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.


 

Kindest Lines: Feelings, Shapes, Colours

You don’t need to be a synesthete to freely associate sounds with feelings, shapes and colours – I imagine it helps, that’s all.

But those feelings sprout and take hold, creating links between times, places and sounds that you’ll never shake. I, for instance, find it hard to watch the sun set without slipping the Flaming Lips’ Do You Realise? onto my mental jukebox.

I’m not sure when or how those two, seemingly unrelated, events got superglued together. In honesty, I’m actually quite pleased – nay, smug – with how it turned out, and thus am not questioning it too much.

Kindest Lines, however, seem to be making music created purposely to soundtrack hot, sticky days where the sun bakes through smog and cold showers only have a momentarily relieving effect.

Kindest Lines // Baltimore by TheArtOf…

**EDIT: Apparently Hazy Haze wasn’t supposed to be heard by you. Apologies – have Baltimore instead.**

That said, maybe by nicking the same Be My Baby drumbeat that served as the rhythm template for the entirety of Jesus and Mary Chain‘s career, and coupling it with the dense, suffocating fuzz of My Bloody Valentine, Kindest Lines have pulled off the neatest trick of all.

Because while the aptly-named Hazy Haze takes all of its influences from music past, the resultant sound doesn’t even start to sound contrived.

In any case, fleeting concerns to that effect are flooded by the smotheringly sublime, candyfloss-sweet, candyfloss-sticky, candyfloss-thick – hell, candyfloss-everything – melody.

Hazy Haze is dense, pulsing and achingly warm. My mind zipped me off to clammy, gritty beaches, criminally busy cities, and thunderously noisy underpasses. Sounds stupid, but songs like these will do that to you.

MORE: myspace.com/kindestlines

BONUS ANBAD RADIO SHOW! Summer Special

FYFI: ANBAD is on holiday for a week and a bit. That’s why the vaguely holiday-themed tag is dangling up there at the top of the page.

But because I a) am obsessive-compulsive; b) am outrageously kind and c) love the sound of my own idiot voice, here’s a special bonus ANBAD Radio Show, covering the ‘lost’ best-of shows from the months when I was moving flat and didn’t even have time to sob quietly in a corner, let alone record a radio show.

ANBAD Bonus Radio Show!

So clickaroo, listen, enjoy some of the (genuinely) greatest bands ever featured on ANBAD, and imagine me sipping cocktails on a Spanish beach – because imagining is exactly what I’ll be doing too, as I’m not actually going anywhere at all. Sigh.

Share and enjoy…

Featured artistes:

Young British Artists // Bermuda Bonnie // The Horn The Hunt // Takeda

Oh, and here’s the really rather good Kopparberg Spotify Playlist I helped compile:

Kopparberg Spotify Playlist

>Today’s New Band – Hong Kong In The 60’s

>Over the weekend I had a long, contorted conversation with a friend, discussing the relative merits of Steven Seagal’s mighty body of work. We both expressed fond teen memories of the moment when a topless Erika Eleniak popped out of a giant cake in front of a bemused-looking Seagal in Under Seige, and then agreed that Segal always wears a look of mild bemusement, possibly in the belief that it makes him look like a wise Sensei.

Our discussion also confirmed our fears that, with his string of increasingly absurd straight-to-DVD movies, such as Belly of The Beast and Today You Die, he is slowly turning into Troy McClure.

Given this solid grounding in the life’s work of The Seagal, you can imagine my barely-contained excitement with the news that his new Magnum Opus, Driven To Kill, in which he plays an ex-Russian mobster turned novelist, is about to show up in bargain bins worldwide.

To quell any chop-socky hyperventilation as I wait, Today’s New Band, Hong Kong In The 60’s, are here to place the metaphorical brown paper bag over my mouth and whisper soothingly reassuring words. Their songs arrive on a cool, sticky wave of Pina Colada – arch, relaxed, distant.

Footsteps – calm, pretty and sweet – is so delicate and persuasive that you’ll swoon like a teenage girl being introduced to the captain of the football team. Shadow Of The Bear is the exact music you’d like to hear if you were sitting by a stream, watching kingfishers dive as the sun sets. The Mermaids oozes kitch, keyboard-cool.

Hong Kong In The 60’s are unlike most bands in that they take a template – French 60’s lounge music – and by injecting just enough intelligence, fun and innovation, make it work for them (and us) without stumbling into elevator-musak territory. A brave, successful aim. Listen here!

Bleeding Heart Narrative – Surely You Can’t Be Serious?

Oh shucks, Leslie Neilsen has died. For someone who has spent a lifetime appreciating the truly stupid things in life –  an outlook honed through many, many childhood re-watchings of various Leslie Neilsen films, this is a disaster.

The joy in watching, say Police Squad, was his ultra-deanpan manner whilst all around him was awash with farce. And here, dear reader, is were we crowbar a tenuous link to rock music into the article.

Despite much evidence to the contrary – mainly supplied by the likes of My Chemical Romance – a serious outlook can sometimes work in music. But it’s a sheet-ice-thin façade that can shatter at any ill-advised moment.

Dolls by Bleeding Heart Narrative

Bleeding Heart Narrative sure sound like they ought to be a serious band, don’t they? And Dolls, a careful, sparse, tender song would back up that assessment. The song is wordless, and feels like a coda to a song that has never existed – almost an afterthought, albeit one that swells beautifully and ends with a beautiful flourish.

Wordless songs fall into two categories – the wholly dispensable, or the utterly necessary. Dolls, gentle and sinewy, falls into the latter.

The difficulty is that now I’m picturing Bleeding Heart Narrative getting up to all sorts of zany japes, as if to mentally disprove any thoughts I had of po-facedness. Heck, I bet they’re playing reciting lines from The Naked Gun to one another right now. Surely not.

soundcloud.com/bleedingheartnarrative

bleedingheartnarrative.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

 

Madeaux: Echoes Of The Kitchen Sink

Where now for bass music and dubstep, post-Skrillex’s industry-crow-barring/acceptance into the mainstream?

While the heady gloop and rumble of bass music has been busy soundtracking almost everything of (self) importance recently, those producing it have scrabbled around looking for its next logical progression.

And it turns out that the (il-)logical progression is a return to UK Garage, whose resurgence is as baffling as it is ludicrous.

This, what for the brave souls who continue to make the music that brought about such unforseen U-turns? It transpires that, if they’re anything like Madeaux, they’re still making enormous, slightly jazzy, bass tunes.

Karma in Reverse – which, if we’re being pedantic, makes the song title Amrak – is a subtle nod to evolution in new and old directions, none of which are UK Garage.

Slivers of warm, Inner City Life-esque drum ‘n’ bass appear and vanish, and golden swashes of house synths breeze through.

It’s not blithe kitchen-sinkism, but by throwing a few other ideas into the mix, Madeaux is gently, in his own way, pushing towards the future.

MORE: soundcloud.com/madeaux

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.

Rapids! – I Spy Without Beady Eye

Liam Gallagher’s new, hilariously-named, band – Beady Eye, indeed – released their first song amidst much hullabaloo yesterday, and for once I actually enjoyed getting swept along in the excitement.

Having now heard the tediously named ‘Bring The Light’, I can confidently claim that even his most fervent, mouth-breathing fans wouldn’t have expected the resulting cross between Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting) by Elton John and one of Primal Scream’s most shonky low-point Stones knock-offs.

Note to Liam: your band has a combined 60-odd years experience being rock stars. This just won’t do. Lovely production, though.

Rapids! have lovely production on Fuses, though fortunately for them, it’s not the only talking point.

Fuses (Single Edition) by Rapids!

Can you imagine Fuses if Liam had recorded it? All those interestingly tangled half-starts that eventually bloom into a luxurious chorus replaced by a plod-rock trudge. All those pleasantly earnest changes of direction, those thoughts made sonic, expunged by simply repeating the words “Baby come on” until we all die of enforced stupidity.

Fuses is a song that inspects itself from all angles and then self-consumes, a song that emphasises exploration, rather than mad, mindless bluster. Rapids! may well be just that – too quickly frantic – to compete with Liam’s swamp monster, but will be loved by anyone with half a brain. Which, if you think about it, automatically excludes Beady Eye’s fanbase. All is well.

www.myspace.com/listentoRapids

INTERVIEW // Run Toto Run

Run Toto Run: devoid of necks

Matt shakes his head, raises a fist to the blue, vapour-trail-free sky, and shouts “Damn you!” in mock-anguish. He has no-one in particular to be angry with, but is still frustrated – and for good reason.

He ought to be in New York, playing the violin; instead, Eyjafjallajokull’s petulant ash-gasm means all flights are nixed – so he’s stuck in gloomy Manchester, and nursing a heavy cold to boot.

He shrugs. “Oh well,” he grins, after his momentary release of steam, “what can you do?” Bandmate Rachael suggests that we can go for a coffee, and we all agree that this seems as good a solution to the problem as any. Such is the cheery outlook of Manchester band Run Toto Run.

After de-camping to a noisy coffee shop, we sit and we talk about change.

When Run Toto Run were first featured on ANBAD back in December 2008, they were a delightful, sunny, folky quartet producing delightful, sunny, folky songs. Yesterday, I listened to their new single. Things are different now.

Run Toto Run // Hater

“It’s been a year since we were on A New Band A Day,” mentions Rachael. “That was a double bass ago,” adds Matt, thoughtfully.

That instrument’s cruel axing is indicative of their subsequent mutation. Matt joining the group was the catalyst, bringing the electronic expertise that Rachael longed for. Change was quickly afoot. Or perhaps, not so quickly.

“We were then writing songs that were still very acoustic, but heavily influenced by electronic music. We’d sample violin lines and vocals, then mess around with them live.”

That sounds exciting, I venture. The pain of a resurfaced bad memory is etched on Matt’s face. “Yeah – but it was massively, massively impractical. Stressful.”

In RTR’s new music, wistfulness has been replaced by introspection, and stringed plucking now a mere bit-part, demoted by a surge of technological burbling. The only constant is Rachael’s dreamy voice, clutching firmly on centre-billing as always. What has brought about this stylistic volte-face?

“We all used to work full-time jobs, and when we started we were pushed in front of the industry at the 2008 In The City music conference, we weren’t ready.

“We didn’t have enough time to work on the band in the way we wanted. The sound we made wasn’t really what we were interested in. What really focussed our progression was me losing my job.”

Like the volcano’s grip over flight arrangements, events out of the band’s control gave rise to an opportunity of a lifetime.

The event in question was the economy disappearing down the toilet, and the resultant time ‘in between roles’ allowed Rachael and Matt, RTR‘s creative duo, to step off the new-band carousel and breathe deeply.

Rachael is only grateful for the delay. “It gave us an opportunity that most bands never have. We could solidly focus on the band, and in that  time, we wrote a whole album and changed our sound completely.

”]

“If we’d been signed earlier, we would have been pushed down a route dictated by the sound we had then, and not been able to experiment. We’re really lucky to now be in a position where we’re writing songs that we would choose to listen to.”

Relief, hope, pleasure. Most new bands collapse in the vacuum that forms after being rushed into releasing the first record too soon. How many bands get a chance like this?

Matt’s eyes widen: “It was a scary step for the band to take. Because everything was learnt again, even the simple things were new. We went from plugging our instruments in and playing to having huge diagrams showing where cables went for the new equipment. Now, when we play live using samplers, we’re adjusting and changing the sound organically – and that’s how we’ve written too.”

Thanks to the twin resources of time and determination, the resultant sound is no clumsy mashing together of tech and folk, but a complex melding that belies its organic growth.

“It’s the fusion of different ideas – you can listen to the old songs and the new songs and tell that they’re by the same band, even though the sound is massively different. By combining the two different songwriting approaches – the old and the new – we can record quickly, then email songs out and recieve feedback just as fast.”

Feedback from the top, too. Rachael: “One day we decided to record a cover of a Bombay Bicycle Club song, and later that night Steve Lamacq played it on his radio show. It’s so exciting – the technology gives you the means to do fantastic things.”

It’s interesting to see what will happen now – because there are so few limitations. The more time we have, the more things grow. Every gig we’re doing at the moment, we’re giving away a five track demo to give away for free, which builds a following who we get a lot of feedback from. We feel like we’re making friends, and we’ve learnt a lot very quickly by doing this.”

Everyone’s happy. Matt’s so happy, his subconscious is clawing through the ether to help out.

He recounts a story of how he’d sent himself a text message whilst on a night out, which was subsequently lost in a boozy miasma. The next morning, he discovered it, and read the words, ‘Music sounds fasterer when you’re drunk.’

“Perhaps it’s true…” he ponders. They decide that this ought to be explored further – and this seems to be a good time to allow them to retreat into the exciting new world of sonic adventure. And, presumably, booze.

Run Toto Run‘s new single, Hater, is out on the 24th May. Buy it from www.runtotorun.co.uk, and listen to more here: www.myspace.com/runtotomusic

Photography by Karen McBride

>Today’s New Band – Owl Brain Atlas PLUS! Nightmares! Sweat! Christmas!

>Every morning I walk through Manchester city centre. And every morning I listen to my iPod on the way. So far, so mundane. Like everyone, sometimes I find it tough to match the music with my mood. This morning, though, there was a pleasing moment where I found myself to be in the crossover area of a music/life Venn Diagram.

Perched on a traffic island, between two lanes of thundering, aggro-pumped office-drone drivers, Orbital‘s The Box pinged into life, and suddenly, there was a real-time musical soundtrack seemingly reacting to the furious ebb and flow of the whooshing city life. Feeling detached from the real world, I fairly skipped on through the streets.

It’s amazing that music can tally so closely with what you are doing. I imagine that if i was wandering through the mean streets of Bournemouth – a town memorably described by Bill Bryson as “God’s waiting room” – and Cliff Richard‘s Millennium Prayer popped onto the radio, the world might end in a vortex of synchronicity.

If I found myself in the place where the sounds of Today’s New Band fitted perfectly, I’d probably head for the hills sharpish. Owl Brain Atlas (Yes!!!) make sound that would fit in your most lucid nightmares, or most confusing dreams. Also, let’s just dwell on Owl Brain Atlas‘ name for a second. Barking mad, and yet fittingly weird for the sound-poems of J. D. Nelson, the brains behind the, er, Brain.

He says his music is, “spoken noise, ambient word, lo-fi noise poems, electroacoustic sound art,” and this description is a good example of the nail/head interface being struck cleanly. His music/sound/wordless poetry might sound like a pretentious idea, but it’s executed in a pared-down yet dense manner; substance clearly triumphing over style. Like bad dreams, the ‘songs’ are short, direct and terrifyingly evocative of the clammy panic of a turbulent night’s sleep.

There are separate tracks, with titles like Doktor Tongues, 1 and Music For Zilbread, but listen to them altogether for the full dosage. It’s a heady, dizzy experience that’ll leave you even more thankful for the upcoming comfort of Christmas with your loved ones. Listen here!