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.


 

>The Seedy Seeds – Today’s New Band

>A New Band A Day is, apparently, indulging in Americanophilia at the moment. Over half of last week’s super-duper new bands were from the USA (scroll down for more, pop-pickers!), and guess what – today there’s another one cluttering up your ears with sweet sounds. An astute reader can draw a few conclusions from this.

Firstly, that A.N.B.A.D. band choices are entirely arbitrary and dependant on the whim of an easily bored writer, desperately looking for new things to listen to, whilst quietly sobbing. Secondly, A.N.B.A.D.‘s geographic knowledge is severely limited – last time a single continent was ‘explored’ for music, it became the needlessly localised and gimmick-y “Northern European Road Trip” , whereas I couldn’t identify Cincinnati on a map if a gun was held to my head and/or groin.

Huge apologies, then, to Today’s New Band, The Seedy Seeds, who, predictably, are from Cincinnati. They’re not content with writing unusually catchy bites of poppy indie, but even have the brass neck to squeeze a Kazoo solo into the joyous The Little Patton. Its zappy keyboard riff is so charming that the big broad chorus that follows it is a huge, lovely surprise. Earned Average Dance America, proudly flaunting its obtuse name, is a great him-her lyric over the hybrid banjo/Bontempi keyboard/accordion melody you’ve always been waiting for.

The Seedy Seeds are a great band, make no mistake. Their songs are cuter than Brad ‘n’ Angelina’s twins and similarly simple and compact. Listen to their super songs here!

Be A Rockstar! (Glamour Models Not Included)

**This is a Sponsored Post.**

Unless you’re blind, deaf, or utterly determined not to engage with the rest of the world at large (or even all three), you’ll have heard that 1989’s baggiest of bands, The Stone Roses, have announced a surprise comeback; in a flurry of sportswear, pithy quotes and excessive swagger.

 

“So what?” you may say, “Everyone’s doing it these days. Even Steps just reunited, and nobody wanted that to happen.”

 

But what’s most interesting about these ancient bands getting back together is not that they are doing it, but why. And guess what? Thanks to a new partnership between Paco Rabanne  Black XS and Universal Music, you can have a go at finding out why and Be A Rock Star for yourself on their whizzy new website www.be-a-rockstar.com.

 

The huge novelty cheques must help incentivise bands – but I’ve always wanted to be a rock star, and my dreams aren’t all about rolling around on hotel mattresses covered with £20 notes and glamour models (OK, they mainly are).
It’s also the adulation I long for. The screaming fans. The excitement of the road. The smells lingering in the band’s van. Hitting the first power-chord of the night. Punching the first stage invader or the tour. Watching TVs tumble out of the hotel window.

 

So why not have some of these vicarious thrills for yourself? Be A Rockstar by using nothing more than a photo of your face and doing a lot of waving into your webcam whilst suspiciously attractive people clamour for your autograph. Go to www.be-a-rockstar.com/uk/experience to unleash your inner rock god.
And when you’re done, join the unusually- named Peanut and the rest of the bristly gang from Kaiser Chiefs both on and off- stage in the Black XS  Off Shows and see what it’s like having thousands of demented fans bellowing your lyrics right back into your bewildered faces.

 

“Hang” with Two Door Cinema Club backstage and boggle at how even a seasoned bunch of rock scamps seem to be overwhelmed by the madness of it all. It’s a series of nine episodes and will be airing on www.be-a-rockstar.com and the Black XS YouTube channel towards the end of the year.

 

Because that’s what being a rock star’s all about isn’t it? And it’s why Mani, Reni, Ian and John are going through it all over again. Well, that and the glamour models.

 

For more info on the brand and the partnership, check out www.pacorabanne.com or the Black XS Facebook page here.

Viral video by ebuzzing

Trabajo: Working It

Well, after two weeks of blathering about Bestival, outdoor life with Ketamine-fuelled teens and TOTALLY AWESOME LASERS, it’s frankly a relief to be reviewing new bands again without the threat of pop’s non-sequitur de jour – the generic WUB WUB WUB bassline – appearing at any moment.

If there is one band who are entirely unlikely to copy and paste a loop from the Garageband Dubstep Pack into their bewilderingly convoluted musical nuggets, it’s Trabajo.

Not everyone likes songs that appear to have harnessed the sounds garnered from a couple of spinning chainsaws being lobbed into a busy circus ring, but you have to admit that the prospect is interesting at the very least.

 


Two Horns is, indeed, music at its most obtuse and testing, but if you dig just a little deeper below the spasmodic metallic convulsions, you’ll hear miniscule glimpses of bright pop – destroyed, shattered, hidden and never to be heard in its entirety.

This is not pop music, of course (this is Pop Music). But there is a strange pleasure in watching someone take something of conventional beauty and break it into pieces. Trabajo are that temptation made flesh.

MORE: trabajo.bandcamp.com

>Today’s New Band – Efterklang

>What room is there in today’s ZAP-POW society for calmness? If you’ve not achieved exactly what you wanted by yesterday, you’ve failed. We rush forward frenetically, and the music we listen to while doing it reflects the ultra-economic, all-surface-no-feeling, instant-impact world around it. Stopping and reflecting is for WIMPS!

It turns out that this might not be so smart. Anxiety reigns supreme and worry is pushed at everyone, from everyone. Relaxing and observing might have benefits after all.

Today’s New Band is the Danish septuplet Efterklang, and, if we’re resorting to our old favourite, the Glib Comparison, they’re somewhere between The Arcade Fire and Sigur Ros.

Towards the Bare Hill manages to blend choral voices, orchestral sounds and glitchy-clicking noises and make it work. It sounds like a male voice choir and a brass band let loose in a room full of hateful laptop “IDM” nerds and then setting about them, but recording the calming results. Step Aside takes a similar approach, squashing traditional, folk-y instruments into slightly warped shapes and scuffing in some non-intrusive electronic-y sounds. It’s what standing on a hill in the middle of nowhere whilst watching the sunset and reflecting that, on balance, life is good would sound like.

Efterklang’s music is all very serene, with the touch of the bizarre you’d expect from Northern European band, and also strangely, comfortingly, warm. Perhaps that’s what’s needed in a country as chilly as Denmark. Perhaps it’s needed everywhere else too. Let their music envelop you here!

>Today’s New Band – Thomas Tantrum PLUS! 80’s Reminiscing AND Yet More Confusion

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Pitchfork, the music review website that is both pleasingly with it and, occasionally, maddeningly snobbish all at once, recently published a review of five re-issued versions of New Order‘s albums. It’s a review which, for once, succinctly captures exactly what was so wonderful about them.

In contrast to The Charlatans (see yesterday’s post) who failed to gain heroic status despite years of straining, New Order leapt there instantly without, seemingly, either trying or wanting to be there. I can’t think of many bands who were so delightfully haphazard, arty and contrary, without any of those qualities being excruciatingly embarrassing. The only embarrassment present in New Order‘s case was the sense of awkwardness the band displayed when they suddenly realised they were, for a while, the most excitingly brilliant band in the world.

Unassuming, quiet and haphazard in their approach, they still managed to produce some of the most touching, belligerent and powerfully ecstatic music ever written. No posing, no pondering on how to achieve importance (hi, Bono!), just a heads-down approach to pushing boundaries and having a good time.

If you’re like me, you’ll already be scrolling through iTunes to find Power, Corruption and Lies, but before you take that trip back to 1983, how about Today’s New Band, Thomas Tantrum?

Perhaps reminiscing about one of the greatest ever British bands immediately prior to introducing a new one is a bit unfair, but it doesn’t really matter, ‘cos Thomas Tantrum are great. Moreover, the rigid beats and polymedlodies of their super song Rage Against The Tantrum owe a bit to New Order, so perhaps it’s all a neat circle. Rage Against… made me think of The Popguns a bit, which is enough to make these jaded ears prick up with joy.

Whether they’re veering here and there on Warm Horse, or making the most disorientating pop music of all time on What What What, Thomas Tantrum are a true treat. They pull together the oft-disparate strands of noise rock and sparkly pop with true aplomb, and even find time to inadvertently bait the BNP with the swirling, heady Why The English Are Rubbish. Brilliant. Get confused in a kind of cute, pleasingly disarming way here!

BOARDWALK – Drift and Steam and Billow

boardwalkA minor case of musical miscatagorisation  today, with Boardwalk pegged as “shoegaze”, and yet are about as closely connected to Slowdive et al as they are to, I dunno, Mazzy Star, another wistful band who were lumped in with the Shoegaze lot.

Still, this is a lesson in ignoring labels and listening anyway, as Boardwalk make gloriously luxuriant and golden songs.

If you need a visual, imagine a machine churning warm, glossy caramel whilst you’re listening to I’m To Blame, and you’ll be in exactly the right mental spot for what follows.

Gosh, this is a lovely song in every way. Some songs are built to drift and steam and billow, and this is one of them, and then some.

I’m To Blame is so hugely dreamy that time itself becomes of little consequence, and I found myself willing the song to continue, even when well into the meat of the fourth minute.

When the horribly sudden ending came, I was left gasping for breath. But it couldn’t end any other way. Terrific.

MORE: https://soundcloud.com/boardwalkla

>Wonderswan and A Critical Re-Appraisal Of Toploader’s Legacy

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There’s a lot more to be said about band names – though any serious conversation rarely gets beyond the the early-naughties’ monumentally awful, ear-bothering, ooh-look-at-us-aren’t-drugs-naughty fatuousness of Toploader‘s moniker.

They were endorsed by Jamie Oliver, for heaven’s sake, a folly of such magnitude that the repercussions went full circle, beyond the ‘unparalleled idiocy’ category and into the public’s affections.

And the worst news of all? Toploader are reforming. It says so on Wikipedia, so it must be true. Start stocking up on tinned goods now – the apocalypse is nearly upon us.

Some past new bands have chosen more acceptably outré names, producing musical hat-tippings to obscure Japanese videogame consoles – see Golau Glau’s Virtual Boy, and the entire output of fuzzy bleep specialist Kezzie Beat – but Wonderswan are the first to actually name the band themselves after one.

The fact that they produce delightfully grainy rock instead of the 8-bit Chiptune bleeping you’d expect means that extra kudos is to be swivelled towards Wonderswan. Then heap even more on them as you revel in the 90’s Americana lo-fi sounds of Furrrpile, a whining and crunchy song so slack that it is almost anti-rock.

And before you ask, yes, there are great big dollops of Pavement in their sound, but no lo-fi band can avoid that trapping. But songs like Curve step daintily away from Malkmus and co, occupying their own, shoegaze/lo-fi (Shoe-fi? Lo-gaze? Shlo-Faze?) space – cranky, broad and fuzzier than a teenage boy’s chin.

Wonderswan are from Leeds, but could have stepped straight out of the bare, dusty midwest landscape that I (wrongly) picture all US lo-fi/hi-brain function bands to be living in. If their presence is a blast from the past, it’s a very welcome one.

PS: Pavement are reforming too. Look out for the Pavement/Toploader double-header tour.

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

Henri Devereaux: Droop-Step

I met a lot of lovely Nordic people at The Great Escape in Brighton last week. Most people from that part of the world tend to be heinously pleasant, helpful and kind. It’s enough to warm the blackest of hearts.

Indeed, one of them went the extra mile and gave me the worst cold known to man, and now ANBAD towers is awash with phlegm, grumpiness and empty Aspirin packets.

Of course, not all of our chipper Nordic chums dispense cold germs so freely: Henri Devereaux‘s subtly thunderous Daydreamin’ has been in my hands for all of 18 hours, and has not made my curent illness worse, which is all the proof I need.

Daydreamin’ is one of those ebb-and-flow songs that are cropping up a lot at the moment, and frankly, I’d love to be the idiot hipster ‘tastemaker’ that came up with the glib phrase that describes the genre. Droop-step? Throb-house? Sweep-hop?

Whatever it is, Henri Devereaux has made a song of careful clattering, soft pulses and snow-bright shimmer. A possibly genre-spawning triumph.

MORE: soundcloud.com/henridevereaux

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 23rd November 2011

Is there anything more ironic than the NME publishing a Cool List?

Yet here it comes again, the useless stepchild of annual self-serving lists; and this year, boy, have the NME shoved their tongues into their cheeks and burrowed hard.

Just look who makes the Top Ten Cool People: two blokes from Kasabian, some guy from 2010’s forgotten band Hurts, Oh-My-God-I-Never-Saw-This-Coming-At-All Lana del Rey, and, of course, Azealia Banks.

If you’re also shrugging and mouthing the word “Who?” after reading the latter, fear not, as conveniently, she’s appearing on the forthcoming NME Tour.

Does anyone actually fall for this stuff?

Alex James, who is so uncool now that he may well go full circle and appear on next year’s list, pour his cheese appropriately.

MIXTAPE:

FIRST! Jethro Fox combines the enormity of Phil Spector/Jesus and Mary Chain with the pop leanings of, well, the same people. Except it sounds like neither. Just listen for yourself, and luxuriate in the expansive pop void:

 

SECOND! Reid’s been on ANBAD before, hasn’t he? But this is a remix, so he’s allowed on again. Phew. Controversy averted. And, guess what, it’s a typically punchy and frothy stripped-back and pulsating mix too. Another minor triumph.

 

THIRD! What’s that? Coo Woo? Spazmoid surf-pop? Big, broad choruses? Yeah, why not. Interestingly, I’m told the band is from “Milwaukke, WI”, but the song itself is tagged with the phrases “Blackpool Amusements” and “Huddersfield”. Ooh, the glamour.

 

FOURTH! Dark Arts are all noise, buzz and clatter, earnest middle-eights and abrupt guitar noises that devolve into unusually jaunty and creeped-out sound-chunks. GOOD.