-Kuhmi likes and wants to keep a record of, lest they disappear forever. In that respect they’re very human, and very touching. They’re also very short, very unusual and very non-melodic but with titles like Kohi, Eki and Toupie, you could probably guess that.

They’re not songs. They’re not supposed to be. It’s aspirin to be taken aurally, twice a day, with meals – get your dispensation here.

>Today’s New Band – Keyboard Choir

>When I was younger, I was camping by a river. It was a cloudless night, and the stars completely filled the sky. I looked up at them, trying to stop my thoughts from drifting into that terrifying corner of the mind that cheerfully, and optimistically, tries to comprehend infinity. My theory is that if you try to think about the size of the universe, then one day your thoughts will spiral away at an unstoppable exponential rate, your eyes simultaneously widening with overwhelming realisation, with the words DOES NOT COMPUTE flashing up before your eyes forever.

As a distraction, I fiddled with my 12-band nerd-tastic short-wave radio, trying to find John Peel’s weekly show on the BBC World Service. Faced with such a bewildering frequencies, and lacking the fine-tuned motor skills to rotate the tuning dial, it wasn’t an overwhelming surprise that I failed. Happily, at the bottom of one of the short-wave bands I found a squealing, bubbling mass of space-electro, semi-random interference noise, which perfectly accompanied my mildly hysterical gaze into of life, the universe and everything.

If any lesson is to be learnt from all of this quasi-hippy yapping, it’s that sometimes even the most obscure sounds can fit the right occasion. Today’s New Band, Keyboard Choir, aren’t so deliberately obtuse that they sample radio static, but their songs do conjur up the same, icily distant feeling. Bugs samples an eerie clip from a 1960’s radio recording due to be played post nuclear war, and leaves an echoing, metallic shimmer of worry behind it.

In some ways, I suppose, there is a backwards-looking stripe running through Keyboard Choir‘s songs. Skylab‘s plaintive electronic sounds are the noises glum, lonely astronauts would force out of their simple onboard computers in the 1970’s. The loneliness of space and the anxiety from the confines of their mechanised life enclosure is all there.

It’s rare for a band to actually get within spitting distance of the sounds that they originally wanted to make, but it does seem that Keyboard Choir have done it. Ethereal and delicate. Super. Listen to them, here, right now!

>Today’s New band – Doctor My Eyes

>Sometimes a band’s influences are obvious – not necessarily in terms of sounding like other artists, but the ideas their brains keep returning to as a starting point when making music. Paul McCartney’s songs always hark back to a music-hall rumbustiousness, The Clash’s angry buzz, in keeping with punk’s Year Zero ethic, is brimming with 50’s rock ‘n’ roll tricks, and Johnny Borrell clearly grew up in a locked windowless room with only Boomhouse Rats LPs for company.

Other bands influences are not so clear. Today’s New Band, Doctor My Eyes, are an unusual example of successfully combining studio electronics and the live band in a coherent, joyful jumble.

Lungs is evidence of a thorough nerd-like knowledge of electronic music and all its build-and-release foibles. A simple robo-riff provides the foundation for what turns into a tinny, crystalline pop record that, if played loud enough, could get the most reticent of dancefloors shuffling.

The same sense of a song’s structure and progression are splattered throughout With An Alien Smile, but here the rough and ready electronics are dropped, instead deploying the standard four-square instruments in an equally minimal fashion.

Even in songs where the bleeping and blooping is absent, the feeling is that they are a band whose template is not from the usual off-the-peg rock mindset. Their songs are electronic in spirit, if not always in sound.

Doctor My Eyes are definitely worth a listen, and certainly worth keeping your eye on, you know, just in case. Listen, here, now!

>Today’s New Band – Efterklang

>What room is there in today’s ZAP-POW society for calmness? If you’ve not achieved exactly what you wanted by yesterday, you’ve failed. We rush forward frenetically, and the music we listen to while doing it reflects the ultra-economic, all-surface-no-feeling, instant-impact world around it. Stopping and reflecting is for WIMPS!

It turns out that this might not be so smart. Anxiety reigns supreme and worry is pushed at everyone, from everyone. Relaxing and observing might have benefits after all.

Today’s New Band is the Danish septuplet Efterklang, and, if we’re resorting to our old favourite, the Glib Comparison, they’re somewhere between The Arcade Fire and Sigur Ros.

Towards the Bare Hill manages to blend choral voices, orchestral sounds and glitchy-clicking noises and make it work. It sounds like a male voice choir and a brass band let loose in a room full of hateful laptop “IDM” nerds and then setting about them, but recording the calming results. Step Aside takes a similar approach, squashing traditional, folk-y instruments into slightly warped shapes and scuffing in some non-intrusive electronic-y sounds. It’s what standing on a hill in the middle of nowhere whilst watching the sunset and reflecting that, on balance, life is good would sound like.

Efterklang’s music is all very serene, with the touch of the bizarre you’d expect from Northern European band, and also strangely, comfortingly, warm. Perhaps that’s what’s needed in a country as chilly as Denmark. Perhaps it’s needed everywhere else too. Let their music envelop you here!

>Eyes – Today’s New Band

>It’s a truncated post today on A New Band A Day, due to the A.N.B.A.D. ‘editorial team’ travelling all over the place on a well-deserved* break, which will hopefully involve multiple BBQs on a beach. Though, as the aforementioned beach is on the north coast of Wales, it’s more likely to be a weekend of staying inside to avoid the rain, drinking warm cans of lager whilst gazing longingly at the beach outside, and dying a bit inside.

So, cutting to the chase and letting the proverbial dog see the proverbial rabbit, perhaps Today’s New Band, Eyes, are just the thing needed to have on in the background whilst all the raining and non-barbecuing is taking place. Well, no, they’re not. Listening to Kim and Jessie by M83 over and over again would be the right thing to do. Eyes are far too fantastically sinister for that.

Whether lurching from sleaze-o-funk on The Time Between The Time, or making your skin crawl by sampling the sound of scissors snipping, or just recording a song as crazily-named as Tunnel of Hair, Eyes are uneasy, creepy but always fascinating. Listen to their troubled noise here!

A.N.B.A.D. will be back refreshed** as usual on Monday!

*but surprisingly exhausting

>Today’s New Band – rs-232

>Electronic music often sounds soulless. Even though bands like Orbital managed to infuse something nearing humanity or nature into their music, the methods for producing electronic music ensure that its very nature is that of robotic precision. This isn’t to say humanity or soulfulness is necessary in music, just that, as music is an output for expression, it’s often tough to convey the feeling that fingers, thumbs and emotion have been involved in its creation.

Today’s New Band, rs-232, is ice-cold and precise. There doesn’t seem to be room for emotion or feeling in the music, but that’s a good thing, as it would seem wildly out of place in music this clean. This is what music made by robots would sound like. Precise, concise, calculated, metallic and shimmering. Song Ping manages to bounce, jitter and, yes, ping, but with a subtle funkiness, if that isn’t oxymoron-tastic.

However, it’s not funk that you’d want to leap up and frug to – this isn’t dancing music. What it does do is drag your mind away from wherever you are – you’ll soon be wandering around rigid and unknown corridors in your mind. Pending Authorisation is creepy, sparse and stark, with quiet clicks, pulse-like beats and chilly metallic sweeps.

rs-232 ‘s tunes may well turn out to be a sonic computer experiment. I half hope so. Listen to it all here, and try not to picture T-1000 from Terminator creeping up behind you as you listen.

>Today’s New Band – Computerization

>Sometimes, overblown rock is just what you need. I rediscovered a huge bundle of CDs the other day, and amongst them was the Manic Street Preachers’ half-good, half-poodle-rock debut LP, Generation Terrorists, an album I hadn’t listened to for years. It’s a pleasant Über-slick chug through a weird combo of late-80’s RAWK and the punky aesthetic that they later became better known for. That said, super-smooth rock grates after a while, and unless you own a pickup and live in Arkensas or Texas, I imagine that the slick radio-friendly stylings of Nickelback at al are as far away from your stereo as is humanly possible too.

An antidote to slick RAWK is Today’s New Band, Computerization, fresh from a bedroom in New York. Cobbled together from synths and bleeps, his songs are cheap ‘n’ cheerful – literally, in fact. He has a brilliant service where for a meagre $9 you can order your own song, to your specifications – subject matter, tempo, instruments etc – and he’ll make it and mail it to you. The songs that he makes for himself, like Go Back, with its lovely chorus, and 1Point14Me, a slow, scattered pop song, are the sound of an abandoned computer singing to you from a skip – vocodered, slight and a bit world-weary.

It’s all very simple, basic and rough and ready, and like his super-slick antipodal counterpart Generation Terrorists, you might not want to hear a whole album of it. But so what? Pop music is about short, creative bursts of happiness and with Computerization‘s songs, that’s just what you get. Listen to his songs here, and apply for your own custom song here!