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.


 

Terriers: Terrifying

terriersI could take no more, and began to wade though my inbox, on a ruthless, near-vengeful, slash ‘n’ burn mission.

It was, as always, a liberating experience.

Interestingly, it appears that I did not open a single email in October. All those thousands of emails, slaughtered needlessly.

It pains me to do that – but if the music world has decided it wants to rotate at eye-watering speed, it feels like a safe bet that half of the new bands in October have split up by now anyway. Or at least, they will email me next month with their new EP.

Anyway, just as I trained my laser-guided Delete-button finger onto November, I tripped immediately over Terriers. Phew. My new-bandy sense was clearly tingling at the right moment.

 

Terriers have released For You on Bad Panda records. That’s pretty much all you need to know in terms of a guarantee of quality. I’m sure I have covered more Bad Panda releases than any other label.

I must buy them a drink sometime. in the meantime, enjoy Terriers’ spook-tastic, clattering, old-school-house-paced tune. This would sound good on the dancefloor at the start or end of the night – high praise indeed.

MORE: facebook.com/terriersdublin 

>Today’s New Band – It’s A Dragon PLUS! Christmas Panic!

>What’s happening to A New Band A Day? New features and new writers? It’s almost as if more effort’s being put in all of a sudden or something. Well, a pre-Christmas frenzy has overcome us all in ANBAD Towers, that’s what. In an effort to forget that we haven’t bought a single Christmas present yet, at all, and-oh-crap-it’s-only-two-weeks-til-Christmas, we’re listening to more ace new bands than ever before. Not that that will be an acceptable excuse to our nearest and dearest on the 25th.

So before we start having spasms of anxiety, let’s cut to the chase: Today’s New Band are the jangly guitar pop-slingers It’s A Dragon, and, with an inevitability that is becoming almost terrifying, they’re from Sweden. I’m no scientist, but at a rough guess I’d say approximately 97% of the world’s jangly pop is made in Sweden at the moment. If Jangly Pop was worth as much as oil, it’d be Swedish record exec bosses instead of Sheiks that would be splashing obscene sums on Premiership football clubs.

It’s A Dragon, or Mats as he’s know to his mother, has rustled up a bunch of sunny love songs that hit the ground running and scamper towards the setting sun, possibly shedding clothes with excitement on the way. Onwards and Upwards is so stupendously upbeat, with insistent horns and twanging guitars, that tapping your feet or drumming pens against your keyboard is practically a formality.

Everything Reminds Me Of You, like all of his songs, is characterised by its simplicity. It’s about a girl, love and rejection, like most pop love-songs; musically, he doesn’t try to squeeze in anything that doesn’t need to be there. This streamlining just makes it easier for the song to weedle its way into your brain, via your heart, and stay there.

It’s a Dragon‘s songs are without hype, faux-emotional depth or forced cool. Just simple, sweet songs; good, pure fun. They’re from a man who knows his way around a tune and can craft them effortlessly. Why is that? ANECDOTE ALERT

On his Myspace page, Mats says, “When I was 12 I nicked a tape from a friends big sister. On the A-side was the Smiths‘ “Strangeways Here We Come” and on the B-side, The Cure‘s “Head On The Door”.” That’s a fortuitous start to your musical life. He’s now creating beautiful pop songs.

My first tape, when I was 5, was Eliminator by ZZ Top. I now have a 3-foot long beard. Go figure. But first, listen to It’s a Dragon, right here!

Eastern Hollows: Quietly Colourful

Gosh, hasn’t it been a long time since the there was a new band on ANBAD? It’s almost like I took the end of the year off to take a long, hard look at myself. And then get straight back to doing exactly the same thing as before. New year, same old new bands. Make of that what you will.

So why not start the year with a seasonally-appropriate song? Eastern Hollows’ Summer’s Dead seems about right as an appraisal of the weather in Manchester at the moment, with balmy days and blue skies feeling as distant as ever.

Until we are blessed with anything approaching reasonably pleasant climes, a song with a blissful chorus that sounds like it’s being played through extremely dense, sweet smoke will do, right? Right:

Summer’s Dead has a na-na-na-na chorus that is a minor joy to behold, addictive and nagging, as all na-na-na-na choruses are.

I kind of loathe the tag “dream popbut can overlook its grating nature in a song that exhibits all the best qualities of a beautiful dream: coherence and incoherence messily colliding in splutter of rainbow colours, sweet sounds and kind intent.

This is a lovely, quietly brilliant song: as good a start to any year you may care to mention.

MORE: easternhollows.bandcamp.com

PS, if you missed it – here’s the ANBAD Top Ten of 2012 in (rather splendid) radio format. Perfect for during your drive-time commute. Or for whilst you’re cleaning the bog, whatever.

>Today’s New Band – Kong

>

While in France a bit ago, I watched the Tour de France – except for the first time, it was in real life, as opposed to catching a glance of it whilst flicking through the obscure channels on satellite TV. Having found I was camping five minutes from the exact point of le Tour that is a cycling enthusiast’s wet dream, Mont Ventoux, and on the strength of many breathless descriptions of how INCREDIBLY AMAZING the experience would be, I dragged myself along.

Well, it was a fabulous experience after all. It was a bit like a theme park – maybe Middle Aged Obscure Sports Enthusiast World or something – where you could imagine what it was like to live a dull, mainly meaningless existence where waiting five hours – five hours, mind – for the infinitesimally short moment where a bunch of sweaty, grim-faced men whistle past at light speed, and then rushing for the car to beat the traffic, constitutes a Good Time.
I was grumpy. It was hot as hell, there was five hours of vainly applauding passing police cars for entertainment, and I spent most of the time desperately trying to remember the melody of Kraftwerk’s Tour de France, which was, and now, still is, the only interesting thing about the world’s premiere cycling event.
Not enough bands name songs after sporting events – in fact, if we necessarily exclude any World Cup tie-in songs that limp around every four years, there are none at all. Perhaps Today’s New Band can redress this balance. They’re Kong, a band I intended to write about when I lived in Manchester, before I jacked everything in to travel on a pittance around the continent.
Kong are these things:
Noisy to the point of awkwardness
Obtuse to the point of weirdness
Lovable in an entirely keep-at-arm’s-distance way
Musically creative in the way most bands aren’t, and wouldn’t dare to be
And these four reasons are enough to love them, or at least to devote plenty of time to their bewilderingly deformed rock. Their songs – take Leather Penny Snippet, or Sport, please – are the equivalent of a door repeatedly slamming in your face, such is the total absence of care about what you think coupled with the exhilarating fuck-you-ness of youthful noise-making.

>My Amiga – Today’s New Band

>When I was a young ‘un, before I bought a guitar and sat in my bedroom mangling Smiths songs and wondering if I could convince my parents to let me paint my bedroom walls black, i used to while hours away playing on my Sinclair ZX Spectrum. It had sticky rubber keys, 48k of memory and the games took five minutes to load off a C90 tape. It was my nerd-baby though, and I’m still proud that I completed Magicland Dizzy without losing a life. These halcyon days were tarnished a bit though, when my friend Dan got a Commodore Amiga for Christmas – a computer which made the Spectrum appear weak and feeble in comparison (which, of course, it was).

The Amiga was ace. I presume Today’s New Band, My Amiga, harbour similarly nostalgic feelings about unwieldy, grey early-90’s computers. They’re from Liverpool and have that seemingly genetic Liverpudlian way with treble-tastic rock melodies. My Amiga are what the Famous Five would sound like if they formed a band on their days off from drinking lashings of Ginger Beer and solving suspiciously family-friendly crimes.

That is to say, My Amiga sound young and sprightly enough to make the inevitable A&R men at their gigs feel like fuddy-duddies with try-hard haircuts. Though to be fair, they’re like that anyway. Thank Heavens for Little Victories is a surprisingly deft and floaty throwaway pop tinkle, with a shouty bit to prove that they’re actually of drinking age. Untitled is a brisk and jangly pop fizz which explodes frenetically with youth, the sonic equivalent of a child trying to build the tallest lower of Lego possible, and then laughing manically when it falls over.

My Amiga are as fun as drawing the curtains on a sunny day and playing Sensible Soccer until teatime. Though you probably won’t get wrist ache from the joystick. Unless you really like them. If you known what I mean. Listen to their songs here!

>THE ANBAD END-OF-YEAR LIST FRENZY BEGINS!

>***A New Band A Day is taking a ‘well-earned’ break until the New Year, so no more new bands until then. BUT over the next week-and-a-bit there’ll be a whimsical (i.e. hastily cobbled together) look back over the Best Stuff of 2008! Best enjoyed with a plateful of Stilton, a glass of sherry and an overwhelming sensation of sorrow as you realise that Christmas used to be more exciting when you were a child***

Lists were promised last week, and so here they come: one today, one tomorrow, and then in the New Year – the Big One: ANBAD’s Top Ten New Bands of 2008. Today’s though is a bit more sedate, and, with an end-of-school-term impishness, has virtually nothing to do with New Bands at all. It’s…

The ANBAD Top Five Gigs of 2008!

As usual, these are in no particular order, apart from one which will be deemed ‘Best Gig’. So it is in some kind of order after all.

5) Art Brut, Stoke Sugarmill, February-ish

Here at ANBAD, we’re happy to admit that we’re massively biased towards Art Brut and would, in all honesty, proclaim their greatness even if they released an album full of Kenny G-esque jazz-lite numbers.

This is because they’re just about the most brilliant, consistently fabulous live band out there – great, rabble-rousing songs and a superb frontman in Eddie Argos, whose throwaway ‘n’ carefree attitude is outrageously refreshing. This gig was them at their absolute best and the audience responded by going bananas.

4) My Bloody Valentine, Manchester Apollo, June-ish

The band I’d always hoped would get back together, but thought never would, actually did, and it was a quasi-religious experience. Yes, they were stupidly loud. Yes, you had to wear earplugs. Yes, their songs sounded like you standing next to an passenger jet at take-off.

It was brilliant, jaw-dropping and overwhelming. It sounded like this: WWWWSSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHH ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ GGGGGGGGGGGGGGGRRRRRRR RRRRRRRRRFFFFFFFFFFFFFFF and left normally sane people to say humiliatingly quaint things like, “that was like being reborn” (me).

3) Lethal Bizzle, Bestival, September-ish

Expected nothing. Got everything. Incredible. Loud, brash and brazen. Hyped the audience to the point of explosion, and then pushed harder. Fact: Lethal Bizzle are tougher, smarter and better than 99% of all live bands today. Almost Gig Of the Year, but not quite.

2) Hot Chip, Manchester Academy (& Bestival)

The band that were faintly nerdy electro-rock curios when I first saw them a few years ago finally mutated into the acid house-rock monster that they always hinted at becoming. Their live act is in turns charming, banging and air-punchingly fabulous.

Hot Chip are without pretence (see their fancy-dress costume-wearing performance at Bestival for proof) but are also full of humour and sincerity, and their gigs are electric. They’re pretty much the New New Order, and that’s high praise.

1) GIG O’ THE YEAR – PUBLIC ENEMY – Manchester Academy, May-ish

This was an easy choice. Public Enemy gigging the whole of It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back was either going to be awesome or terrible. It was the former, durrr. The best gig this writer’s ever seen, easily. Here’s what I said at the time:

A truly brilliant gig: angry, brutal, and winningly political, inevitably, but the actually important stuff – the songs – were astonishing to hear live. Poundingly brilliant, terrifyingly funky and thrillingly loud – the crowd went berserk as they rolled out each grandstanding song. Flava Flav proved he was much more than his appearances as latter-day reality TV bizarro-fodder, geeing up the crowd until the sweat ran down the walls. Chuck D charged between his twin assaults of his brilliant lyrical polemic and delivering his powerful political beliefs, insistent and sincere.

It was hard to have left without feeling that the world needs Public Enemy today more than it ever has before. Shockingly, brain-rattlingly good.”

And I stand by every overwrought, garbled word.

Tristan Burfield – Ambience, Forever

You know, it’s one of my few many weaknesses, but like any weakness, it’s rooted in pleasure, however dubious. People sometimes ask why I feature video-game-style chiptuning artists with such gleeful abandon on ANBAD, and the simple answer is that I can’t help it.

Plenty of listeners don’t get this kind of music – they think it all sounds the same, or that it is too basic and punctuated, or that it is simply reductive. And to an extent, these are the exact reasons why I like music such as Tristram Burfield‘s.

At least that’s what I thought. Tristram is a musical polymath, you see. And while I like his NES-sourced cheep ‘n’ cheerful chiptunes, it was his other songs that I discovered via them that made my hairs prickle uncontrollably.

Tristan Burfield // Do Walls Have Ears?

Do Walls Have Ears? is the sound of an orchestra tuning up, but one that is forever lost in the simple beauty of it’s own loose sound. Droning, ebbing, flowing, arcing through time, songs like these are less about structure, and more about feeling.

Perhaps that’s why I like it so much. The disconnection with standard procedure and the empathy with the confusing realities of emotion is evident in songs like this. In the realms of new music, this is akin to an out-of-body experience.

Do Walls Have Ears? is timeless in every respect – it’s also placeless, faceless and could easily have stretched on for another hour and I would still have listened.

Tristram releases his songs on floppy discs. Take that, vinyl fetishists. Now that‘s retro.

http://tristanburfield.com

>Paris Hilton, Verb Confusion and Today’s New Band – I Am Austin

>I’m still persevering with my Spanish class, much to the surprise of, well, me, mainly. I think it’s because it was paid for up front and I’m too tight to drop out. Anyway, any progress that was being made courtesy of my guapa Argentinian teacher was dashed last night when it was revealed to us that in Spain they have two verbs for “to be”.

This mind-boggling Ta-Da! Surprise! threw me, as the decision of whether you use Estar or Ser – the offending verbs – hinges on some sort of arbitrary psychological hunch of whatever situation is being described. And all the while, my well-meaning teacher was making personal guarantees that Spanish is actually a very easy language.

Simplicity is comforting. This alone can explain the popularity of say, Paris Hilton. You know exactly what you’re going to get – and in her case it’s teeth-grindingly annoying vacuousness. It gives people a nice simple starting point for whatever they want to do or feel next.

Music is the same. There’s a reason that DJs at wedding discos the world over always play the same crappy songs ad nauseum. You won’t find Uncle Tony frugging to Aphex Twin‘s Canticle Drawl after a few too many sherries anywhere.

Today’s New Band are super simple – a straight down the line, groin thrusting, cymbal smashing rock band. It’s a combination that produces duff bands with unerring regularity. I am Austin though, have got it right, right, right. Stripper sounds as sleazy and grimy as you’d expect. It’s about strippers, having a good time, and then writing a song that describes it all. What more do you want for it? Contextual analysis?

I Am Austin are all hair, hormones and songs about lust. This Air Is Acid, which I hope is a song regaling the pungency of a particularly toxic fart, lurches at you drunkenly, scrabbling for balance and not finding it. It’s a big, bruising song that always threatens to explode violently. Similarly, Zombie Town rages and clanks dementedly.

I Am Austin are in that happy, early, just-enjoying-the-feeling-of-making-this loud-noise phase, with the added pleasure of creating great, mental songs along the way. And none of the band members are called Austin, either. I like that. You’ll like them too – listen here!

CALUMMA AMBER; VOWELS AND CONSONANTS

 

Calumma Amber (2)

Well, what are your initial reactions to a song titled Lielielielielielielielow?

Mine – which were, “hmm, this is probably going to be either heinous or excellent” – were compounded by the first few, odd, ephemeral bars.

And then it became clear that Calumma Amber‘s song met the latter expectation.

Lielielielielielielielow is the kind of song Kate Bush has been making at home for the last twenty years, but has never dared release. It’s almost all vowels, with no clear lyrical points of reference to cling onto.

Instead, much like David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive, we’re subtly encouraged to look beyond prosaic things like words and notes, and to connect to something much less tangible: feelings, emotions and the base meaning of sound itself.

Whoah. But it’s really brilliant and dashing. Trust me.

J4KL-1: Proto-Post-Pre-Meta

ANBAD continues to be borderline obsessed with music that defines itself in pre- or post- genre terminology.

And why not? Pre-Dubstep is as meaningless as post-Dubstep, and yet throws up a whole raft of different approaches to music in the minds of both maker and listener.

Funny how a lexicographic angle can justify, help craft and bloom new music.

I’ve decided to brand J4KL-1‘s music proto-post-Garage-Step. No biggie. Just remember to thank me when all the kids are talking about it.

 

R4indrops shares many genealogical similarities with its peers: skitering beats, weirded-out vox, the swooshiest of swooshy noises slopping over the whole thing.

Patience, of course, is a virtue, and here’s a song which rewards precisely that: the listener earns more from the song with each listen, as more aural layers are peeled back.

We have entered an age of electronic music that embraces restraint and gentleness, care and delicacy, over blunderbuss-directness. J4KL-1 is learning from the music around him, and looking to the future.

MORE: soundcloud.com/j4kl-1