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.


 

ANBAD’S BEST NEW BANDS OF 2012: NUMBERS 5, 4 & 3

ANBAD is running through the best new bands of the year. For explanation of why and howclick here.

Yikes, we’re rattling through the Top 10 now, aren’t we? If you missed the fascinating and fabulous artists that made up numbers 10 – 6, check them out first, because there are definitely some new bands you won’t want to miss, honest guv.

Once you’re down to the final five, as we are now, the margins get both tighter (why is Band X in second place two spots better than Band Y in fourth?) but also, in a weird way, the choices get easier – some of these next five bands were simply heads, arms and torso above their nearest peers.

Of course, like the X Factor, I’m spinning out the countdown as much as possible. The winner of the moderately-coveted #1 spot will be revealed on Saturday, by the way.

But today, here’s fifth, fourth and third best new band of 2012. They’re all – and this is actual honesty now – brilliant.

ANBAD’S BEST NEW BANDS OF 2012: NUMBERS 5, 4 & 3

5 – Aeirs TV –  ANBAD said then: “the act of extracting rhythm, repetition and – yes – groove from a slim selection of radio buzz, electrical humming and insistent, warped cries. A rare delight for some, and pure pain for others – just as it should be.”

ANBAD says now: Still slightly bewitching, slightly hypnotic but still brilliantly minimal and terrifyingly lean. It’ll still divide opinions, but this is the kind of soft, demanding and insistant techno that this writer, at least, loves.

 

4 – Blonde Bunny – ANBAD said then: How Do You Cope, Hope?  flits between reference points so subtly that everyone is, at least, convinced that listening further is a good idea. This is a song of technical and sonic brilliance, but, crucially, treads that laser-thin line between brilliant and nonsense with consummate ease. And the song has a false ending. Perfect.”

ANBAD says now: Still swirling and all-encompassing; still careful and overblown, here’s a song that deserves a spin from everyone, simply because everyone will find something to love in it.

Overlong, overwrought and over-theatrical – these are the highest compliments I can pay. Excellent.

 

3 – Chris Devotion – ANBAD said then: “[this is a] tasty, up-and-at-’em rock  song  A Modest Refusal – the type of song that doesn’t get written often enough, with a howl-along chorus, a genuinely anthemic feel, and the kind of gosh-darn perfect chord changes that make grown men leap about with joy.”

ANBAD says now: I’ve been humming this song all year, and spontaneously breaking out into the chorus whilst walking along the street.

Actually, I’ve also I’ve whistled it whilst at the urinal. I’ve bellowed it in the shower. Do you need another reason?

>Today’s New Band – hntrhntr

>Categorisation – one of the many concepts that send the more humourless rock star into paroxysms of righteous anger – “We don’t want to be pigeon-holed, maaan,” they cry, whilst continuing to grind out a single style of music for the whole of their careers. Most record shops, though, bravely risk the wrath of these tortured rock ‘n’ roll artists, and go ahead and categorise CDs willy-nilly.

This is done mainly out of kindness, to make it all very easy for those of us who are not mouthbreathing morons to steer clear of the Best Mum in the World…Ever! CDs in the ‘Cds For Cretins’ section. Often though, even the most astute of the shop owners will struggle to categorise the bands that are so wilfully obtuse that you will often find a resulting ‘Just Noise!!!!!!’ section, usually just after the ‘Experimental Bolivian Dub’ niche.

This is probably where you’d find Today’s New Band, Hntrhntr – a band whose love of breakneck schizo freak-out noise-mageddon is only matched by their hatred of vowels. The truly lovely thing about this kind of music is that is entirely polarises opinion – no-one ‘kind of’ likes it. You’ll either find the short, frankly bonkers, songs on their MySpace page such as brth and ptchbtch to be ZOMG!!! AWESOME!!! or ZOMG!!! WTF!!!, with little room for intellectual maneuver. brth sounds like what you’d hear if you were mummified in custard whilst being beaten to death with spanners, and cmblst is what it would sound like if you suddenly fell into a space-time wormhole and found youself 4 miles above Jupiter, descending rapidly through sulphur clouds.

They’re headpoundingly brilliant, blasting your ears with sounds from your worst/best nightmares – and you’ll decide whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing within about 10 seconds.

>Today’s New Band – Liechtenstein

>It says much for the depths of resolve in the human psyche that, even when presented with an entirely stressful situation – like, say, moving house – it’s approached with delightfully optimistic naivety. “Surely this time, it’ll all be one, smooth, graceful procedure,” you muse, gingerly lifting the first of many boxes.

So, by the end of the process, how did I end up exhausted, aching, soaked through with rain, and sitting in a strange pub with a shellshocked look on my face? Having blanked out the preceding 48 traumatic hours, even I can’t answer that question. Sat in the pub, finally facing the light at the end of the tunnel, the Pub Jukebox God found time to play one final sick joke.

As the white stress-noise in my ears abated, it was gradually replaced by one that actually made my laugh at the sheer cruelty of it all. That noise was Katie Melua‘s cover of What A Wonderful World, a version so will-sappingly horrible that all who hear it must surely respond with the question, “But is it really?”

Today’s New Band actually is wonderful, and charming, and gutsy to boot. They’re Liechtenstein, and are probably already more exciting than their namesake country.

While Roses In The Park owes a little to Jesus and Mary Chain, it’s no generic copy – instead it uses the sparseness of the production to hoist the very lovable vocals high and to the fore. As a result, a throwaway chorus becomes a fine, sweet harmony to sit alongside the guitar’s rumbling chime. Apathy summons up enough interest to craft a gentle, lilting song; tranquilised, calm and detached. Stalking Skills sashays with the slink and guile that only women really posses.

Liechtenstein are strangely timeless, winningly female, pleasingly self-believing and have the coolly disconnected nature you’d hope for in a bunch of talented, attractive women. Great – listen here!

True Gents – Pastoralised

ANBAD provides a patchy service at the best of times, and yet often when the going gets tough (or at least, less regular than the “A Day” part of the blog’s title indicates), I find that I end up picking the most obtuse music of all.

(That said, that method worked wonders in January, resulting in perhaps the best month of music on ANBAD ever)

So, in the interest of balance, stillness and zen, maybe it’s time to reset the Oddball-Music-Meter back to zero and clear out the Ludicrous Japanese Juke House Sluices.

And how better than some pastoral Scottish folk music? True Gents craft – yes, craft – glorious, coiling and blossoming songs that positively scream of sunshine and warmth, which is something to cling to on cold days like these.

 

Honeycomb Heart is a nice bit of imagery in itself, and the song is beautifully succinct in its intent: happy, loving and friendly. There are no washes of vintage synths, nothing is drenched in reverb and at absolutely no point during the song do you get the feeling that the bassist is thinking if his haircut looks just so.

If nothing else, these are reasons enough to love Honeycomb Heart, but really, you’ll not need reasons: the song is a joy to behold.

MORE: thetruegents.co.uk

>The ANBAD Time Machine – June 08!

>Whirring into action again, the ANBAD Time Machine has stopped today in June 2008, and now we’re going to hop out and mess up the future by drugging and beating up with our past selves, a bit like in the brilliant Primer.

Before all those butterfly-effect shenanigans take place, enjoy these great bands, some of which were discovered on a Roadtrip-style gimmick.

FACT: One of the bands, Paul Hawkins and Thee Awkward Silences has written of the best songs we’ve ever heard, ever ever. So what are you waiting for? Get stuck into the best bands from June 08!

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.

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 20th June 2012

Another week, another nugget of Alex James From Blur news: this time it’s news that Fat Les, his 1998 World Cup spin-off ‘project’, is reforming without their bassline wrangler extraordinaire.

This is clearly a mindless decision. How will Keith Allen even begin to cope?

ANBAD’s campaign to Reinstate Alex James In Fat Les starts here!

MIXTAPE:

FIRST! Starlight Girls channel the eeriness of  disused fairground ghost-trains, and 50’s shoop-shoop pop songs into their gently freaky pop.

This is the kind of music that could, and perhaps should, soundtrack Burlesque sideshows and Freakshow extravaganzas all over the land.

 

SECOND! Straight-up guitar music usually gets short shrift here on ANBAD. It’s not the guitarist’s fault, you understand. It’s just that, well, it always works out that way. Mind you, ANBAD doesn’t have a lot of Kenyan music either – so here’s Arnavah to redress two balances at once. Guitar lullaby-pop that is almost lighter than air.

 

THIRD! Beatroot crowbar “Latin, African, Caribbean, funk, soul, hiphop and rock… records, movie soundtracks, dancehall themes, 1950s surf tunes, fanfares and cheerleading chants” into their cut ‘n’ paste hip-skank-pop songs. Just think how long picking the samples must take. Yikes.

 

FOURTH! ANBAD is always, always swayed by odd names, and so Raven Fur had me at “Raven Fur”. Fortunately Saline is a crumbly, distressed lo-fi crunch through fields of oddness.

>Today’s New Band – Crocodiles

>Has summer come or is this just a very warm, pleasant dream? Manchester, home of the grey sky, fine drizzle and more grey sky, has been bathing in glorious sunshine for the past few days. My fair skin has celebrated by turning an appropriately fiesta-hued red, but I don’t care. Sun is such a rarity in this part of the world that I’d be happy if I turned purple (and at this rate, that might just happen).

You might not expect a song called I Wanna Kill to be a summery, shimmering blast of jangly garage rock, but it is. Today’s New Band, Crocodiles, find a musical space between The Ronettes and Jesus And Mary Chain, and occupy it with swathes of feedback, echo and in-yer-face lethargy.

Proving that aggressive titles are clearly their forte, Summer Of Hate furthers Crocodiles’ pared-down rock ethos. They can make lines like “Pray that you’ll come round and scratch out my eyes” sound like sleepy, daydreaming wish-fulfilment.

Soft Skull and Screaming Chrome walk different paths around the same noise-rock mountain. The destination is the same too – songs that radiate both danger and warmth. The soundtrack to a relaxing day on the beach or drug-fuelled paranoia, or both. Listen to Crocodiles here!

Black Polygons: How Lo Can You Go?

With the truculent ascendency of bands like Yuck, suddenly good old-fashioned Lo-Fi is a valid and admired musical art form again.

Yuck’s pleasantly crunchy and malformed rock is Lo-Fi in its traditional form, albeit one with a little more PR push than I’d imagine Pavement had at this stage in their careers.

But Lo-Fi doesn’t hold exactly the same meaning now.

As an indicator of how “lo-fi” has come to encompass a lot more than the grainy sounds of some thoughtfully-awkward men wearing padded shirts and holding guitars covered in stickers, take a listen to Black Polygon‘s Chrome.

Lo-fi might have nothing to do with the genre of the noise itself any more, although the parallels remain in Chrome, which isn’t only minimalist, but also determinedly unpolished.

As always, such musings appear to damn the music with the faintest of praise, and so it’s important to accentuate the positives – and in Chrome you’ll hear a whole bunch of them – delicately arranged drum-blips, swooshes of jabbering clicks, controlled feedback wails providing the melody.

Black Polygons generate small evolutions in their chosen field – and they’re all hypnotically simple.

MORE: blackpolygons.bandcamp.com

Grrrl Friend – Grimy Grrrls

Grrrl Friend make the music you’d expect from a bunch of guys who like each other’s company, beer, pizza and listening to records.

That is: distantly noisy, buzz-soaked, Echoplex-disjointed slump-rock.

They also name their songs things like Bestiality BBQ, II and  Black Jesus Christ, and it’s hard to dislike such throw-away provocativeness.

What I love about this kind of crunchy, lazy-sounding rock is the accompanying feeling that everything was recorded on the first take: loose, grimy, warts-and-all.

So judging by the innate vibrancy of Happening Now could well be, indeed, exactly that. The band shunt noises here and there, almost casually, voicing their thoughts as they do so.

Grrrl Friend make songs you’ll  love or hate. You’ll either soak up the scrubby atmospherics of the sound or you’ll shrink away for a cleansing dose of a band that is more clear.

But either way, you’ll have dipped a toe into their murky waters, and on their terms.

MORE: grrrlfriend.bandcamp.com