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.


 

Alexander NedElenKo: Techno Librarian

One of life’s agonising truths is that sometimes, only minimal techno will scratch that aural itch inside your brain.

It’s not always minimal techno, of course – sometimes it’s something as inanely amazing as Boomin’ Granny.

But I find that, more often than not, it’s the strictly repetitive delirium of minimal techno that seems to reorder a chaotic mind into something more organised and happy, a bit like a librarian re-ordering shelves full of Tintin books, albeit whilst ferociously trampling over the ‘silence’ rule.

Thus, Alexander NedElenKo’s music is part new band, part brain-salve, part four-to-the-floor thumper.


The beautiful thing about music found within the minimal genre is that songs are allowed to build slowly, obtusely, and weirdly; all whilst giving sounds time and space to breathe and develop.

If nothing else, songs like Alexander NedElenKo’s Old Tree Play This is shooting roughshod against the grain: how often today can a band or a song release music that intrinsically begs for time, thoughtfulness and investment into the overall sonic experience?

The point is thus: even if you don’t like the music itself (although you probably will), you’ll admire the gentle and pointed progression of its unfolding. Great.

MORE: soundcloud.com/coladaalex

The Suzukis – Straight Outta Wigan

Last weekend, reader-turned-writer Mike clenched his fists and boldly dragged us on a quick tour of Wigan’s music scene. His assessment, like most of The View From… articles, is a dual-edged one of cautious optimism and scathing criticism. Though how a man living in the City That Donk Built can complain is beyond me, frankly.

The Suzukis are a product of Wigan too, and possibly began as a deliberate counterpoint to Donk’s strangely lovable bouncy ridiculousness.

By name alone, The Suzukis sound like they ought to be a zippy, throwaway power-pop punk band – one who might have a novelty hit in Japan, or be big in Austria, or have surreptitiously written the theme song for a kids’ TV show.

The Suzukis // Reasons For Leaving

Defying the odds, they are actually nothing of the sort – and manage to touch surprising heights with their massive, punchy, skyscraping songs. Reasons For Leaving soars, heavy and impressive, growling and feral – as far as an introduction to a band goes, it’s as wholly impressive as it is brutal.

Drawing a comparison with The Blackout Crew is almost the dictionary definition of futility, but where Donk is dumb ‘n’ direct, The Suzukis have trodden the opposite path, shooting complicatedly into the night sky, dark, angry and ambitious. Put a donk on that.

www.myspace.com/thesuzukis

Total Babes: Like, Totally. Yeah?

Wait.

I was just about to write, “Total Babes’ Like They Always Do is unashamedly joyful, arrow-straight buzzsaw pop,” which, when you re-read it – usual music journo descriptive cobblers aside – raises one glaring question.

Why ‘unashamedly’?

What’s the perceived shame in writing, recording and performing songs that don’t feature trite use of ironic keyboards, or non-ironic sax lines, or 1500 layers of FX to make the song uncharmingly obtuse? And where, oh where, is the Witch House remix?

Too much exposure to too many bands trying too hard, that’s what’s done the damage.

 

And that meant that, when presented with Total Babes‘ spazzy, lo-fi, free-for-all, pre-ironic  sound, my brain flashed up the mental equivalent of the Blue Screen Of Death, unable to compute parameters that don’t exist.

So clutch Like They Always Do close to your bosom, as it’s both a deliriously fun relic of the naive past, and an indicator of the blissfully unindulgent future.

It’s a song – and they’re a band – free of bullshit, and full of simple enjoyment. That doesn’t mean they’re Ocean Colour Scene faux-authentic. It means they’re normal people with an extraordinary aim. Great.

MORE: facebook.com/totalbabes

>Today’s New Band – Kong

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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.

Cloud Nothings – Gold From The Murk

I’ve bored anyone who would listen – and plenty who didn’t want to – with the assertion that the best songs could be recorded on a dictaphone and they’d still sound good. A good song is all that matters. Dithering over sound quality is simply papering over important cracks.

This is one of the reasons why bands at the very beginning of their life cycles are so alluring – the songs you hear are unsullied with any concerns other than getting the songs recorded as quickly as possible, before another new one nudges the last one out of the artist’s brain.

Cloud Nothings // Hey Cool Kid

With all this in mind, after a few listens, it transpired that Cloud Nothings are the perfect ANBAD band. Cloud Nothings began as one man – Dylan Baldi – who recorded a handful of songs in his basement on a cheap microphone. For once I believe the PR blurb.

Hey Cool Kid, and songs of this ilk, can only have been recorded in this way, or at least with these intentions. Scrappy, murky and fuzzy it may be – but the nugget of gold glistens brightly through it all. ‘Catchy’ doesn’t begin to describe it: there’s no warning for what’s to come. It will weedle into your mind and perform loop-the-loops all day long.

Listening to these songs is a quick teleportation into the mind of the musician at the moment of creation. It’s a lovely trip, and a reminder that the important thing is the song – it’s always the song.

www.myspace.com/cloudnothings

Float Riverer: To See Or Not To See?

Next weekend the excellent, exciting, and excellently exciting Sounds From The Other City festival is taking place in Salford, and all week, ANBAD is showcasing the pick of the bands playing there.

For the benefit of international readers, Salford is a big grimy city right next to Manchester, which is another big grimy city. (If you’re still unsure, it is all in that bit of the UK that’s not London or Stratford.)

Smaller, city-based festivals like SFTOC that showcase new music get me all a-quiver with excitement, partly because of the array of thrilling new bands and partly because these kind of festivals are cheap, cheerful and are a brief glimpse into what life would be like if I ran the country.

The feeling of popping into a venue, catching a band, before swiftly finishing a drink and scuttling off to somewhere equally sweaty and noisy to see another is almost heavenly.

Float Riverer are one of the bands I’ll be looking to catch, though of course, at any festival, best-laid plans are the first thing to shoot out of the window, along with dignity, sobriety and basic motor function.

By the sounds of Calves, it would be a shame if I did miss them.

Float Riverer // Calves

The song is a template for anyone who wants to make crunchy, noise-from-next-door, yelp-rock. These kind of songs recorded in this kind of fashion are so endearing and full of life that listeners surf gleefully over the crackles, the fuzz and the ‘poor’ recordings and simply enjoy the songs.

Perhaps my best hope is to aim to miss Float Riverer, and then serendipity will ensure that I’ll accidentally catch the whole gig. Good stuff.

MORE: floatriverer.blogspot.com

Under Alien Skies

Hours turn into days, and another week of new bands rattle by. When will this relentless pace ever cease? It’s Friday now, and time to slow down. Deep breaths.

Speaking of slowing down, the oft-spurious, always-compelling scurrilous gossip website Popbitch claims that the NME’s circulation has dropped to a lowly 32,000 a week. This may well indeed be true – the sight of a person actually purchasing a copy has become hens-teeth-rare.

To put that figure in perspective, I know a music blogger who receives over 32,000 visitors each day. Ouch. Hey – the world’s changed quickly. No-one pays for music, let alone music criticism any more, especially when you can log onto some half-arsed website, like this one, for free.

Like the rest of us, Under Alien Skies may be wondering why they even started to get involved with the pop music world. And as a result, they’re making fabulously unravelled, slow noise-scapes.

Papillon isn’t a cover of the Editors’ song from a year or so ago, or if it is, it’s been mercifully slowed down to about a tenth of its original speed. The song, such as it is, winds and meanders with delicate poise and and ice-crystal fragility.

It’s slow, it builds, and it’s strangely affecting in its bits-and-pieces approach to noise-making. It ends on a weirdly euphoric note. Papillion, like the band, is a mass of pleasing contradictions. Lovely.

underalienskies.bandcamp.com

MIDWEEK MIXTAPE // 14th November 2012

Is nothing beyond the business chameleon that is Alex James? Not only does His Cheesiness play for Blur, make cheese and take money of Rupert Murdoch, but he can solve parking issues of minor commuter-belt towns.

Blur bassist offers land to ease shortage of station parking at Kingham

Well, his “people” do, anyway.

So, while your heart melts under the goodwill offered by people that Alex James employs to fully monetise the acreage of his land, why not dip into one of the more eclectic Mixtapes ANBAD has offered for a while?

FIRST! The mysterious Avec Sans shove smart bloopy noises into a pop funnel and squeeze out songs that could cross over into any number of domains: pop, epic-pop, “EDM”, whatever. It’s fairly rare to hear such slick pop from the grassroots, and yet here it is, bold as brass.

 

SECOND! And as a counterpoint to that slickness, Pagiins are bold enough to stick a delightfully wonky guitar line front and centre on Self Sabateur. They also pop the bounciest bassline of the year into the mix, and a singalong chorus. These guys!

 

THIRD! Clandestines‘ single You’d Have Never Even Asked My Name As Long As You Got The Satisfaction You Need will take up pretty much the whole of the reviews the song gets, which is a shame because it sounds [review limit exceeded]

 

FINALLY! What, a new song from ANBAD’s favourite mid-to-south-Wales weird-poppers, Trwbador? Marvellous – and this song is their iciest, most creepy pop song yet. Hooray!

Technological Simplicity: Music Blogging’s Saving Grace

**Sponsored Post**

Here’s a thing. Assuming music blogs aren’t dying, even whilst some voices bemoan otherwise, then where do they go from here?

Every tech-minded person with a lungful of air and a bank account of VC cash will tell you that “mobile is the future,” and yet the music blogging is firmly welded to the
laptop; reliant on online facilities like Soundcloud, hooked into Hype Machine, spitting out posts via RSS.

The music blog experience is entirely different on mobile devices – witness the austere functionality of ANBAD’s mobile site. But here’s a thought; if the future is, indeed, mobile, could the back-to-basics nature of the mobile device be music blogging’s saving grace?

Dialaphone, who are in the happy habit of giving away shiny bits of tech as free gifts, popped an Amazon Kindle 3G in the post for me to poke at with my sausage-like fingers. Narcissistic to the last, I immediately found its browser and visited this very website, you know, just for research purposes.

(You probably already know that the Kindle is a marvellous bit of kit, so I’ll spare you a redundant tech review, beyond saying that it is even more impressive than I realised.)

What I wasn’t aware of were the glut of smart apps, like Kindle Feeder and Kindle4RSS, that grab the feeds of your favourite Neo-Witch-House blogs and magically conjure the latest posts up onto your Kindle while you’re on the bus, glaring at drunken students.

Technological marvelling aside, dipping into the music blog whirlwind this way has one very important impact on yer bog-standard music blog: the writing is pushed to the fore. Not the video pushed by PR email two hours ago, not the photo of the artist standing gloomily beside a graffiti’d wall, not even the music itself, but the written content.

Shock, horror – most blogs are poorly written. Yes, yes, I know. But, having browsed a bunch of blogs plucked at near random it is a plain fact that many music blog posts consist of a link or a Soundcloud embed, or a video, and little else.

This is only partial-blogging – micro blogging on a full-blown blog, and not, in my opinion, the point.

So, maybe ‘music blogging’ as we knew it is dying a bit, after all.

Certainly, they’re not the flavour of the month any more. But that’s fine. And if the coming mass exodus to blog consumption via lightweight devices like this cause attention to be focussed on long-form music blogs, then – to these eyes – so much the better.

Kindle courtesy of http://www.dialaphone.co.uk/, who have a ton of other offers and such-and-such right here.