Tantrums; Laser-Focussed, Hell-Bent

Just what is it that makes today’s young bands so different, so appealing?

Of all the new bands I’ve heard in the last 12 months, it’s Tantrums who are most laser-focussed and hell-bent on success . This destiny may or may not be of their own making.

Just listen to Mek Ya Feel Hype, and feel begin to feel old in two distinct ways. First is the woozy sensation of senility, as you wonder whether or not you haven’t already heard this song squeaking tinnily from a teen’s mobile phone as you sat at a bus-stop.

Tantrums // Mek Ya Feel Hype

And then secondly, brace yourself for the reality: the other thing you’re feeling is just pure, dumb age. This band are so firmly entrenched in the thrilling naivety of youth that they probably jerk out a song like this in an afternoon.

More than anything, this song is a product of the youthful now. Look beyond the blitz of youthful energy, and there’s High School Musical choruses coursing through the song.

And to be even more in keeping with today’s so-how-are-we-going-to-pay-the-rent? music biz ethos, this song is available FREE! here.

Go crazy. They just did.


>Swing Youth, and Ian Curtis = Dr. Strangelove

Some new bands would just love to be as glum and dark as Joy Division. Witness the current crop of frontmen who have suddenly developed hollow eyed stares and Ian Curtis arm twitches – the Indie equivalent of Dr. Strangelove’s alien hand.

The truth is that most bands just can’t manage it, because if there’s one thing you can’t fake, it’s existentialist miserablism. Most bands just want to have fun on stage, but few are bold enough to actually do it. Today’s New Band are, and for this we should all be thankful.

For instance: Swing Youth have a song called Hey Keith, the subject of which is probably not to do with a long, gloomy gaze into the the soul. It’s more likely to be a song about saying ‘Hey’ to a man called Keith, which is about as much depth as a lively, fun indie pop song deserves.

World in Flames, despite having a title that sounds like a Johnny Hates Jazz album, is about as close to pure pop as is allowed without turning into ABBA. Lyrics about a girl? Check. Exuberant vocals? Check. Bright guitar jangle? Yup. Under the requisite three minutes pop time limit? Well, no, but no-one’s perfect.

Simple things done simply. Swing Youth are a lovable bunch, with a selection of songs that demand dancing. They’re happy and alive, and happy to be alive. Nice hair, too. Ian Curtis would have loved them.

>Today’s New Band – The Liberty Ships PLUS! In The City Day 2!

It’s a sign of age, apparently, when policemen start looking frighteningly young. Yesterday, I had a similar experience at In The City when I met The Liberty Vessels, four 15 year olds from Liverpool – a band whose combined age is only just twice mine. It was terrifying. They were accompanied by the world’s proudest mother, whose broad ever-constant smile was one of actual joy.

Just to ram the point home: they were really young. They hadn’t started shaving, for Christ’s sake. They were born after the internet was. They were playing a early gig that night, because they had to be in school at nine o’clock the next day. I cringed at my (relative, ahem) old age when I heard their mature, warm and bold songs.

So, The Liberty Vessels are Today’s New Band, naturally. Songs like Say Nothing practically demanded so. The singer’s voice is that of an adult man, surely. It’s creamy, expressive and true, singing touching words, simply. Digital Covers chugs with confidence and charm. The band are skilled in supporting the lyrical focal point.

This is a band who’ve played a handful of gigs, have only just found their feet, and yet are ahead of much of the pack. They’ll reach whichever destination they desire. Good luck navigating rock’s stormy seas, Liberty Vessels. Listen here!

PS: ANBAD continues to gather MASSIVE CRITICAL PRAISE, or, more accurately: we’ve been featured in Click Ticket’s Top 20 Music Blogs list! Hooray! Thanks Click Ticket!

>Today’s New Band – Ace Bushy Striptease

For someone who specialises in listening to new music, it turns out I don’t know very much about, er, new music. Example: it took me this long to realise that MGMT are American, and not French as I’d assumed. I initially thought I was confusing them French bands like Justice, or MSTRKRFT, until reading that MSTRKRFT are Canadian, which just confirms that I’m an idiot who knows nothing.

I suppose the knowledge of nationality helps further mentally establish a band’s sound – Daft Punk couldn’t really be any other nationality than French, just as Nickleback couldn’t be any more rootin’ tootin’ American if they tried. Wait, they’re Canadian too. Crap.

Today’s New Band are from Birmingham, UK. I’ve double-checked, and that’s definitely correct. So, if my half-formed theory is right, do Ace Bushy Striptease sound British? Well, yes, I suppose so. But no more than they sound Mexican, Japanese or Slovakian. Theory abandoned.

Ace Bushy Striptease have one of the most, er… evocative names featured on ANBAD for a long time. A good name is all-important, and the band members must have known they were half-way to success when they came up with that one.

Luckily, they have the tunes to complete the equation. Iluvya would be a heartbreaking rejection song – “I don’t care what you say, I love ya anyway” – in any other hands, but here it becomes a fun, carefree blast.

Knockabout songs like Mervyn and Isaac Find A CD and the so crazy-it’s-crazy remix-magedddon that is Ace Bushy Exceedddrrrr show Ace Bushy Striptease to be a band that don’t take themselves too seriously. This is an admirable trait, but one that could become grating if it wasn’t tempered with occasional glimpses of substance.

This they do in Heartbreaks In The Snow – an actually affecting song. It’s a delight; a sad, lonely, cold and sweet song. Ace Bushy Striptease are a band brimming with youth, fun coming out of their eyeballs and an ear for a great tune. Expect great things – listen here!