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.


 

>I Come To Shanghai, The Fall, and The Mark E. Smith Fingers/Pies Interface

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As well as watching the Worst Band Ever, last week I also finally managed to catch The Fall, the finest grumpy band in the world. Singer Mark E Smith has been puzzling, delighting and be-grumpifying audiences for decades now, armed only with a perculi-ah! singing-ah! style-ah!, an endless supply of black leather zip-up jackets and a band line-up that rotates, frequently, and at his whim alone.

Needless to say, all the worthy praise you’ve ever read about The Fall is true – defiant, odd and thrilling- and make songs that are timeless by virtue of two things: their genuinely weird, outsider status, and the clattering brilliance of the songs themselves. All of this is held together by Smith, cracked ringmaster extraordinaire, the laser focus fuelled by beer, ego and more beer.

All of this has been roundly ignored by I Come To Shanghai, a band whose smoothed-off sound and shimmering brightness is miles away from grimy post-punk nihilism. Pass The Time is a yearning, pretty sigh; lazy, candy-coloured and wrapped up in its own semi-happiness.

Your Lazy Eye is a sky-shooting delight, and the breezy, bright pop couldn’t be further from The Fall’s… wait – or are they? There’s a sneaking suspicion that The Fall is still influencing new bands even now, possibly without either party knowing.

I Came To Shanghai – Lazy Eye

Having hung around for so long, rambling at all and sundry, telling them what to do, that, like the old drunk in the pub, you begin to take some of it in. And in I Come To Shanghai‘s sweet, clanking guitars, off-kilter view and taut drums, The Fall are there, insidious and sneering. The band just don’t realise it yet. This might be a very good thing.

The Fucked Up Beat: Songs For Lovers

Valentine’s Day calls for one of two musical reactions: drippy accession to the whole thing by playing love songs all day, or by listening to something wholly inappropriate.

The latter seems to be harder to come by in the new music world – bands are now so eagle-eyed that every calendar date is an opportunity for a quickly dashed-off tie-in. The Valentines song! The Anti-valentines song! All readily available for easy embedding into your music blog!

I don’t believe The Fucked Up Beat created their song Paranoia especially for such an occasion as this. If they did, it was a masterpiece of forethought and planning.

 

Paranoia, and its sister songs on the equally cheerful  Paranoia​/​Erosion​/​Rust​/​Funerals​/​Death EP, are formed from found sounds, field recordings and a melody from what sounds, to these ears, like a rhythmically-thumbed harmonium.

As an ode to love it’s pretty much useless, but as a reminder that life is frighteningly finite and that we should pretty much all get on with enjoying it, it’s flawless.

There are songs that hypnotise through sheer endurance and persistence – and Paranoia is one of them. Creepy, cold, but curiously tender.

MORE: thefuckedupbeat.bandcamp.com

The Modus Torn: Half Missing

The hardest part about painting someone’s portrait is not trying to attain a perfect  likeness of the sitter – it’s knowing when to stop adding more paint.

It turns out that The Modus Torn broached the same issue, albeit with sound, not something squeezed out of a tube.

Suddenly has an entirely ill-fitting title – slowly uncoiling mumbled sounds from a different time, a different place.

 

There’s something half-finished or half-missing about this track, and this vagueness is not a flaw – it’s actually the song’s greatest strength.

An almost out-of-sync guitar line, and lyrics that may or may not be there at all, seep gently into one another. It’s a song that teeters precipitously on the edge of uselessness, but doesn’t fall.

The Modus Torn stopped at exactly the right moment. It might have been a mistake, it might have been deliberate. But it worked.

NB: There are no pictures of The Modus Torn anywhere. Above is a picture of the Renault Modus. Close enough.

MORE: soundcloud.com/modus-torn

D/Wolves: Righting The Rudder

ANBAD has been awash with gauche pop, ragged electronica and smothering lo-fi rock recently.

This, of course, is a Good Thing, but occasionally the rudder needs to be righted back to a neutral position, else the good ship ANBAD starts drifting in aimless circles.

Enter D/Wolves, the corrective prescription for our – and your – ills.

This is not to say that D/Wolves are peddling dull average-rock: it’s just that they have eschewed aural histrionics in favour of the more daft ‘n’ direct approach to their songs.

Tell Me Why is, in that sense, almost timeless in its construction, relying on – GASP! – songwriting craft to push its point quietly and insistently home.

Wait – did I say quietly? Because Tell Me Why builds insidiously to the kind of thunderous climax that Radiohead once specialised in, before abandoning such practices for esoterica.

No matter – for now, D/Wolves have their craft under full control, allowing splashes of mutant noise in and out of their songs at will. Great.

MORE: dwolves.bandcamp.com

>Today’s New Band – Last Tide

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Last week, virtual unknown Speech Debelle won the prestigious-ish Mercury Music Prize, the UK’s annual too-cool-for-school musical bunfight. Mercury prize winners are supposed to be doubly blessed: firstly by winning the £20,000 prize, and secondly by a huge boost in record sales from the positive publicity.

Unfortunately for Speech Debelle, her album got a boost only as far as 65 in the charts, and now it lingers around the high 90s. Poor Speech Debelle. Public rejection is always hard to take. In the early days of the Mercury Prize, winning bands habitually gave the prize money away to charity. I hope Speech Debelle has held onto it.

My vote went to The Horrors, who surprisingly, and boldly, ditched their NME-approved schlock garage rock and became a My Bloody Valentine tribute act, aping their sound, vocals and even the Loveless album cover. In retrospect, that last sentence is quite mean – their new album is actually very good indeed, and they ought to be applauded for their brave sonic leap.

As the years pass, My Bloody Valentine seem to have been more and more ahead of their time. Everyone wants a drop of their woozy sound in their band’s mix these days. Today’s New band, Last Tide, owe a portion of their attractively swooping feel to MBV too.

Take W.Y.C., a rushing, dreamy, rampant splash of from a paintbox full of shades of grey. It’s a great, unexpected, echo-laden song that swirls and drifts madly before extinguishing itself, and even if their other songs can’t quite compete with it for sheer bulk, it’s a lovely mark to leave on a staid rock landscape.

That said, A Traitor In My Mind has plenty of clout, and nearly achieves the same dizzy rushing feel. Last Tide gather together threads of post-rock, shoegaze, psychedelia and weave a concrete-hued cloth. Making drab delightful: Listen here!

>Playboy Playmates, Hi-Fi Geeks and Today’s New Band – The Furbelows

>I once found myself chatting to a man in a pub who worked in a Hi-Fi shop. He was the kind of guy you’d expect to find working in a Hi-Fi shop – gawky, not quite fully aware of other people’s personal space, that kind of thing. But he was nice, even if he was one of those audiophiles who obsess about sound quality over what’s actually being listened to in the first place. I got the feeling he listened to a lot of Bruce Springsteen. But I digress.

I asked him what songs they play to test the quality of new CD players, amps and speakers. He said that for quite a while now, they’d used Angel by Massive Attack, by virtue of its ridiculously heavy bassline, which, Hi-Fi geek speaking, separates the Separates from the Separates.

As much as I love Mezzanine, the album that opens ominously with Angel, I’m not sure if I’d want to take it out of context as an enjoyable bit of dubby music and make it into an everyday quasi-scientific experiment. Music is enjoyment for its own sake, isn’t it?

Speaking of enjoyment, music and experimentalism, here’s Today’s New Band, The Furbelows. “I’m a fun-loving, heat-seeking pleasure machine,” they howl excitedly on Pleasure Machine, a song that’s so much fun and so good, I was almost positive it was a cover, but if it is, I can’t find any traces of the original anywhere.

This can only mean it’s all theirs and this is a good thing. Pleasure Machine rips up the carpet, stomps its Cuban heeled feet into the floorboards and before you know it, has created a clammy, uninhibited party. It’s as simple, attractive and as much fun as a Playboy Playmate, and twice as pleasant to listen to.

After a start like that – and I assume that The Furbelows will start their gigs with it, not to mention every single public engagement forthwith; weddings, funerals and doctors appointments included – it’s not too surprising, or unfair, that none of their other songs match it for bombast, at least.

That’s not to say they’re no good, though – What Whiskey Is For is nearly the kind of song that Spiritualized would write if they had a sense of humour. But, if you want a blast of pure, eccentric, in-capital-letters-FUN, you could do no better than clicking here and putting Pleasure Machine on loop.

>Today’s New Band – Like a Fox

>Simian-theme band names are like all the rage in rock music. The Arctic Monkeys, the Monkeys, Gorrillaz, Simian, and even last Friday’s New Band of the Day, The Cruiser Chimps.

So here’s to today’s new band, Like A Fox, for shunning the temptation of crowbarring a monkey theme into their name. Foxes are crafty animals, all sly and sneaky, which augurs well for a rock band’s image. Like a Monkey would just conjure up images of the band scratching purple bottoms and scaring zoo-bound school parties by throwing their own excrement at them.

Unusual faeces imagery aside (though if that’s your thing, see one of last week’s bands, Coprophagia, here), Like A Fox are a lovely loping mix of Mercury Rev and Grandaddy. They’re another one of those slightly gleeful American bands – the type that seem to drift out of the USA every once in a while – and are a happy antidote to the mentalist urgency of most rock on the radio at the moment.

Frankly, if their song A Little doesn’t make you feel just a bit joyfully wistful, you may not be wholly human. Hear it on their Myspace page – and check out Heavy Soothing too- and see if time doesn’t just float by.

– – A big thanks to Andy Woods from the fabulous Smile night at the Star and Garter in Manchester for introducing me to Like a Fox- –

>ANBAD Benevolent Overlord Internets Robot Strikes Again!

>So, as the eagle-eyed and owl-eared(?) of you will have noticed, there was no new band today! Sacre bleu!

The blame can be placed right by the door – assuming evil lairs hewn deep into the side of a terrifying volcano have doors – of the ANBAD Benevolent Overlord Internets Robot, for whom the bewilderingly complex ‘putting the words on the Internet’ task is designated.

As such, disaster struck today, and only this garbled message could be quickly whelped towards our delightful readers before the internet shunned us once more. A thousand apologies.

HUGE, EPOCH-DEFINING COMPENSATION AWAITS HERE, in the form of a website that will allow you to make any song of your choosing into a Donk remix. ANBAD recommends: Advanced Settings/Donk Type 5/Extreme chipmunk. It’s your duty to Put A Donk On It.

Normal service resumed next week. Honest – including the Best Bands of March Round-Up! Hooray!

>Today’s New Band – Juno PLUS! Picking Up Bad Vibrations!

>Hilariously, there are workmen working directly above where I’m typing this. They are using power tools that resonate with the exact frequency that:

a) makes everything in the room vibrate unpleasantly, including my eyeballs
b) makes the sound you’d expect to hear if you were one of the trees in a Woody Woodpecker cartoon
c) is so deep and resonant that it may cause spontaneous bowel evacuation (I’ll keep you informed about this one)

I always contended that there was no sound that was so awful that some sort of pleasure couldn’t be derived from it if arranged properly. Look at the Drillcore scene and some of Aphex Twin‘s more esoterically ‘difficult’ music for ideas. However, I now realise that I was being wildly optimistic and probably a bit tree-hugging-peace-and-love to boot. There is, it turns out, such thing as irredeemably bad noise, and it’s currently being vibrated into me at about 100 decibels.

The weakening effect of the noise has shaken out a confession: I should have picked up Today’s New Band, Juno, a good twelve months ago. Shocking isn’t it? In an attempt to put a positive spin on such a poor showing, I’m convinced that this is purely because there is so much good new music around at the moment that they just never got through.

Juno should have popped up on my radar almost instantly because of their association with Manda Rin, of Bis fame. She pops up here and there on their songs, puncturing the noise hyperactively and as idiosyncratically as ever.

On Party Music, the lolloping relationship between the guitar and drums reminds me a bit of Happy Mondays, and this can only be a suitably happy comparison to draw. Jet Set Juno is a weirdnik Teen-C/electro-rock squash-up that sounds like it belongs as the theme song to the imaginary TV show featuring the cartoons you used to doodle at the back of French Class at school. These Boys Are Athletes has been rattling around for a year, but it’s still as much of a chant-along futuro-pop monster as it was a year ago, all power chords and carefree bleeping.

It’s always a joy to hear a band that are clearly drawing a huge amount of fun just from being in a band together. Juno are like that. It’s an even bigger joy when the band in question make music that’s just as much fun to listen to as well. Juno are like that too.

Juno‘s songs would go down just as well in an Indie disco as in a roomful of sugar-buzzed 8 year olds. That’s about as happy a recommendation as you’ll get. So check them out here!

Burning Buildings: Progressing, Doubling Back, Progressing

Yesterday brought us a crash course in new-band marketing; today presents simplicity: a band with songs online to play to you.

Wait, here’s the first problem: Burning Building‘s songs aren’t simple at all. They’re complex, leaping from one idea to another, styles and genres akimbo.

And yet, they’re easily accessible to even the most unadventurous of ears. This, of course, is the band’s chief achievement.

Is Knowing/Not Knowing a heavy rock chug, a clattering post-rock cacophony, a math-rock pitter-patter, or all of the above? Should we even care?

Contorted, stuttering and polymathic: in many ways, Burning Buildings are indicative of the many multi-faceted bands emerging from Manchester’s curiously fertile scene at the moment.

These bands are all without true genre, or without defined style – a conscious leap away from Manchester’s past. Whether this brave anti-everything stance is commercially viable remains to be seen.

What’s clear is this: Burning Buildings’ songs and their style are a work in progress – but then so is all art worth our attention.

MORE: burningbuildings.bandcamp.com