>Stained Glass Heroes, Baby Cannibalism and Rap-Rock

Think your life’s crappy? Pah. I’ve just read Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, which, as far as I can tell, was nothing more than a literary exercise on the author’s part to redefine the word ‘bleak’.

In The Road, McCarthy takes the meaning to whole new levels of shuddering misery from whence the word itself can now only be written in a special ink made from a mixture of the ground bones from your recently deceased cat, and orphans’ tears.

So, all you struggling writers looking for work, and new bands (who are on the road in a very different manner), read the book and take heart. Life looks better when you haven’t had to cannibalise babies for food yet.

Stained Glass HeroesInsects is pretty menacing and post-apocalyptic itself, albeit with more of an exoskeletal slant. The guitars grind mechanically, the vocals are crooned through the last remaining walkie-talkie, and the chorus is a relentless insectoid scuttle. It’s a rather brilliant, rather camp, lurching monster of a song with a hook that you’ll hum robotically for aeons.

Stained Glass Heroes – Insects

Dashing quickly from Schlock-rock to edge-of-reason drumbeat fiasco, Turkish Wedding shakes with lunatic precision, drawing all around it into a wild, circular, rhythmical shimmy.

Uncomfortably close in name to dreadful US Rap-Rock (urgh) outfit Gym Class Heroes they may be; but if Stained Glass Heroes are the musical accompaniment to the apocalypse, I for one will enjoy my senseless killing and pillaging rampage just that little bit more. Sharpen your butcherin’ knives and listen here!

>Today’s New Band – Nic Dawson Kelly

When I left university, I held a succession of woeful jobs, all of which were designed to sap the remaining hope, desire and belief in humanity from the participants. I realised I had reached my personal nadir when I was getting up at six every morning to mow lawns at sewage works.

Today’s new artist, Nic Dawson Kelly, says that he too has ‘done more crap jobs than he cares to remember’. Reading that simple sentence sent empathetic shivers down my spine, and if I was in possession of a heart, as opposed to the black, shrivelled CAULDRON OF HATRED that nestles between my lungs, I’d have felt sympathy.

Sometimes an artist has such a distinctive voice that their songs need to be listened to twice: once to admire the vocals, and then the second time to actually hear the song behind it. Nic can join this short list of lucky singers. The shock of hearing the curious, archaic clarity of his voice is like that of a loud handclap in the face of a snoozing pensioner.

It’s quite easy to overlook the fact that The Musician is a good song in itself, so overshadowed as it is by Nic’s lusty crooning. It’s a dry and sharp snook cocked at the tribulations of a singer trying to make it; a song which will demand your attention and sympathy in equal measure. And yet there’s the voice, the voice…

After such a eulogy, you may find that Nic Dawson Kelly has a voice that you just can’t bear. It will probably divide opinion. But I’m sure you’ll be as mesmerised as I was. Listen here, and swoon.

>Today’s New Band – Forest Fire


While I was in Vigo, I ate a lot of Pulpo de Gallega. It’s the local dish, and is so simple, even a fingers-and-thumbs chef like me could serve it to friends and family without risking annual Christmas-time jibes about ‘that time you gave me diarrhoea/the most inedible food ever/amoebic dysentery‘. Here’s the first, and last, ANBAD recipe*:
  1. Get some octopus legs and cut them into suckery, weird-looking discs.
  2. Boil them with slices of potato.
  3. Put weird, suckery octuopus bits on top of potato.
  4. Sprinkle with paprika.
  5. Shove into idiot mouth.
See? So uncomplicated that it’s hard to believe it could even be considered a local delicacy. But it is, and it’s bowel-tremblingly delicious.
There’s a slightly agonising and obvious parallel to be drawn between the simplicity of Pulpo de Gallega and a good new band. Too many bands pollute songs with Keith-Moon drum fills or guitar noodling. Good bands don’t need frills or tarting-up. They are good because of their natural saltiness.
To draw this simile to an agonising close, Today’s New Band, Forest Fire, are a big cauldron pull of octo-potato tastiness. They write songs that shoot here and there, making the sounds they really desire at the times they actually want to make them.
Plinking and plonking drunkenly, I Make Windows is an end-of-the-night, end-of-the-world hymn to . It stumbles, staggers and sways, keeping on the right track by force of will alone. The band sound like they are scattered in bits and yet tightly bound together all at once. Promise materialises from angry flames and leers with intent; a threatening drum and screech coupled to demented, terrifying word.
You’ll gladly clutch at Forest Fire, ugly suckers and all, because they’ve realised that these bits, which some people try to disguise or round off, are what separate them from the bland. Their music has that vital ingredient: unconfined individuality. Yum. A really very good new band. Listen here!
*barring the inspiration-bereft day when you may receive an article beginning with the old chestnut, “How to make a New Band. Take a pound of jangly guitar, a splash of hi-hats, fold in some moody posing…etc

>Today’s New Band – Amy Blue


After so many weeks on the road in a Nissan Micra which is starting to take on an odour somewhere between ‘unwashed human’ and ‘perhaps that’s where I left that half full tin of own-brand tuna’, it has been aural nectar to hear good music again.
Having not been able to check out new bands for so long, and existing only on the drivel that is served up on any Euro-radio station you care to pick (and there are hundreds, all churning out the same crappy Hits O’ Yesteryear Blend: now I know where Simply Red, The Police and Tony Christie get the bulk of their royalty payments from) I’ve started to wonder whether INXS weren’t, you know, all that bad.
So, with that terrifying thought to chew on, here’s Today’s New Band. They’re Amy Blue, and don’t sound anything like INXS, although if any member decides to go for a masturbatory-asphyxiation death trip, it’ll at least boost their profile a bit rather than finish them off completely.
Any dreadful ex-Yugoslav-radio-induced INXS comparisons are onviously very unfair. Amy Blue are a better band, and whilst I’m not totally certain, I don’t think the singer has had sex with Kylie Minogue. However, if they keep producing great, swirling ‘n’ clattering smash-up rock songs like The Language Of Ghosts, who knows? If Tiny Kylie swooned with happiness at the nicely dipping and droning chorus like I did, she may still end up their eager groupie.
The other songs on their Myspace page are, disappointingly, just 30-second snippets (either that or my Slovenian computer can’t cope with any more than that – a distinct possibility), but there’s enough there to conclude that Amy Blue are a raucous lot with an eagerness for making ear-drilling, quasi-early-My Bloody Valentine drone-noise. Which means they’re just peachy by my estimation. Listen here.

>Today’s New Band – Max With Max

>”Trams! Inaugural trams!” squeaked Super Furry Animals recently in their song, er, Inaugural Trams. It is one of the few songs that fully celebrates the unbridled joys of rail travel. Trains, despite the inevitable delays, the woeful onboard food and the crummy stations, are still the superior method of transport.

Sitting at a desk with a cool drink; to be able to get up and go to the loo as and when your bladder desires; flirting with a recently-boarded and now concerned stranger; watching a beautiful series of Welsh valleys huff past your window – you just don’t find those options presenting themselves to you when you’re stuck in traffic at Junction 17 on the M6. And it is always Junction 17 of the M6.

Baalial, by Today’s New Band, Max With Max, has a train-like quality. It clanks with the soothing/jarring repetition of a train carriage, and has the menacing intent of a large, impossibly heavy vehicle moving at 150 MPH. Talhis Iblis is positively playful in comparison, shimmering and twittering, and flipping in some ingenious noises that are half bleep, half human voice.

Angra Mainyu wallops you upside the head with manic jabbering, speeding up, slowing down; a burst of crazy inventive energy.

Hearing Max With Max like listening to a scrambled mobile phone message and finding that the encryption has accidentally created a beautiful musical mess. Sweet, sweet insanity. Listen here!

>Today’s New Band – Pouff

>It was a public holiday over the weekend and so I camped with my girlfriend on a beach in west Wales. The sun blazed, and slowly sank over the sea, turning everything a deep, rich orange. We dozed and crisped up in the heat, had a barbecue and a bonfire, and then slept some more. It was heaven.

It’s funny how, in a world where material goods are pushed more than ever as the solution to all our problems, that a camping trip, a barbecue and a good snooze – with a combined cost of less than a couple of CDs – could still trump any fleeting buzz of happiness brought on by buying a stumping up for a new shiny black plastic gadget.

Music can be grouped in the same ‘less is more’ bracket – music can be as cheap or expensive as you like, but get it right and it’ll give you more joy than just about anything. Today’s New Band know a lot about joy: Pouff (for it is they) crank out musical fun with carefree abandon.

If songs like Peanuts and Ice Cream were piped into commuter trains, then we’d have a world of dementedly happy office-drones, instead of the miserable ones that alight every morning at the station. Listening to the song is like being rhythmically slapped in the face by a clown, bouncing with manic glee.

Wisely choosing not to deviate to far from the ‘Keep It Stupid, Stupid’ template, Butt Kiss hammers, howls and echoes with crazed spontaneity. And does Chicken Farts sound like windy poultry? Well, yes, frankly it does – funky, gaseous fowl.

Pouff: happier than Happy Hardcore, dumber than a bus-full of Premiership footballers and as springy as a pile of mattresses. Deliriously daft FUN. Listen here!

>Today’s New Band – Rebecca Closure

>I’ve just spent a weekend moving out of my flat, lugging boxes and boxes of crap into a van, out of a van, and then into a storage unit. Moving house really is the best way to convince yourself that the vast majority your possessions are simply junk. After staggering under the weight of the ridiculously heavy boxes of CDs, I’m starting to think that the good stuff is a bit pointless too.

Still, I survived the horrors of the event – just – but if you’d like a snapshot of my ‘delicate’ mental state at the peak of the move, plug into Today’s New Band, Rebecca Closure and feel those synapses crackle and buzz.

And so, La La La, a manic, lupine howl of craziness, simultaneously terrifies and thrills with the sheer lunatic rush of noise. It’s a fabulously off-beat, rotten mix. 40,000 is relentless; rushing past and distorting the perceptions of all who listen. The brilliantly in-yer-face Cunt Star is actually more provocative and aggressive than you’d have guessed.

Wild, daft, and brilliant, Rebecca Closure is perfect for rebooting a fried mind. The music of exciting nightmares. Listen here!

>Today’s New Band – Akira!

>I often wonder how songwriters start. To clarify: where does the aimless strumming of a guitar end and the song begin to form? Perhaps the act of thinking about it negates the ability to understand. I don’t know.

I don’t know where Today’s New Band, Akira, start, either. But I do know that it’s not from the aimless strumming of anything. Their songs are cut from a different cloth, to a rhythm from a different drum. Actually, no – they wouldn’t beat something as prosaic as a drum.

Akira’s songs sound like remixes of other songs they’ve made but don’t want you to hear, and are only willing to expose suggestions of them in the form of crazed noise. ­Lights In The Sky, a near-bewildering array of clattering beats, guitars, chipmunk voices and mechanical buzzes and whistles scrapes itself together to form a snappy rock song. Starting from a quiet standstill, it creeps in steps to pull itself into something out of the ordinary.

You’rereallystarting2pissmeoff is a grab-bag of zappy electronic sounds, demented squawking and shouting – as if someone mashed up a horror film, thrash metal and a drum machine that has gained terrifying sentience. It grunts bassily, breathes heavily, and would scare old ladies to their very cores. End is a gloomy doom-filled march towards the END OF THE WORLD, but with a robot counting out loud whilst you’re doing it.

Akira scan the horizons and invent accordingly. There is madness in their methods. They sight Phillip K. Dick, Chris Morris and Jesus as influences. That makes sense. Listen here!

>Today’s New Band – The Unbearables PLUS! Old Newness!

>When is a new band not a new band? Occasionally people post irate comments on A New Band A Day complaining that “Band X aren’t new, they’ve been around for ages, and I’ve got all their white label 7″ discs blah blah blah.”

Well, when anyone slavishly follows a band, they become a little belligerent and outlandish. “They’ve been around for ages” often actually means “since June 2007” in our confusingly short-termed mindset.

In some ways I understand these complaints – new means new, right? Well, yes and no. Those who complained have forgotten the basic rule of ANBAD: Consistency Bad, Needless Complication Good.

As the FAQs page doesn’t really clear this up, here’s semi-clarification, in the form of Today’s New Band, who are The Unbearables, are from Texas, and are – Jesus – six years old. But they are still new – to me and you too, probably – and thus the flimsy ANBAD criteria are fulfilled yet again.

Their song The Darker Part leaps out of the silence fawn-like, startled and bounding. It’s a combination of unbridled tinkling and wide-eyed joy. Imagine an army of technicolour flautists marching over a meadowed hill, and you’re about there.

And then, just when you were still luxuriating in that song’s soft, dewy moss of happiness, Zombies Unite leaps out and gnaws you to a bloody pulp in the most cheerful way possible. Clunky guitars, and a gruesomely threatening choir meet to create a call-to-arms (or call-to-arm-stumps, maybe) for all the most effervescent and good-natured undead fiends.

There’s A Whole Lot Of People In Here is a big, rowdy sing-a-long. It sounds like the band and the producer went for a good night out, then, having rolled back to the studio, pressed record, pushed all the faders up, and then cranked out the song on the first go. In an ideal world, all songs would be recorded like that.

So, whilst being older than both Youtube and Souja Boy‘s unfortunate career, they posses enough spirit, vitality and ideas to be ‘new’ in my (admittedly confused) mind. Great. Listen to them here!

P.S! Thrillingly, ANBAD was featured (albeit briefly) in The Guardian today! Hooray! Celebrate this new-found media acceptance by downloading the free ANBAD eBook, and then foolishly pretending that it’s a whole newspaper about us!

>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!