A New Band A Day 2008-2018

Welcome to ANBAD, which celebrated ten years online in April 2018, and is now “resting.” (I’m still jabbering on about music on my radio show and discussing new bands like, oh, I dunno, The Chats, on Twitter.)

However, ANBAD also has over 1200 posts featuring about 1500 artists. Most are buried deeeeep in the blog, rarely seen by human eyes. This seemed a bit unfair, so I randomised the posts and the ones you see below are yanked arbitrarily from the archive for you to explore.

As with anything this old on the internet, some music plugins, hyperlinks, images, formatting – and, frankly, the writing itself – is broken. But even I will begrudgingly admit that randomly looking at ten years of once-new bands is a fascinating glimpse into a very specific time capsule.

I’m as surprised as anyone that this ridiculous and utterly niche music blog has stumbled around online for a decade, surviving all of my attempts to break it, render it defunct, or let it wither on the vine.  So scroll down and read on – and maybe you’ll find some long-forgotten band from 2009 that you’ll love.


 

>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.

Yourfeetstoobig; Direct Competition and Bonus Bands

Someone who works in publishing told me a story of how, back in the early 90’s, one of the UK’s big music magazines gambled and stuck a CD of songs on the front cover.

It was a risky move at the time – CDs were expensive  – but it paid huge dividends, with the magazine shifting record-breaking numbers.

Soon everyone followed suit, and suddenly cover-mount CDs were the norm. Within a few years, the CDs were worthless and used as impromptu coffee-mats nationwide. Generosity has its downsides.

So the forthcoming generosity which will abound on ANBAD will last only a couple of weeks. But for that time, due to an unprecedented new band surplus, a bonus new band will feature every day, at the foot of the main article.

Who knows – you may find the bonus, tacked-on band better than the main one.  Try it for yourself today, and see what happens.

All of which means that Yourfeetstoobig have some sort of competition today. Disregard any thoughts of comparison and listen to the pulsing synth soup of Young Birch.

Whenever I hear songs that loop and throb like this, I always feel as much admiration for the artist’s decision-making skills, as much as I do their musical ability.

Making electronic music involves selecting one option from an infinite number of permutations, and is often as much a series of bold decisions as musical deftness.

Yourfeetstoobig must be a be one of those people who never dithers over the dessert menu, because this song is bold, definite and tough, despite its bubbly synth shimmer. Cute, and steely.

MORE // yourfeetstoobig.bandcamp.com

TODAY’S BONUS NEW BAND: Minks // FIVE WORD SUMMARY: Echo-deck junk pop bliss.

>Today’s New Band – Radio Spectacular PLUS! FEAR! (The)

>

Do you know who’s at number one in the (UK) single charts today? I used to listen to the Top 40 countdown on Radio 1 religiously when I was a callow youth, but who really cares now? To answer the first question – it’s Lily Allen, with her ominously-titled song The Fear.
The song itself is, you know, OK; it’s quite difficult to dislike Lily Allen, and The Fear’s lush, semi-serious pop won’t change that. Anyway, the song further fuels my theory that all British recording artists, after going through the ‘making it big, partying a bit too hard’ phase, suddenly get all introspective and release a song called The Fear.
Pulp, Travis and Ian Brown are all guilty of this, with varying results. Pulp’s stab at it was an atypically glum, downbeat, overly dramatic druggy song from Jarvis’ ill-fated cocaine days; Ian Brown‘s was pretty much the same thing; and Travis‘ doesn’t really bear thinking about.
I can see why writing a song called The Fear is so tempting, conjuring as it does images of Vietnam vets thousand-yard-staring into the distance, sniffing bravely. Pop stars are narcissistic enough to draw parallels between their own boozy miseries and soldiers with post-traumatic stress.
Today’s New Band, Radio Spectacular, wouldn’t write a song about The Fear. They’re not self-absorbed enough, and besides, are too busy writing songs with names like Nina And The Sonic Rainbow to worry about cocaine psychosis.
Writing songs as softly LOUD and exciting as Good To Me probably negates the need for soul-searching. Pounding, detached and yet still enough of a love song to give teenagers enough of an excuse to both kiss and grope on dancefloors, it’ll scrub your brain clean of lethargy, leaving you alert and alive.
You Light Me Up clicks and clacks, finding itself in the spaces in between the sounds. It’s fun enough to make a chorus of “la-a-a-a-a eh-eh-oh” work perfectly. Ghosts and Ghouls isn’t as fiendishly frustrating as the early 90’s video game of almost the same name, but is just as addictive. It’s bouncy, clattering pop with throwaway lyrics like “He thinks he’s really fit, he thinks he’s the shit, the girls are lining up for him,” all over the most insistent rolling piano riff you’ve heard for ages.
Radio Spectacular are from Adelaide, and so may not be touring in my hemisphere any time soon, but my loss is Oceania‘s gain. Based on pure guesswork – which for ANBAD is almost comparable to scientific proof – I’m willing to gamble that their gigs are a riot of pop colour, fun and (hopefully) the aforementioned teenage necking. Get a lovebite with them here!

Organ Morgan, False Memories and Summer All Year Long

The combination of getting older and being in possession of a mind that is hard-wired to remember even the most minor musical trivia forever has it’s flaws, I can tell you.

An example of the mysteries of the human mind: when an email about Organ Morgan* popped into my inbox, the band that pinged into my head was 1999 very-minor-sensation M. Organ, who (briefly) wrote Money Mark-esque ditties on his Hammond Organ, and then disappeared without trace.

When you can’t find someone on Google, you know that either a) times are hard for that artist, or b) your subconscious has made the memory up to make life that bit more complex. Both situations have their own worrying conclusions, and thus Organ Morgan*‘s E-Z Serv, soft-scoop, grab-bag pop is all the more welcome a distraction.

Organ Morgan – Broken Heart

If Broken Heart is a remix of the Spiritualized song of the same name, then he’s done a fine job of removing all of that version’s heroin-misery and replacing it with dreamy, orange-hued pleasure.

In a time when everyone with a laptop and a pirated copy of Fruity Loops is a producer, here’s a man who really knows what he’s doing, sculpting outrageously lovely songs with the finesse of someone who’s spent their whole life immersed in great songs.

Morgan Organ*‘s dreamy, skittering, summertime songs will inevitably draw comparisons with The Avalanches, but how can that be a bad thing? And apparently, he’s made a 26-track, alphabetically-themed album. This man might be my hero. A warm, golden delight. Expect big things.

www.myspace.com/organmorganmusic

*NB: Organ Morgan is now know as Channel Swimmer: www.channelswimmer.com

>Today’s New Band – Rob St. John PLUS! Glumness! And more glumness!

>It goes without saying that It’s Grim Up North this time of year. In fact, it’s been grim up here for pretty much the whole of this year, but let’s not dwell on that now, in case the uncontrollable weeping starts again. When this particularly northern grimness overwhelms one’s soul, there are only two viable musical courses of action.

Firstly, the default option of Just Cheer The Hell Up, Saddo, which is initiated by the liberal application of Gabber (thanks, Holland), or spinning a couple of BONKERS! Happy Hardcore CDs (preferably in a souped-up Vauxhall Nova), or maybe just the sensible option of listening to Happy by the Stones.

That option is diversion therapy of sorts, and an entirely normal approach to life. Well, except maybe listening to Gabber, which I believe is usually seen these days by doctors as a diagnosis of mental illness. The second option is just to wallow in that miserablism and just luxuriate in that gloominess. Don’t knock it – Morrissey got two whole careers out of doing just that.

Inevitably, this brings us to Today’s New Band. I’m sure that Rob St. John are actually an entirely upbeat bunch, and their hobbies may well include gaily skipping through fields, making daisy chains and excitedly squealing whilst feeding baby animals, but their music is glummer than listening to Leonard Cohen reading Kurt Cobain‘s diaries out loud. (Note to self – patent that idea double-quick, there’s big money to be made there)

Kurt said there was a “comfort in being sad”, and that lovely, skewed approach permeates Rob St’ John‘s songs. Paper Ships is six-minutes of desolate sadness which also manages to be warm, gentle and uplifting despite the seemingly end-of-world feeling. A Red Heron is as close to upbeat as the band gets – tinkling sweetly like a music box, and slowly growing into a big, black, campfire song.

Rob St. John might just cheer you up, if you need it, or they might make you feel more gloomy than before. Whichever outcome, your soul’ll be stirred, and that is a rare thing indeed. Listen here, and then come back tomorrow, when everything will be much less miserable, I promise.

Asa Milbankx: Aside, Asunder

Shoddily, ANBAD has not been updated for a day or two – more than a minor misdemeanour for a blog with a rod-for-your-own-back title such as this one.

Mere laziness, for once, is not to blame; unusually, ANBAD has hitched its wagon to something interesting, and is heading down to SXSW in Texas to help hinder progress in constructing the monumentally exciting Hype Machine’s Hype Hotel.

Some wags may point out that being involved in an event like this is, in itself, exactly the wrong reason not to blog about new bands. Well, yes, indeed.

But here’s a rearguard-action post about Asa Milbankx – a new band formed from bits of older bands that has made a song, in Angry Sun, that is deftly endearing and sunnily brilliant.

(MORE here, BTW: mountvalley.net/mv/?p=229)

 

This new-band-from-the-dregs-of-another point is of huge importance. One of the chief attributes that I find in the new-new bands is their rawness; their greenness revealing old traits in wholly new ways.

When a new band is formed from another – if only as a side project, like this – everything changes. And so it proves with Asa Milbankx’s lithe, hypnotic effort; a song that worms its way into your mind beguilingly and lingers coquettishly.

The song is beautiful in almost every way. Part of me wants to advise you to force yourself not to listen now, and to save it for summertime, where it will soundtrack lazy, hot days.  But that would just be rude.

MORE: soundcloud.com/asamilbankx

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 1st February 2012

A curtailed Midweek Mixtape this week, due to the fact that living out of a rucksack is not conducive to the Peak Music Bloggery™ that we have all come to expect/long for on ANBAD.

So, this week features less poking fun at Blur bassists, and more moving quickly on to the new bands.

Oh, OK then, there’s still room for a picture of Alex James looking foolish.

MIXTAPE:

FIRST! You’d kind-of hope Hernia were a gut-bustin’ Sludge/Doom Metal band, and when Welcome To The Empire begins with a sample of, er, Hitler, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were in luck. However, thankfully, it turns out Hernia actually produce lead-heavy craze-drone-trudge-rock, and I’m more than happy with that.


SECOND! Seeing as I’m in Brooklyn, it might be useful to feature a BKNY band: and lo, Town Hall are they. They make the kind of folk music I thought only existed in 15th century Somerset, but what do I know? Breezy, but close.


THIRD! Debt Collector has been on ANBAD, but there’s always a chance of another bite of this particular cherry, and when you produce low-key, lo-fi wobbly misery-pop songs like A=II (The Organics Vs. The Mechanicals), it makes it easy for me to ride slipshod over ANBAD’s “rules”.

>Today’s New Band – Ivan Campo PLUS! Killing wildlife!

>There have been a few songs that, on the first hearing, the sudden realisation that what I was listening to was so good, so head-spinningly wonderful, so new, that I’ve stopped whatever I’m doing just to listen, in a happy music-coma. Off the top of my head, five of the songs that have lead to this are:

Temptation by New Order
Common People by Pulp
Bigmouth Strikes Again by The Smiths
I Love You ‘Cause I Have To by Dogs Die in Hot Cars
Leg End In His Own Boots by Ned’s Atomic Dustbin

OK, the last one’s a joke. But the rest are about right. When I first heard Temptation, I had to rewind the tape after three minutes because I’d enjoyed it so much, and I couldn’t wait to get to the end to hear it again. I was driving through country lanes when I heard I Love You ‘Cause I Have To, and after almost distractedly running over a pheasant, had to pull over to safely drum along on the steering wheel.

I’m willing to pin the blame for such rank behavioural idiocy onto the dizzying qualities of such stupendously good music. Therefore, perhaps A New Band A Day should have a small yellow and black warning sign, similar to ones in factories that say ‘Do not operate this machinery under the influence of alcohol’.

Today’s New Band, Ivan Campo, might not make your car hurtle towards game birds, but – WARNING – foot tapping may spontaneously occur. They’re named after the impressively-curly-haired footballer who has played for wildly differing teams. There are not many players who have pulled on the shirts of Real Madrid and Bolton Wanderers.

In this respect the band share some similarity with the man, as their songs are sweetly cute one minute (The Curse), and breezily folky the next (The Lotus Eater). Darling Diva is a rambling love song that takes the musical equivalent of a happy stroll down a beach with its loved one, but as the song is punctuated with the bleeping of a digital watch, it occurs that something isn’t quite as rosy as it seemed – “Something just doesn’t quite add up/I smell a rat…”

Ivan Campo‘s band logo is a bastardisation of the one for Malibu rum. Despite coming from dreary Preston, their sound is also summery, warm and intoxicating. Mmmm, easy-going. Listen here!

Painting By Numbers

Any seasoned new band listener will tell you that the phrase ‘post-rock’ sets the alarm bells ringing. The phrase ‘experimental post-rock outfit’ will raise anxiety levels to a point where playing a CD of something deeply bland and morbidly inoffensive (Coldplay’s X&Y, twice a day, with meals) is the only cure.

It’s not that post-rock is so bad per se, it’s just that the genre is rarely done justice, and often serves as an outlet for failed jazz musicians – individuals so self indulgent that even a major terrorist incident couldn’t interrupt their 27-minute freeform clarinet solo.

So throwing ‘Improv’ into that mix might cause actual coronary mishap. Faint hearted readers, brace yourselves. But – guess what? – Painting By Numbers have made an EP of Improv-Experimental-Post-Rock and made it enjoyable.

This is a feat in itself, so listen to Conceal Confine Tentative once to just get over the wave of relief that it’s a good song, and then listen again to appreciate the off-kilter rhythms, sneaky poly-handclaps, grubby bass and shonky guitar.

Painting By NumbersConceal Confine Tentative

Post-rock songs always build, almost by definition, so Conceal Confine Tentative is no exception, but it does it in a series of frisky steps, not the long drone that so many lazily plump for. This approach turns the song into a casual, Sunday-morning browse through a series of charming song snippets.

Half way through, it almost trips lightly into a poppy guitar riff. We are experiencing dizzying times in the Post-Rock world, my friends. Painting By Numbers deserve, at least, a raised eyebrow of appreciation.

Bestival 2011: The Bands, Et Cetera

In this final post on Bestival, we finally get around to addressing the bands that were actually playing. You know, the reason we were there in the first place.

The variety was bewildering, broad and mostly enviable: witness Public Enemy rubbing shoulders with Brian Wilson; DJ Shadow with Boys Noize; awful Adele dubstep remixes with awful Adele Drum ‘n’ Bass remixes.

Out of bloody-mindedness, the following article is presented in a series of notes and bullet points.

THE NEW BANDS:

Yuck proved to be all you’d hope for in a young, new band – bright, noisy, carefree and juggling a handful of good tunes. Most bands struggle after being the bloggers’-flavour-of-the-month band, but Yuck seem to be dealing with it in the right way: heads down, performing their throwaway lo-fi songs, waiting for the hype to pass.

They’re also a band who are about as impressive as you’d expect in the flesh: there were few surprises, but what they did do was, at the least, very pleasant.

Old ANBAD alumni D/R/U/G/S was everywhere: playing the Red Bull stage – not once, but twice, and cropping up with a live set on Bestival Radio; he’d probably set up his samplers in your tent for a modest fee.

Cal from D/R/U/G/S has evolved his sound and his set was a loud, swirling journey through house music – albeit one which still found room for old favourites like Love/Lust. The new material he played bodes very well for the future.

Islet have a wardrobe apparently entirely culled from charity shops. I like that. Their soundcheck took surprisingly long for a small band: a sign that the band takes their sound seriously. I don’t mind that so much, but when the band began there was a strange disconnect between these ears and the band themselves.

Islet’s sound is an intricate, obtuse one – one that I usually enjoy – but this time, the chorus-less, verse-less songs seemed to be too obtuse, too testing and too angular for their own good.

I hate to criticise a band that I admire, but when you get the feeling the performers are having more fun than the audience, it’s time to go and buy another agonisingly expensive, lukewarm cider from the bar. I’m chalking this gig up as an inevitable blip in an upward trajectory.

THE OLD BANDS, bullet pointed for convenience:

  • PJ Harvey was devastatingly good, playing brilliant songs from across her career with style and panache. FACT: She has the best-dressed band in rock.
  • Primal Scream‘s attempt to perform the whole of Screamadelica was bold – brave, even -but ultimately flawed. The opening track, Movin’ On Up, ought to be a transcendental rock moment: instead it was a murky pub-rock cover version, and the set peaked – but also troughed – from that point.
  • Boys Noize, whose name was amusingly altered to ‘Boys Booze’ by my phone’s auto-correct function, played a near-endless set of thumping, slightly camp house, which may not have been perfect, but was a lot of fun at 3am.
  • Jacques Lu Cont was the best DJ amongst the clutch of big names in the Pete Tong-curated evening in the Bollywood Tent. The vibe was happy, non-aggressive and contrasted strongly with the mood at any of the crowds at the many dubstep DJ gigs.
  • Bjork was clearly brilliant, as per usual, but the new material was clearly not suited to a festival stage, and when she admitted as such, I drifted away in wait for….
  • DJ Shadow, who appeared before a mic looking like Fred Durst’ cerebral older brother, and spoke some brief, nice words about what he was about to do, before disappearing into a huge sphere onto which an incredibly clever visual show was projected whilst he cut and scratched inside. Excellent.
  • Diplo was all dip and no zip, redundantly bellowing pantomime call-and-response into a microphone for a very long hour.
  • Kelis proved how not to endear yourself to a largely ambivalent crowd when she idly mentioned after her first song that she was “not here for you guys” and was “only here to pleasure myself”, which, amusingly unintentional innuendo aside, immediately alienated a large portion of the crowd, who muttered darkly and audibly, and then slunk away.

The latter two acts described aside, the music is always on an equal footing – and dependant on – the quality of the festival it is being performed at. On both these counts, Bestival is so far ahead of the pack, it’s almost silly.

Friendly, happy, and awash with brilliant bands, clever arenas and colourful surroundings, it’s hardly a surprise that artists are keen to play, and that 50,000 punters are prepared to queue for the hovercraft to get there.

Bestival is setting the pace and leaving the rest in its rainbow-coloured, glitter-infused dust.