Radio Show // January’s Top Five Bands!

Such was the hustle and bustle in ANBAD towers at the turn of the year – with the relaunch of the website causing both sleep and hair loss – that the fine array of ace new bands almost got forgotten. Well, almost – they nearly became overlooked but the day’s fiftieth cup of coffee brought them back into sharp, lovely focus.

So here’s January’s Top Five New Bands in handy radio-show format, complete with song clips and gushing praise in between. Revel in its wonky, shambling glory:

ANBAD RADIO SHOW // January’s Top Five New Bands

And, if that whetted your appetite, here’s more info on these award-winning bands:


Sissy and The Blisters

Hyacinth Girl

Organ Morgan

Joensuu 1685

Congratulations to them, one and all. More great bands, naturally, next month.

>November’s Top Five New Bands!

>Statement of Fact: November was the best month of bands that have featured on ANBAD ever.

In fairness, this is what I conclude every month, and so is either indicative of:

  1. the ever increasing quality of featured new bands (a good thing)
  2. the ever increasing distance between reality and my grasp onto it (not so good)

Here’s hoping for the former, eh, readers? However you look at it, there were a bundle of brilliant bands in November, with a possibly record number given the coveted ‘ANBAD Actual Brilliance’ tag.

So, without further ado, here’s:

November’s Top Five New Bands:

Kria Brekken – We said: “deft, dreamy, gorgeous; chiming with children’s voices, and pulsing with the heartbeats of imaginary animals…”

Young Fathers – We said: “a brilliant, jerky 8-bit-hip-hop-disco melt-up of their own design, so happy and bright that your speakers will leak egg-yellow sunshine.”

Stained Glass Heroes – We said: “if Stained Glass Heroes are the musical accompaniment to the apocalypse, I for one will enjoy my senseless killing and pillaging rampage just that little bit more.” NB: This one might need to be read in context...

And November’s Top New Band was:

Ahem. Well, it was going to be Wild Palms, who are just so brilliant, I can hardly stand it; and then it was going to be I Was A King, whose Norman Bleik is so addictive I whistled it non-stop for a week. So reach for the tweezers while I drop my trousers: this fence-sitting has produced the first ever joint-winners of the coveted November’s Top New Band award:

Wild Palms – We said: “the punctuation-mocking ……Over…..Time….. is an odd, angular swirl riddled with awkwardness and a chopping guitar sound of real beauty.”

Wild Palms – …Over…Time…

I Was A King – We said: “They meld icy Scandinavian sweetness, duvet-cosy feedback and (whisper it) Britpop choruses to form their own musical fjord. Cleverer than you’ll initially give it credit for, sadder than you’d dare hope…”

I Was A King – Norman Bleik

And so that was November. Here comes December, Christmas, and the inevitable deluge of End Of Year Lists. Brace yourself for an endless glut of anally-ordered, hopelessly-ranked and indeterminable Top Tens. And yes, ANBAD will be joining in. Hooray!

>October’s Top Five New Bands!

Ah, October, the month that plays merry sartorial havoc with outergarment selection. On the first day of the year that pulling on the goose-down lined half-coat/half-duvet for the first time seems like the correct, mother-pleasing thing to do, warmth and sun inevitably follow.

Likewise, after donning a flimsy cagoule the next day, the wind and rain lash cruelly. October, you cannot compensate for such mischievousness with mere orange leaves, you know.

Luckily for us, October’s new bands actually tried to cheer us up – a typically motley crew of the good, the weird and the grouchy (see # 1 for more).

So, in no particular order:

Nutrition On Tape – ANBAD said: “Nutrition On Tape‘s music is a jabbering, eddying salute to the last 30 years’ pop music. Songs waft in through the window and tickle your ears: tomorrow today. Clever, bright and alive.”

Ace Bushy Striptease – ANBAD said: “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”

Swing Youth – ANBAD said: “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.”

We Aeronauts – ANBAD said: “We Aeronauts are charmers: intelligent, educated and talented. If you met them in a bar, you’d ask them out on a date.”

And October’s Best New Band Is…

Egyptian Hip HopANBAD said: “The drummer wore a swine-flu face mask. The band swapped instruments for each song. No smiles were cracked at any point. They were so androgynous, they may have been bred in giant petri dishes.”

Listen, we thought we’d hate them too, especially after everything we were told about them. But they’re great – a band whose crafty creativity is equalled by the sheer bulk of hair balancing on their heads.

So congratulations Egyptian Hip Hop! Not that they’ll be pleased – even if the slenderest of smiles form on their faces, they won’t be seen though the fringes. The grumpy so-and-so’s.

>September’s Top Five New Bands!

I received a moderately angry email from a reader, haranguing me along these lines:

Joe, I was prepared to ignore your lack of organisation over the summer while you were living in a tent, but you’ve now been back over a month, so there’s no excuse for the absence of the round-up of September’s Top Five Bands. Sort it out, idiot; chop chop.

OK, it wasn’t an email at all, but the shrieking sound of my guilty conscience. So, belatedly, here are September’s best bands in no particular order:

Robert George Saull & The Purgatory Players – We said: “Their songs are sung in a manner suggesting an interest in the quixotic and sung using words that almost have the wrong meaning, but not quite. It is recorded by young men in very normal clothing from the north of England.”

Golau Glau – We said: “A dreamy clatter, hissing angrily and throbbing with monster synth stabs, over vocals that vanish into the swirl.”

Balún – We said: Balún have realised that technology is only useful if the intent behind that use is carefully measured, and in songs like Minumina have produced small bubbles of quivering delicacy; bubbles ready to burst under the weight of their frivolity.”

Shark? – We? Said?: “Songs like these leave nothing else on which to ponder: superb grimy garage-rock, with the added benefit of 30-odd years’ hindsight.”

And September’s Best New Band is:

Run DMT – We said:Run DMT are daring, imaginative and downright bizarre. Their songs sound like they were born after some sort of perverse musical DNA-splicing experiments, or if your iPod could separate individual sounds from a million songs and then shuffle-play ten of them at once.”

Run DMT are worthy winners indeed – flexible, awkward and, dare I say it, avant-garde: well worth ten minutes of anyone’s time.

And speaking of time, I promise that the round-up for this month will be published when it should be. Honest gov’nor.

>May’s Top Five New Bands!

>In a month where the world has apparently readjusted it’s collective taste-barometer to read ‘Crazy’ and decided that SuBo is actually Elvis, Billie Holliday and Jesus all rolled into one big, hairy, overwhelmed package, perhaps listing May’s Top Five Bands is a moot point. Listing Susan Boyle in places 1-5 would not be the most inexplicable thing to do right now.

However, it’s been a corker of a month on ANBAD, with as dizzying and bewildering an array of great new bands as there’s ever been. So we’re bravely going to avoid placing any frumpy Scottish singers and list the Top 5, in no particular order:

Everything Everything – We said: Everything Everything are now getting the radio play they’ve deserved for a while, and this is purely because they’re punchy, innovative and crafty. Lovely.”

Apple EyesWe said: “Their song Wild Beasts stands out by a country mile; a song of rare invention, an evolution of ideas and a candyfloss chorus on top…it’s an example of making a song that is more than the sum of its parts.”

Pouff – We said: “Happier than Happy Hardcore, dumber than a bus-full of Premiership footballers and as springy as a pile of mattresses. Deliriously daft FUN.

5 Turns 25 – We said: “They make music that is almost beyond ambient – only one step beyond the sound of a band warming up, and one step behind true coherency. Yum yum yum.”

And a huge, hairy, SuBo-scented congratulations to May’s Best New Artist, who was:

Beth Jeans Houghton We said: “Her songs are what synesthesiacs hear when they are bathed in glorious orange sunlight – unnervingly warm, bright and cosy. Taking sweet and gentle folk music and skewering it with shards of crackling weirdness, her songs clasp you softly, albeit with a worryingly firm grip. A wonderful discovery.”

See? A great month of new bands. And not even a hint of Oh-Look-The-Fat-Ugly-Lady-Can-Sing-Like-A-Normal-Person condescension. Vote BethHo, not SuBo!

>April’s Top Five New Bands!

>April, according to Disney, should have been full of drip-drip-dripping showers. Not here in grim old Manchester, which defied type and, in what was clearly a crazed moment of weakness, allowed 100%-genuine, Vitamin-B-giving, skin-frazzling sunshine through the usually oppressive grey skies.

Inevitably, the shedding of clothes, optimism and a sunny disposition followed, and this feeling was reflected in another ace month of great new bands here on ANBAD.

If the following reviews seem a trifle breathless and joyful, it wasn’t just the weather – this month we dug up a surprising number of exciting, uplifting and inventive bands. So here’s the TOP FIVE BANDS IN APRIL (in no particular order, natch):

Tijuana Panthers We said: Tijuana Panthers might well be one of the most lovable bands to have popped up on A New Band A Day. Songs like Girls Gone Wild isn’t the sluts ‘n’ tits-fiesta that the title might suggest, but has the feel of an early 60’s teen-beat sensation band, with knowing lyrics and dreamy pop sensibilities. It’s sexy and cute.”

Nevada Base We said: “Nevada Base are lithe and venomous; smooth but barbed. Their songs creep and crawl to places that you, and I imagine, they, weren’t sure of. They’re a slippery electro-eel. You’ll see.”

NowWe said: “Now are defiantly unusual, not attempting to cater to any specific audience, not caring what others think. It’s the good side of the generic “we make music we like and if anyone else likes it, it’s a bonus” rock interview cliché.”

Standard FareWe said: “Their song, Dancing, is wonderful – soaring stratospherically, moping glumly, sunnily alive; economical, bright, true. Lovely.”


Not really a band, but a brilliant artist. He’s Mat Riviere, and we said: “He writes songs that seem almost too simple and slender to contain such wonderful refrains; choruses swell uncontrollably with a sad exuberance. Most bands can’t do choruses. Mat Riviere doesn’t seem to have enough songs to fit them all in. Maybe he can sell them.”

So congratulations Mata worthy winner. More great bands coming up this month, guaranteed – so KEEP IT LOCKED, as they say on local radio.

>March’s Top 5 New Bands!

>There was no ‘Best Of’ list for February. No, we can’t work out why either. It’s safest to lie and brag that here at ANBAD, we don’t play by your insignificant ‘rules’, but truthfully, I think it just got forgotten. Sorry, February’s bands.

Still, March was a typical mind-boggling mix of bands – though if anything, they were almost all left-field to the point of alienation. It’s, like, just where we’re at right now, man. Left-field sounds are risky, pleasing fewer people, but when it’s done right, everyone’s a winner. And these following five bands can all consider themselves winners. Except that one is labelled as March’s Best New Band, which kind of makes the other four almost-winners. Here’s the list:

We All Inherit The Moon – We said: “Zen, calm, relaxo-therapy – call it what you want. We All Inherit The Moon‘s music is balm for your mind, soothing like a big hug. Like vines crawling over an old building, their songs will slowly grab you, and you won’t want to be freed…”

Gold Panda – We said: Gold Panda dips his hands into God’s Black Binliner of Music, pulls out the scraps most people would leave behind, and forces them to coagulate into something smooth, soft and surprising. A bit like a deep-fried Mars Bar.”

Alan MX – We said: “A wet finger in the ear of drab musical ordinariness – his music is skewed, restrained, and new. “

Akira – We said: 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. “


Micachu And The Shapes – We said: “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 worthy winners in anyone’s book. They’ll be all over your radio soon, so remember where you heard them first…

Coming in April: ANBAD’s birthday celebrations! We are 1!

>ANBAD Band Clear-Out Special Day Two! (Or is it three? Not sure)

>Good grief. I hope you recovered from the shock of all those bands on Tuesday. Assuming you did, here’s Part Two of the snappily-titled Great A New Band A Day Bands Stockpile Clearout! (See Tuesday’s post if you’re none the wiser)

And today, in semi-reference to the South By South West festival taking place, all the bands are from the USA! Thematic-tastic! Hey! Ho! Let’s Go!

The Steps – Not the hellish late-90’s novelty disco-pop-gone-bad multi-million selling quintet, but the gusty rock behemoth-to-be from Austin, Texas. They grind out dinosaur-wrestlin’ rawk songs that will punch you in the face, steal your wallet and then invite you to join them in a round of drinks bought with the money. And you’d say yes.

Leisure Pills
– Dreamy, easy-going, driving, rock (Note: not Driving Rock, which is an altogether different, awful, beast). You can actually hear that they’re from the west coast of America. The audio equivalent of lying on your back and looking up at the clouds.

Kill Cupid – Almost entirely made of demented rock crashing noise, Kill Cupid are brash, loud and excitable. Their songs might not deal with one’s inner turmoil, or ruminate on humanity’s place in the universe, but they can, like, totally produce some ace riff-o-rama songs that demand heads to banged and pits to be moshed.

Shenandoah Davis – The antidote to the masculine, testosterone-drenched excess of the previous bands, Shenandoah Davis writes gentle, uncoiling, happy songs that engage, delight and swoon. Songs like Up And Over are soaring, twinkling gems; beautiful, fragile and calm. Bold and sweet, her songs tell intriguing stories, or fragmented tales, or whispers from inside her mind. Highly recommended.

Phew! Four more bands – that’s nine this week now. Have a nice lie down now. You deserve it. We know we do. Remember – things’ll return to normal on Monday when we get back from sunning ourselves abroad. See you next week!

>ANBAD – On Holiday, Offers Crumbs

>Yesterday was the start of the Great A New Band A Day Band Stockpile Clearout – where the list of great bands that had backed up gets a good sluice out. If you missed it, check it RIGHT OUT below – there’s four great bands that’ll melt your mind, mop it up, wring it out into a glass, and drink it.

Time is needed for all those bands to be digested properly. So here’s something to read whilst you do it: The ANBAD eBook – 2! It’s chock-packed with the best writing, the best bands and the best* puns that could be crowbarred into music reviews.

Perfect for all occasions – but mainly for reading on the toilet. Hooray!

The Band Clearout continues tomorrow!

*worst, clearly

>ANBAD Band Clear-Out Special Day One!

>We’ve decided to elope on holiday for a few days, taking a well-earned* break somewhere in continental Europe where the weather isn’t so determinedly grey and lifeless. Super. I’ll bring you back a straw donkey and a foul-tasting obscure foreign liquor.

*barely deserved

It also gives us an opportunity to demolish the ANBAD New Bands Stockpile – the depository of bands that are on the list to be featured on the website, but haven’t yet. This is due to the fact that we find more new bands we’re desperate to feature than we have days to write about them. And to think that when we started this we were worried that we wouldn’t be able to find enough.

So, today brings you a whole load of new bands. Don’t ever say we don’t care about you.

Interlard – Frankly, with a name as brilliantly stupid as this, I have no idea why they weren’t featured sooner. Interlard make loud, soft, mind-shredding noise that soothes and smashes your poor, fragile human bones at the same time. Lovely, worrying and dangerously hypnotic.

The Guilty – Crashing, quirky, clattering quasi-punk that throws in synths just when you don’t expect them. They’ve got a knack for niggling melodies, nagging choruses and high energy (not Hi-NRG).

Futuristic Retro Champions – Oxymoronic name: check. Soft, fun ‘n’ sensuous synth-y songs: present and correct. Sweetly feminine pop songs of the like that there aren’t enough of in your life: in spades. Another lovely band from the steady stream of bands trickling out of Scotland. Shimmery, electro, unlikely, lovable. Great!

DJ White Noise – Collector of today’s Most Appropriate Name Award, DJ White Noise uses all those bits of the sonic spectrum that most people try to keep out of their songs. It’ the audio equivalent of soup-making with the chicken carcass and left-over veg – and with similarly tasty results. Throbbing, inventive and gently looping. A subtle treat.

Now that’s service! Four tip-top quality bands in one day! Are we setting standards of service that we’ll never be able to maintain? Oh, we don’t care – we’re eating tapas in Madrid. More tomorrow!