MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 25th October 2011

The Q magazine awards are literally laughable: insomuch as I literally laughed at the list of utterly predictable winners of their ‘awards’, which one suspects are awarded by a man who has been locked in a room with the same 10 records for the last 15 years.

Generic, all-encompassing award for Coldplay? Check. Obligatory nod to U2? Check. Devastatingly, soul-crushingly obvious spurious award to Lana del Rey? Oh yes.

Today, official ANBAD mascot, Alex James, awards Q Magazine – the music magazine that time forgot – with it’s own special prize of molten cheese. (BTW: U2 vs Oasis? Please…)


FIRST: The Alpaca Jamboree have popped up on ANBAD for a couple of reasons – chiefly because their renditions of folk songs and sea-shanties are simply gorgeous, and enough to melt even the most diamond-hard of hearts.

Secondly, their demos were apparently recorded on a kitchen table with iPhones, which blows my mind in all sorts of ways – that their voices and a few instruments are all that is needed to craft these songs, and that a device the size of a deck of cards allows the recording, mixing and uploading of songs. Phew.


SECOND: BhangLassi have made, in Everything’s Amazing, a song that is suspiciously catchy. But then, so is the Ebola virus, so what makes this song OK? Well, it’s possibly that this is the sort of song that could be both a Big Pop Smash for some Simon Cowell-spawned pop moppet, or, alternatively, a niche scene hit. That’s an achievement.


THIRD: Nihiti are sliiiiick, and yet rough around the edges. That’s even harder than being simply slick. Lit Up In Rows shoves its stuff towards you until you’re obliged to take notice. It would probably be really good as Cyber-Goth stripper music. Works for me.


FOURTH: Parakeets have the feel of a band that have twanged away at their instruments in a garage for a while before committing their songs to tape. There’s an overblown theatricality to elements of Fingernails, and it’s a surprisingly welcome feature. Probably not so good as Cyber-Goth stripper music, but whatever.


MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 5th October 2011

Remember all that fuss about Lana del Rey a few weeks ago?

About how her label cruelly tricked us unsuspecting innocent bloggers into thinking she was the real deal, as opposed to an industry puppet with suspiciously inflated lips?

It all died down quickly didn’t it? Maybe…. too quickly. Hmm. Tinfoil hats on, everyone: I suspect the INDUSTRY wanted to HUSH UP the story and PAID OFF weak bloggers.

Fret not, dear friends, Alex James from Blur knows how to keep an issue in the public’s unwavering gaze: by pouring melted cheese all over it.


FIRST! Flash Fiktion have released a B-side. This is newsworthy in itself: bands do B-sides these days? I used to love B-sides for the sheer unusualness/laziness of them – B-sides were a window to a band’s soul. Please note that Ulcers is not lazy or weird – it’s just a mightily badass (oh, yes) thrash through a crunchy rock forest, where the trees have all been replaced with flame-decal-covered Gibson SGs.


SECOND! Feathers have, in Early Morning, made a song that bobs along on an ellipsis of its own manufacture, looping back to a cardboard 1960s, stopping off in 1986 and then plopping happily back to today – before doing it all over again. A lovely, unfolded-origami song.


THIRD! Analogue Manilow “may or may not be Barry Manilow’s nephews”. I’m betting on the former, but I’ve always been a hopeless gambler. Their’s no hint of Barry in their buzzy spazz-rock, but why should there be? Wouldn’t mind a careful mash-up of The Coming Lights with Copacobana, though.


FINALLY! Dead Slow labelled their excellently downbeat 960 as “Shoegaze/Grunge”. Can you imagine? No, really, can you imagine? Fortunately, 960 is much better than that description implies, devastatingly heavy and smothering in the same way a ton of feathers is. Good stuff.

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 30th March 2011

Another week, and another devastatingly catchy viral music video necessitates the short, sharp shock of a Midweek Mixtape to banish the unwanted earworm.

This week’s criminal record? Well, it turns out that if you take a video of an already creepy three-year-old beauty queen singing a song called Cutie Patootie, and then slow it down by 25%, it moves into ultra-weird territory.

Reverse it, and it becomes the terrifying David Lynch mini-movie that even he would hesitate over showing in public. Meanwhile, Lt. Drebin has been distracted by an album of Hammond organ classics, so we’re safe to proceed to the Mixtape:

FIRST! The Savage Nomads are a pretty good place to start if it is distraction you’re looking for. A Statement is, er, just that – and a bold one too. Gently fierce and hypnotic, a band with these febrile qualities are probably going to go a long way – so the hipsters amongst you might want to start liking them now, before everyone else does.

SECOND! TWR72 have the name of a 1950’s fighter plane and the sound of AWESOME TECHNO. Fukkk Off is a remix – and strictly speaking, ANBAD doesn’t do remixes – but this one is big, brash and as rude as you’d expect, so gets an enthusiastic free pass. Excellent.

THIRD! Clip Stamp Fold may well be named after a dull office chore. Certainly, the band sound like they don’t want to do that job any more, as their gloomy epic-rock is so widescreen that they’re clearly pitching for bigger things.

FOURTH! Danimal Kingdom are more upbeat than Cliff Richard on Zoloft. Through The Ice isn’t a sombre warning about the dangers of playing on frozen lakes, but is in fact a huge pop blast. Huzzah!

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 23rd March 2011

She’s had 36 million views on Youtube . It’ll probably be 38 million by the time you read this. Simon Cowell thinks she’s a genius. She just wants to duet with Justin Bieber.

Rebecca Black is a new kind of hero for our times, one who couldn’t have existed at any other point in history. Armed with one deeply moronic, yet insanely catchy pop song, she’s suddenly gaining more attention than almost everyone else put together.

Drebin’s thretening to give Friday one more spin, so listen to this Midweek Mixtape sharpish, before you start involuntarily singing about how the days of the week all follow one another:

FIRST! Secret Knives are making the kind of delirious, jabbering electronic music that films in the 80s predicted would be made in the future. I’m fairly sure that Marty McFly would have boogied to Black Hole in Back To The Future Part 2, and praise doesn’t get much higher than that.

SECOND! Cor, Naymedici are a jaunty lot, aren’t they? Fiddles, jangling guitars and a bit of ska get thrown in the mix, and out pops the kind of song that causes dancefloors to throw beer and start frugging like crazy. Nice.

THIRD! Ollie Loudon has called this song ‘Old Tape Song’, possibly because it was recorded on an old tape, or maybe because it reminisces about TDK C90’s. Either way, it’s a lovely, waif-like, yearning love song to a human, or a cassette tape.

FOURTH! What happens when an ace Manchester-based, eastern European-derived electro-dance-pop band called Rubika, who sing about ‘Robots in love on the disco floor in super shiny leather,‘ re-record the song as an impassioned piano piece? Cracked brilliance, that’s what.

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 16th March 2010

You think it would be easy to spot the elephant in the board room of all the major record labels.

Because, you see, it’s not just any old elephant – it’s a white elephant, and it has the words THE RECORD INDUSTRY IS IN DEEP TROUBLE daubed on it in blood-red ink.

ANBAD dug deep and hired Lnt. Frank Drebin to get on the case and see if he could find definitive proof that the Industry is on its last legs.

It took him the length of one advert break during Coronation Street. He is examining the evidence in our exclusive photo, above.

Quick, before he puts this mawkish nonsense on the CD player, listen to this Midweek Mixtape, post-haste:

FIRST! Firesuite – Sometimes you need music to soothe a tortured soul. Sometimes you need it to hammer your eardrums into bloody submission. Guess which one Sammy Davis Jr. Jr. is? Firesuite’s songs sound like an anvil being melodically played with… another anvil. Great, senseless, noisy chaos.

SECOND! The Deer Tracks – Lordy, it’s almost as if there’s structure to this week’s mixtape: Deer Tracks’ delightfully subdued and delicate Ram Ram is exactly what’s needed after that first buzz-saw song. Songs this light and cool are excruciatingly hard to get right, but here the Deer Tracks have excelled. Beautifully clean.

The Deer Tracks // Ram Ram

THIRD! VVolves are another one of those bands that take disproportionate pleasure in misspelling their band name. Miike Snow and Wavves, I’m looking at you too. Do they teach The Kids nothing in school these days? Grammer (geddit?!) aside, VVolves are livelier than a bus of schoolchildren on a trip to Alton Towers and in songs like Birds In Berlin, show that there’s still tons of mileage in the simple pursuit of making a racket with guitars in your mum’s garage. Ace.

FOURTH! That Jennifer Left, you know, is all right. Ha! Take that, weak puns! Black Dog is a song title that I feel like I’ve heard before, but probably not in a song this chipper. Aren’t songs with this title supposed to be about navel-gazing? This one could easily accompany a segment on a kids’ TV show about making pictures with glitter and macaroni. Lovely voice too.

FIFTH! Flamingo is one of those bands that I think need an exclamation mark. Look: Flamingo! is exciting. And such thrills would nicely offset the low-key, hi-tempo delights of frostily cute electro like the mysterious Shend. What does it mean? Where is the song going? Will you even remember these questions once you’ve slipped into a hypnotic state after hearing it? Great stuff.

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 9th March 2011

When does a celebrity breakdown step lightly across the line from ‘hilarious lunacy’ to ‘worrying mental illness’?

I’m not entirely sure, but you can rest soundly knowing that, as you read this, Charlie Sheen is figuring out that particular conundrum.

Here in ANBAD Towers, we have had advance warning of his next diabolically crazy project – one which we believe will be the proverbial straw that breaks the internet’s back.

It’s his upcoming cover-album-of-a-covers-album, Charlie Sheen’s Swing When You’re #Winning, in which he dabbles in the realm of the meta-cover by re-enacting Robbie Williams’ lowest point (apart from Rudebox). Drebin, as always, is on the case.

Nurse! The Mixtape, quick!

FIRST! Quakers and Mormons are another of the excellent My Awesome Mixtape’s guises, and New York Town is a thoroughly good tilt at lop-sided hip-hop grandeur. They modestly call it ‘an avant-garde masterpiece,‘ and they’re not too wrong, in all honesty. Great.

SECOND! Beat Connection sound like they ought to be a Ska covers band, but don’t worry, they’re not. Instead, they make the sort of song that doesn’t get made in this form too often – 80’s Pet Shop Boys-esque pop, all sheen (not Charlie), twangy synth bass and sincere vocals. Nice.

THIRD! William The Contractor has a pun in his name, so is automatically granted a spot on ANBAD. That’s how it works. Fortunately, W.T.C. is Swedish, which also means that his music is automatically 20 times more tuneful and 10 times more lovable than a song made by someone of a different nationality. Don’t complain, you know it’s true – just listen to the excellent Black Gold for proof.

FOURTH! FUR’s Friends might be just what Charlie Sheen needs right now. Solar Bear’s remix makes the song complex enough for his wired brain to stay occupied, but is so lilting, calm and otherworldly that every listener will slowly droop into soporific slumber. Delightful.

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 23rd February 2011

You’re not reading this. I know. Because if the music news press is to be believed, you’re either mourning the loss of Justin Bieber’s haircut, or swooooning over the surprise release of King Of Limbs.

I’m going to cut to the chase. No point wasting words if you’re too busy filesharing Thom and Co.’s latest impenetrable album whilst you share your grief with fellow Beliebers on Twitter.

So while Lt. Frank Drebin tries to mistakenly play what he thinks is the new Radiohead album, get stuck into this delightful Midweek Mixtape:

FIRST! Homework sound like the result of a load of Teenage Fanclub records falling through a wormhole in space-time and landed in the laps of Kraftwerk whilst they recorded Computer World. Naturally, Homework‘s excellent pop sounds like neither and yet both. Go figure.

SECOND! Delta Hotel’s entirely lo-fi scuzz-pop is delightful, cute and – for a cold-hearted so-and-so like me, this is a tough admission – loveable. Clocking in at under two minutes, Prime Numbers is just as short as it is sweet. Genuinely lovely.

THIRD! Inuette have made songs that exude French subtlety and yet retain some sort of woody organic ambiance. On & On is a dreamily beautiful exploration of a fictitious forest where everything is unnaturally sunny and green. Delightful.

FOURTH! According to Jamie N Common’s PR people, he is “so new he has no PR blurb yet”. Surely not. But this man – take note PR people, for here lies blurb – this man has a wonderful voice. Most of us would kill for a voice like this, and fortunately Jamie hasn’t let us down by singing some Adele-esque soul-lite nonsense. Great stuff.

FIFTH! This Is The Kits singer has her face painted into that of an evil clown while she sings. Now that’s a good gimmick. Not that she needs one – Treehouse is a purely delightful, minimal, heartfelt song.

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 16th February 2011

Mmmm, sexy. It was Valentine’s day just a day or two ago, which is just enough time to digest all the drippy love songs that your local MOR Moderate Rock FM station (“The smoooothest songs from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s, back-to-back-to-back, all day long”) has been playing.

Incidentally, Lt. F. Drebin has just one more tune he wants to play. Quick, young ‘un, the Mixtape:

FIRST! Hot Head Show have nailed the submission process for getting on ANBAD. It’s as follows: 1) Make great, clattering song called Bummer; 2) Cut a video from Russ Meyer’s Mondo Topless; 3) Submit to ANBAD. It can’t fail. Video is NSFW, assuming your workplace hates boobs.

SECOND! Deadwax are the zombie version of Soulwax. Well, probably. Either way, songs like Throne are another indication that the big skyscraping chords ‘n’ sing-along choruses of the 90s are BACK, whether you want them or not.

THIRD! Sabatta are a British-Nigerian Grunge-Soul band. I know. I was excited by that combination of ingredients too. And you know what they sound like? Well, British-Nigerian Grunge-Soul. It’s nice when things work like that.

FOURTH! Young Montana – ANBAD rarely features remixes. It’s nothing personal, it’s just that now everyone is, like, a remixer, yeah?, there are just so many bad remixes, it’s hard to find the time to sniff out the good ones. Good ones like this brilliant remix of Beat Connection’s Silver Screen, which is devastatingly bright.

FINALLY! Knight Stalker makes excellent, groove-swamped, grimy pounding music that sounds like it was cobbled together in his garage. It probably was – if you listen carefully you can hear the bit where his flailing knob-twiddling elbows knocked over a load of almost-empty paint tins.


This post is much curtailed, due to the fact that I wrote it once and then managed to delete the whole thing. So the following is a kind of ‘Previously, on ANBAD…’ round-up. Apologies. It probably wasn’t that good anyway.

Have you noticed how hefty singers like Barry White, Aretha Franklin and SuBo also sound chubby on their records? Their voices practically drip with bacon grease.

It occurred to me this week that roly-poly BRIT-school faux-soul Bellower Of Blandness Adele can be added to this inglorious list.

Adele is  a woman whose MOR dirge is enlivened only by the fact that if you listen to it carefully, you can hear the patter of melted butter landing on the studio microphone as it sprays from her lips.

Lt. Drebin is threatening to play her record. The mixtape, quick-quick:

FIRST! Mackaper are not MacGyver, but then I’m not sure I’d want to listen to the sound of a man solving crime with the aid of elastic bands and bent coat-hangers. Mackaper, on the other hand, make lovely, ice-cold thin-fingered pop.

SECOND! The Dead Beggars Club mark a return to the sort of monster-chord, giant guiatr pop that would never have been accepted by the masses even two years ago. Oh, time, you fickle mistress. Nice.

THIRD! Muddy Suzuki: puns-a-plenty, PLUS – Prog, buzzsaw punk and lo-fi pop all in the same song. An acheivment.

FINALLY! Honheehonhee, I think, are gently mocking the kind of generic-French noise people who can’t speak French make. I like that. I also like A Is For Animal‘s epic pop:

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 12th January 2011

In a week where we have discovered that all that is needed today to become officially the next big thing is years of stage-schooling, a ton of promo cash, the weight of the whole record industry and an expensive video, let us be thankful that there are still bands plugging away in their garages to make new music.

Quick, divert your attention to the Midweek Mixtape before we’re all forced to get down with the kids to the sound of Jessie J.

FIRST! Mount Fabric sound like they ought to be an 80’s fuzzy-felt animated kids’ TV show, but in Coping With Belief we quickly discover that they are actually an agonisingly lovely epic-rock band, with stratospherically unusual vocals and songs that pan out before you; widescreen, ambitious, dallying with sounds not heard for a long time. Unexpected and exciting.

SECOND! T-Model Ford pushes the concept of ‘new’ beyond its frosty outer limits: the man is 90 years old, for god’s sake. Still, he’s new to me, and probably to anyone within the last three generations, so why use age as an excuse to miss out on his bellowed, rusty old-time blue? Same Old Train is the closest you’re going to get to being transported back 70 years in time this week, at least. Endearingly excellent rough ‘n’ ready grunting.

T-Model Ford // Same Old Train

THIRD! You And Others Around You left me in contorted mental discomfort as I struggled in vain to figure out who they sounded like. Agonised, I listened to their song repeatedly, and it’s a sharp, clever slice of jangly, superior, quirk-pop. Then I remembered, just as I was about to give up, that they sound a bit like The Wedding Present. Which is a good thing.

FOURTH! Crystal Bright and The Silver Hands – and speaking of agony, CB&TSH are the most blatant heart-string tuggers of the week. Little Match Girl is surely the most fragile and overblown; bitter and sweet song that can be produced without the recording studio being ruined by a tsunami of tears. Phew.

FIFTH! The Holidays have made, in Broken Bones, a song which is so airy that it practically bobs past suspended by a helium balloon. It doesn’t though, as that would be ludicrous. An alluring song that makes time slow woozily, it’s accompanied by a pretty smashing video, if you like that kind of thing.