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.


 

>Today’s New Band – The New Daisy Godzilla

>I’ve battled with my brain’s inability to mull over a good song before. It’s testimony to a bad song‘s raison d’etre that the exact thing that you hate about it – the dreadful catchy melody – is the one thing that the song-processing bit of your mind latches onto, limpet-like.

Events in the petty soap-opera battle between my subconscious and musically bewildered conscious self have taken an interesting turn – yesterday I had a mixture – a mash-up, if you will – of two songs playing on my internal jukebox. And not any old mash-up, either.

This time, the full majesty of Ray Parker Jnr‘s Ghostbusters theme and the ludicrous repetitiveness of Count and Sinden‘s awesome Hit Me On My Beeper blended together to create a brand new hit.

In a music culture where the number of people who have also heard the same song of you is considered to be in inverse proportion to your Cool Status, perhaps brain-remixing is the only true way of remaining ahead of the pack.

So take Today’s New Band, The New Daisy Godzilla, and squish crazy, mazy songs like Birds Are A Good Idea with anything you like to make a brand new one. Even if you don’t, you’ll find that The New Daisy Godzilla are livelier than a hyperactive teenager, and ten times as noisy.

Dancing In The Graveyard jolts into life, and thrusts at you unashamedly, the band drunk and frisky with their own animation. 2Souls1City is a love song for those who love violently unexpected seismic shifts – jerking with barely-restrained energy, a blur of wild drumming and liberally applied effect-pedal guitar screeching.

Invite The New Daisy Godzilla into your life. They’ll hump your leg, run around the room a hundred times, and then exit, leaving you breathless. Great! Listen here.

Pope Joan – I Like The Popes, The Popes Are Dope


Oh what the hell. It wouldn’t be the most glib occurrence on ANBAD. So here we go: to coincide neatly with His Holiness The Pope’s visit to the UK, here’s a band who have been rubbing their hands together for months in anticipation.

I mean, just think of all the cross-referenced Google-search traffic that will be accidentally diverted to their Myspace page. They’ll be rolling around on hotel beds covered in banknotes and Page 3 girls by the end of this week, mark my words.

I Can’t Stand You At All (WIP) by Pope Joan

All of which is rather unfair. Not that they don’t deserve the money or the glamour girls, but the idea that they need a mainly unconnected monster of a news item to boost their profile – because Pope Joan are a band of such transparent excellence that they oughtn’t need it at all.

I Can’t Stand You At All is the kind of rubberised, contorted and deconstructed pop song that you’ll have thought no longer got written. So while its mere existence is a balmy treat, the song itself is a heady and thick soupy rumble: all the most pleasing elements of popular music have been carefully pieced  into one – and there really is no other suitable word – glorious assemblage of soaring, thrilling pop.

I listen to hours of music as a by-product of running ANBAD. After a while the thought of walking into a record shop and actually purchasing music just feels far too gauche to seem feasible. But I’d walk all the way into town on a rainy Saturday to buy Pope Joan‘s CD, and in the age of free-everything, that’s as high as praise gets.

www.myspace.com/popejoan

soundcloud.com/popejoan

>Today’s New Band – The Covergirls PLUS! Crystal Ball-Gazing!

>It seems important to hit the ground running in the New Year. Christmas was an inevitable blur of overindulgence and snoozing, without thought of the future or the past. Come the first of January though, and both eyes swivel, panicked and wide, towards the TERRIBLE, INEVITABLE AND RAPIDLY APPROACHING future.

It therefore seems reasonable to have a quick look at the year ahead, and what might snare your attention in it. Predictably, not all of this will be pretty.

Music is all about revivals, whether you like it or not. As a quick example of what might happen in the next 12 months, here’s two people who might benefit from this unlovable trend:

2009 might be the year when we find a group of people brave enough to rekindle The KLF‘s art/noise/stadium house/chaos regime again, and if Pop Incorporated start dumping dead sheep around London, we’ll know it worked. Or maybe it’ll be the year when too-cool-for-school ironic-facial hair supremo Master Shortie ‘goes mainstream’, as if his slick late-08’s-with-a-slant pop sound wasn’t aimed there all along. Who knows.

For us at A New Band A Day, though, the news that ANBAD darlings Art Brut are recording an album with Black Francis from The Pixies sent us into spasms of joy, incredulity and OMGOMGOMGOMG. This surely is the musical meeting of minds that will Win Big, as The Kids say. Time will indeed tell.

To keep our feverish minds distracted whilst we wait for the Best Album Ever, we’ll be featuring a great new band, every day, as usual. So dubious congratulations to The Covergirls, who are the first New Band of 2009!

Yet another band unearthed from the rich seam in the Glasgow Great Bands Pit, The Covergirls’ songs are musical ADHD – in turns scuzzy, twinkly and robotic. Songs like Catch The Tiger and La Casilla de la Muerte stomp aggressively just as unexpectedly as they tiptoe melodically, as if the band’s kid sister has crept into the studio and is cheekily flicking the Fuzz/Clean switch on the guitar amps at random.

Riffs, clobbered drums and sweetly cooed vocals all meet in the middle, hoping to reconcile, but just end up having a spectacularly colourful and enjoyable brawl. As a consequence, songs like Say It Don’t Spray It features one of the most violently choppy riffs heard for ages, and the band thrashes around to keep up.

Then, finally, in an attempt to lever more praise from us Pun-Lovers at ANBAD (but probably not), they even bung in a corker of a song title in the form of Slouching Digger Paper Waggon. The Covergirls are a jolting, fun and thrillingly noisy start top the year. Got cobwebs? Blow them away here!

>Today’s New Band – Shark?

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I’m not going to lie. The primary reason I listened to Today’s New Band was because of a lightly-obsessive punctuation fetish. This is a confession of sorts, so here goes: I’m drawn, moth-like, to bands with question marks in their name.

It was once Northern Irish spazz-rockers Therapy?, then marvellous 60’s US fruit-loop garage rockers ? And The Mysterians, and now I’ve tractor-beamed onto today’s super new band, Shark?.

I don’t know why. It’s probably the air of mystery again. What would cause such an exclamation? Is it the last derisive snort of a soon-to-be-devoured, cocky sailor? The unused and alternative title for Jaws? If you too obsess over minor, idiotic details like this, you’ll understand the maddening attraction.

Querying-punctuation marks aside, Shark? is a bit of a grubby thrill. **CLICHÉ ALERT** A shark needs to keep moving forwards to survive (Zing!), but Shark? has shot backwards and found a richly gunky and dirty sound to thrive on. This is superb grimy garage-rock, with the added benefit of 30-odd years’ hindsight.

“I’ve got friends in low places/ I’ve got bones to pick with everyone (but you),” half-threatens I’ve Got Friends. The song chunters and grinds; a wild mechanical blur of fuzzy guitars and stark drumbeats.

If that was a song to be appreciated, then I’m An Animal is one to throw yourself around the bedroom to: the chiming riff pealing insistently, the hi-hats constant, the vocals growling, weary but happy.

As I’m An Animal explodes in a maelstrom of cute overlapping melodies and frenzied drums, you might dwell on the thought that such greatness is often achieved in this kind of simplicity. Songs like these leave nothing else on which to ponder. They’re simple, straightforward and yet convoluted enough to make you wonder. Shark?: scuzzy and pure. Listen here!

>Today’s New Band – Mongrel

>Supergroups! Don’t you just love their best-of-all-worlds approach to music? Well, no, not usually. Taking X guitarist and Y drummer from a number of big bands often equates to devastatingly bland groups like Crosby Stills Nash and Young, Asia and more recently, Velvet Revolver, who had all the bombast of all their respective mother groups, but with none of the tunes. I can’t even whistle any of the songs by The Good, The Bad and The Queen, who actually endeavoured to create something more than a mere vanity project out of their enticing Blur/Clash/Verve/Tony Allen combination.

None of this bodes well for Today’s New Band, Mongrel, does it? As the name bluntly insinuates, they’re comprised of musicians from all over the shop. The members and ex members of Arctic Monkeys, Babyshambles, Reverend and The Makers, as well as ace producer-artists Adrian Sherwood, Jagz Kooner and Low Key that whelped Mongrel must have, at some point, sat in a room, and thought, “Perhaps this Supergroup thing might work this time, for us.”

And you know what? It does. Their music is one of those rare collaborative efforts where all the member’s respective influences are audible, blending craftily together to form something new, instead of fighting for prominence. Dub, indie and hip-hop sprawl around in Mongrel‘s tightly focused songs, and in some ways, each song is enjoyable merely because the sound works so well. The fact that the songs are good as well is the proverbial icing on the proverbial cake.

Better Than Heavy is a heavy, twanging and dubby lollop that is as inventive as it is fun, pinging form here to there without compromising any ideals. And song Barcode shouldn’t work. It just shouldn’t. No sane mind would try to make such desperate worlds collide, but Mongrel must be collectively crazy, because it sounds just right.

Political and angry in a time when most people are too bothered about the latest minutiae of Britney’s latest weight loss/gain too get angry about anything, let alone politics, Mongrel are a band that might not end up being loved by millions. The fact that all this was even possible should thrill even the most cynical heart, though. They are doing everything they can to make their voices heard, and great tunes, intelligent thoughts and a fierce determination are the best place to start. This is what they’ve got, in spades, so listen here, now!

>Cousins, and Julian Casablancas’ Tinsel Fetish

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Ow, this is hurting my head. Now, on one hand, I love novelty Christmas songs, especially camp, blatant, tinsel-strewn ones from the 70’s. On the other hand, the words ‘Julian Casablancas’ and ‘Christmas Song’ seem so oxymoronic that a pine-scented vortex might open up in space-time if they are sincerely placed next to each other.

And yet, here’s I Wish It Was Christmas Today, a fun seasonal romp, complete – nay, replete – with jingling bells, good old-fashioned excitement and cheerful brevity. Initially, I thought it was a Strokes parody song – here’s a serious band doing a fun song!! Hurr, hurr, geddit? – but then it slowly dawned on me that it was too good and too, well, sincere in its playfulness to be a joke. Gosh.

And speaking of sincere, here’s Nova Scotia’s Cousins, a band whose solemnity firms the groundrock on which a series of bare, stripped-down songs are built. Around Their Waists grunts and growls as it lollops a pretty, bittersweet journey through life and love.

Cousins – Around Their Waists

At first it seems that their songs are too bleached plain – but it quickly dawns that the songs are so for good reason. Cousins make songs that are distant, pure and clear in both intent and direction. Their sound is basic because the most important things in life are too – and we’re left with a feeling of warm introspection. Cosy.

Chresus Jist: Firsties Things First

chresusjistI popped up on Tom Robinson’s excellent BBC 6 Music Now Playing show last Sunday; the latest in a silly-string of  ‘media appearances’ that I’ve stumbled into over the last year or so. The fools won’t learn.

Anyway, I picked bunch of ANBAD faves for the show, including the excellent WALK, Octapush, Straw Bear (for whom ANBAD is now acolyte-in-chief) and Painted Zeros. Give the show a spin: it’s a good ‘un, and if you want to dodge my bit, skip from the 30mins to 60mins mark.

At one point, a dissenting tweeter took time out from arranging his collection of pristine Armenian jangle-pop 7″ vinyl singles into alphabetical order, to made a jibe along the lines of, “I thought you were recommending new bands?!”, which served to remind me of two things: that Firsties! snobbery knows no bounds in the new music world, and that ‘new’ is a subjective term in all sorts of tedious ways.

Moreover, whilst I treat ANBAD’s constant churn of new bands to be the antithesis of the wider chew-’em-up-and-spit-’em-out phenomenon, I guess I have to entertain the possibility that I’m not as guiltless as I think I am.

So, er, time for a new band, right?

I somehow found and then lost the link to Chresus Jist‘s Bandcamp page, probably because I was too busy enjoying the bandname to copy it down.

Songs like Kill serve a function that is broadly swept under the carpet: to fulfil a short-lived buzz among people (like me) who like to absorb the electric thrill of a buzzy two-minute guitar record, and then discard it and move on.

It’s not because the song is bad – it really isn’t: Kill rattles through one delirious chorus after another – but because it’s the nature of the beast. Some pop really is disposable; some bands really are throwaway.

Considering today’s methods and ethos of music consumption, this shouldn’t be a huge surprise. Enjoy, for however briefly you choose to do so. Although, even if it’s simply for the sake of the continued use of a brilliant name, I hope Chresus Jist aren’t disposed of soon.

MORE: chresusjist.bandcamp.com

>Today’s New Band – Screaming Maldini PLUS! Smell!

>Unresearched Glib Pop Music Theory #235680: the act of hearing music has a closer resemblance to the act of smelling than any other sense. Perhaps this seemingly ludicrous claim should be qualified a little. Smell is almost indescribable in any terms other than other smells. Wines, for example, smell of freshly mown lawns, tarmac melting on hot days and hedgerow blossoms.

Melted chocolate smells wonderful because it smells of melted chocolate. It’s self-referential. So is music, cutting, as it does, to the pin-prick centre of your mind/heart/soul – wherever you feel like your most base feelings are housed.

I saw this demonstrated when my 70 year old grandfather, a calm, placid soul if there ever was one, leapt from his chair and danced like a carefree youth on his old orange and yellow living-room carpet, when an old 45 of Mockingbird by Charlie and Inez Foxx was slipped onto the record player. It was like time travel for me – a glimpse of the man he once was – clapping, stamping and hip-swivelling and all. Only a few of our senses can do that, when triggered.

So what will click in you when you hear Today’s New Band, Screaming Maldini? They make the kind of pop-driven tunes that shimmer breezily and also have enough nous to make them several quirky notches above the bland MOR purgatory that such songs can sometimes inhibit.

Secret Sounds is deceptively complex, seemingly a swift jaunt through tinkling pop territory; a closer listen reveals a song that delights in folding in on itself over and over, until compressed into a rough indie diamond. The brass stylings of The Extraordinary casts an eye over its influences that is alternatingly suave and relaxed and then inquisitively scatterbrained. Monkey See Badger Do strikes out from the first squeak of its endearingly wandering melody, and is crazier than a box of frogs.

Orchestral, lush and endlessly inventive, Screaming Maldini stopped worrying about whether they were trying to do too much and just bunged it all in the mix. In doing so, they have hit upon their own magic formula and out has spilled a number of unusual pop songs. Great! Listen here!

Giant Burger: Re-Spawned

Bands don’t usually get second chances on ANBAD.

It’s nothing personal; it’s just the nature of the beast that is ANBAD (and if you’re trying to picture the beast in question, look no further than here.)

Besides, moving relentlessly from one new band to another, without pausing for thought is so de rigueur. I’m just holding a mirror to the music industry, like, yeah?

One band have found a way to sneak through the system: ANBAD’s Fourth Best Band of 2011, who were Baaneex, and have now re-spawned as  Giant Burger. Oh, go on then…

 

 

Interestingly/worryingly, Lancelot on the Dole is described by the band as “Doom Meat Pop”.

This is, on reflection, appropriate. It is a giant slab of marbled, meaty prog-folk-rock, of the kind that stopped being cool a long time ago; and yet, here’s a song that makes you wonder if, not for the first time, popular opinion is totally wrong.

Baaneex were/are a band of perverse, complex curiousness, and whilst their new configuration is almost wholly different in appearance, they still have a defiant oddness pervading throughout. Uncool. Great.

MOREgiantburger.bandcamp.com

Glass Animals; Fuelled By Devious High Teas

I’ve been investing great swathes of time listening to the Beastie Boys‘ audio commentaries of the their best albums. They’re a blast, with the three now-veteran (OK, ‘old’) japesters collectively pressing tongues firmly into their cheeks.

Still, these insights are hugely revealing, particularly when it comes to the thorny issue of defining creativity itself. Much time is dedicated to bickering good-naturedly over whether an SP-1200 or Akai MPC-60 was used to sample a novelty cod-funk record, and by their own admission the hectic and brilliant Check Your Head took three years to make: of which two and a half was spent playing basketball.

Their self-effacing attitude isn’t simply a front –  they seem wholly bemused by their ability to cobble together songs that end up being loved by so many, especially as their attitude towards their craft sounds relaxed to say the least.

So if the Beastie Boys don’t know how they do it, what hope do any new bands have? How do they learn? The same way as Ad-Rock and co. did, I imagine: by staggering along and hoping for the best.

Is this how Glass Animals went about putting their songs together too? Probably – but by the sounds of it, they replaced the sweaty two-on-one basketball sessions with spiffing high teas.

Their songs linger and creep, and this quality is none more apparent than in Dust In Your Pocket, an exercise in spooked-out pop that has all the hallmarks of a band that are so overflowing with ideas that they were forced to fade down half of the tracks they recorded simply for reasons of clarity.

Dust is minimal to the point that the listener is dragged along waiting for the moment the song collapses – although it never does – and the song turns out to be its own devious alter-ego, keeping excess in check and thriving on its own dizzy and multi-faceted construction. Glass Animals: strange, sharp and direct.

MORE: soundcloud.com/glassanimals