>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 – Oreagonomics

>Williams Syndrome is a brain disorder. Those who have it often display likable symptoms – extraordinary love for music, unusual communication skills and a general happiness, whilst lacking in common sense and predictability. Today’s New Band, Oreaganomics, personify all these things, playing fast, loose and carelessly with all the noise they’ve just realised is at their disposal.

So then Happy Plate is a fairground organ gone bad, wild, disordered and drifting in and out of coherency; the happy-sinister music you’d expect to be playing when the Joker appeared in the 1960’s TV version of Batman. It’s a hip-hop skip through a dream where everything is in terrifyingly bright Technicolour, until the buzzy lo-fi guitar ending that’s as welcome as it is unexpected. Iceberg shuffles insistently, tramping a rough beat over and over, obliterating and then re-discovering itself again.

Leaping sideways just when you don’t expect it, I Feel Fine is as washed-out as Fabio‘s jeans, albeit with less tightly defined buns and much more substance. It swishes back and forth like a lazy wave humping a beach, sparse and loose.

Oreaganomics give you an idea of what today’s music would sound like if all records were still pressed onto wax cylinder. Spasmodic, restless and inventive, they burst with eclectic frenzy, over and over again. Great. Let Oreaganomics melt your mind here!

>Today’s New Band – David Cronenberg’s Wife

>Oasis are in the process of releasing their new album, Dig Out Your Soul, at the moment. This is still Big News in the UK, and especially so here in Manchester, their home town. Seizing on the fact that this new-fangled ‘internet’ thing might be a good promotional tool, they have used a little-known website, MySpace.com, to allow YOU, the public at large, to listen to the whole album in it’s entirety before it’s released, you know, in shops.

So, here’s the brief A New Band A Day review:

  1. It’s a clunker
  2. Noel isn’t even the best songwriter in Oasis any more.

I don’t enjoy criticising Oasis, though it’s fashionable to do so. I was 14 when they released Definitely Maybe, and it was one of those fabulous defining moments that you get now and then in your teenage years.

Oasis list The Beatles, the Rolling Stones and the Sex Pistols among their influences. Today’s New Band, David Cronenberg’s Wife, list the Germs, Swans and The Birthday Party in the same section. One band is producing interesting and inventive music, and the other the same old cobblers. You guess which one is which.

Runaway Pram is a swirling, organ ‘n’ guitar-led, echoing stomper of a song that seems to have been recorded to deliberately disorientate the listener. At times, it’s so heavily soaked in reverb that I wondered if it had been accidentally remixed by Lee Perry in one of his more bloody-minded moods. It’s equal parts mid 60’s Psych and Garage, Goth and 96 Tears by ? and The Mysterians. Their music swirls around you, teasing and taunting you into having a good, weird, time.

David Cronenberg’s Wife – blurring the line between so many genres you’ll experience the pleasant feeling of been punched in the head with the contents of a Virgin Records bargain bin. Listen to them here!

>Today’s New Band – Copy Write This

>Short, sharp shocks. That’s what you need sometimes. Not necessarily like receiving a one-inch punch to the throat from a previously hidden ninja when you pop out to the shop to buy the paper, mind. But an experience or – in particular – noise that shakes you from a slumber or from lethargy, is super-duper for all sorts of reasons. Laziness infects even the most thrusting young soul, and it’d be a huge LIE to say that we don’t all need a wake-up call now and again.

Today’s New Band, Copy Write This, is the aural equivalent of someone pinching your nose when you’re asleep, except pleasurable. Dubiously pun-tastic name aside, and whilst their songs are thin on the ground, the ones they do have are mental smelling salts. Pulling a title from the School of Bleeding Obvious Song Names, Twitching and Salivating is as rabid and jumpy as suggested, using all the build-up-and-drop tricks in the book to create a rumbling face-smasher of a tune. Thumping crudely yet delicately along, it’d be a stone-hearted person who wouldn’t get drawn in to it’s bombastic thrills.

Copy Write This’ other song, Brain Food, samples an oft-visited source of vocal idiocy, everyone’s favourite brain-dead mouth-breather, George W. Bush. On paper, this seems like a cheap and easy target – who hasn’t heard a million jibes at Dubya by now – but the song is actually a nicely abrupt stapling-together of his most cretinous moments, with an equally nice pulsating grumbly bass-heavy carpet beneath it.

So, a great chance to hear a really new work-in-progress musician, whose early stuff turns out to be a blustering rampage through a cauldron of clanking noise. Great. Listen here and wake yourself up!

>Today’s New Band – Paul Hawkins &Thee Awkward Silences – GLIB COMPARISONS WEEK CONTINUES!

>Weirdness is an underrated virtue in pop ‘n’ rock music, and for understandable reasons. It’s too often, rightly, associated with acts who use a veneer of ‘kooky’ as an execrable cover-up for lack of talent – take a bow, Babylon Zoo. However, if these awful aberrations can be forgotten, weirdness is a Good Thing – if only as in indicator of deliberate step away from convention. Anyone with a pair of ears and a skull that isn’t used as spare storage space for semi-ironic glow-sticks, back-combed hair and slogan T-shirts knows that the bands who tow the line and trudge the well-worn skinny-jeans-and-aimless-posturing path rarely innovate.

What really sets the pulse racing and induces involuntary grins of deee-lite is that moment when you hear something new, something that sounds enough like everything else to be bearable, and far removed enough from exactly the same things to be exciting, surprising and, well, new. If you don’t quite follow, Today’s New Band, Paul Hawkins & Thee Awkward Silences, are a good place to start. There are a number of antecedents that his music could be favourably compared to (see the super exciting SECOND INSTALLMENT of today’s GLIB COMPARISON GIMMICK for more details), and yet his grouchy, slightly deranged vocals and frankly tremendous tunes are something that are enticingly sparkly and new.

In The Evil Thoughts, he chunters through a scenario about a woman who is shunning him, and the result is, indeed, slightly sinister – “And even though I’m nice to your face, the evil thoughts form in my brain.” An even better track, though, is The Battle Is Over, a similarly half-crazy, all-wonderful story of a man returning home from war to find his woman telling him that, whilst he, “went away to play soldiers with your friends/I had to rely on other men”. The female vocals are sung by the fabulously voiced Candythief. Make no mistake, this is the best song you’ll have heard for a long, long time – since, frankly, All the Rage by the Royal We. If you only listen to one new song this week, it should be this one – it’s truly, brilliantly, wonderfully fantastic. Song of the year so far, easily. Listen to it, and the others, here, now, or you’ll regret it, young ‘un!

TODAY’S GLIB COMPARISON: Like Nick Cave having a drunken brawl with a theoretical newly-acoustic-folk-change-of-direction Pop Will Eat Itself, whilst Shane McGowan watches, caressing his knuckle duster. And the Pixies. Again.

>Today’s New Band – Robot Ninja Dinosaur Bastards – IT’S A DINOSAUR DOUBLE BILL!

>Here at A New Band A Day, we’re not beyond using mindless gimmicks to try and force a coherent thread through goings-on here occasionally. As such – welcome to the A NEW BAND A DAY DINOSAUR-THEMED BANDS DOUBLE BILL! That’s right folks, after yesterday’s dazzlingly Bleep-osaurs Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs, welcome with open claws today’s new band, Robot Ninja Dinosaur Bastards!

As if dinosaurs couldn’t get any more knee-tremblingly awesome, these guys are not only fearsome fossilised reptiles, but they’re also Robotic Ninjas! Who are Bastards too! Truly, these guys know what people want – stylised violence, mechanisation, extinction, cruelty – and how to name a band accordingly. As we know, approximately 50% of what makes a band great are non-musical elements such as the name. Thus, Robot Ninja Dinosaur Bastards – say it to yourself out loud, go on – are halfway there.

In terms of the music, they’re also brilliant. Hell Bent On Destruction is what Timbaland’s grammar-destroying ‘The Way I Are’ would sound like if re-recorded by crazy guitar-wielding maniacs. Come and Get Demented is a breathless nutjob does-what-it-says-on-the-tin song, perfect for those night when you just want to go and do just that. If you can’t picture yourself throwing yourself around a dark room without care for yourself or others, you’re not imagining hard enough how AWESOME an actual Robot Ninja Dinosaur Bastard would be.

Listen to their mentalist brain-melting tunes on their MySpace page here

>Today’s New Band – hntrhntr

>Categorisation – one of the many concepts that send the more humourless rock star into paroxysms of righteous anger – “We don’t want to be pigeon-holed, maaan,” they cry, whilst continuing to grind out a single style of music for the whole of their careers. Most record shops, though, bravely risk the wrath of these tortured rock ‘n’ roll artists, and go ahead and categorise CDs willy-nilly.

This is done mainly out of kindness, to make it all very easy for those of us who are not mouthbreathing morons to steer clear of the Best Mum in the World…Ever! CDs in the ‘Cds For Cretins’ section. Often though, even the most astute of the shop owners will struggle to categorise the bands that are so wilfully obtuse that you will often find a resulting ‘Just Noise!!!!!!’ section, usually just after the ‘Experimental Bolivian Dub’ niche.

This is probably where you’d find Today’s New Band, Hntrhntr – a band whose love of breakneck schizo freak-out noise-mageddon is only matched by their hatred of vowels. The truly lovely thing about this kind of music is that is entirely polarises opinion – no-one ‘kind of’ likes it. You’ll either find the short, frankly bonkers, songs on their MySpace page such as brth and ptchbtch to be ZOMG!!! AWESOME!!! or ZOMG!!! WTF!!!, with little room for intellectual maneuver. brth sounds like what you’d hear if you were mummified in custard whilst being beaten to death with spanners, and cmblst is what it would sound like if you suddenly fell into a space-time wormhole and found youself 4 miles above Jupiter, descending rapidly through sulphur clouds.

They’re headpoundingly brilliant, blasting your ears with sounds from your worst/best nightmares – and you’ll decide whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing within about 10 seconds.

>Today’s New Band – Cruiser Chimps

Just imagine chimps cruising. Hopefully you’re thinking of the hairy fellas on a boat in the Med, playing crazy golf whilst waiting for an awesome buffet lunch, as opposed to the homo erectus version of Richard Gere in Pretty Woman. Either way, Cruiser Chimps is a great name for a great band. Check their myspace page www.myspace.com/cruiserchimps for a burst of punky goodness.

The songs sound a bit like someone copied a great punk single from 1977 onto a C90 tape, then took another copy off that, and then another, and then yelped some bonkers lyrics over it. That good. Listen, enjoy, and jump around appropriately.

—Don’t forget, ANBAD is running a reduced service this week, due to being on holiday and eating a lot of dried cod in Portugal. That’s why this post is a bit short. Full service as per usual next week—