>Today’s New Band – Cop On The Edge

>“I AM A COP, SHUT UP!” So grunts The Knife‘s The Cop, a song which brutalises your ears with wonky noise and threats of violence. This is a not-too-unusual representation of our devoted lawmen and women in pop ‘n’ rock.

Cops tend to get a universally bad rap. Speaking of which, this negativity reached its most aggressive nadir with NWA’s Fuck Tha Police, which at the very least leaves no room for ambiguity in their philosophical standpoint.

Despite their name Today’s New Band, Cop On The Edge, don’t appear to have any particular beef with your local bobby. Perhaps their name is just a pleasant daydream of a policeman standing on U2’s guitarist.

Whatever it is they’re dreaming of, it’s partly top-notch 80’s Commodore 64 games. Summer Games II clatters to life, whistles and chatters winningly, daftly, and possibly illegally: “She’s prime, she’s onto the next stage, high on nostalgia… underage!” yelps singer Jim. Perhaps those police will come in handy after all.

Spying On Boys is a jolt of shy teenage lust, appropriately fey and naive, and I Want Don’t Get buzzes with youthful exuberance. Maybe Cop On The Edge are all nostalgic for their tweenage years. If so, they’re expressing it through the medium of Good Tunes, and so who are we to judge? Listen here!

>Today’s New Band – Baby Long Legs PLUS! U2-mageddon!

>Hooray! U2 have got a new single out! It’s so great that I’m going to buy the album on the day it comes out! They totally rock, and Boneo is, like, a genuine rock star, yeah?

OK – that bit was for all the estate agents who were reading A New Band A Day by mistake. It’s safe to assume that they’ve jumped into their Audi TTs and are heading off to their local record store* to wait to buy a copy. Anyway, guess what? The new single sucks and blows at the same time. Steel yourself and listen to it here. (Done? Feeling dirty? Here’s something brilliant to compensate.)

*the supermarket

So, in yet another land-grab of public consciousness, U2 have managed to rip off not only Subterranean Homesick Blues by His Bobliness but also (say it ain’t so!) Dirty Boots by Sonic Freaking Youth. The horror, the horror.

Before, they’d at least stuck to the tried-and-tested routine of just using delay pedals, being dreadfully bland and knuckle-bitingly over-earnest. But here, in their most audacious, crafty, awful move yet, they’ve gone for the credible jugular.

Fortunately, for those of us who can actually hear normally, it’s obviously a clunker of epic proportions. Expect to hear it on drab local radio, everywhere soon. Don’t expect to hear Today’s New Band, Baby Long Legs, on AOR FM any time soon, because life just isn’t fair like that.

Just like Sweden (see yesterday’s new band), Sheffield seems to be squeezing out good new bands, one after the other, like sausages from a machine. Except that Baby Long Legs are filled with quality ingredients, with no pig anus, eyelid or ear in sight.

Floor Turtle, mixes the hitherto unexplored combination of a huge – no, epic – howling riff and the swanny whistle to create a touching song about the shelliest of reptiles. There are too few songs about turtles, and this goes some of the way to redress the balance.

Today, the only experience most people have of the true, life-affirming squeal of a rock solo is while playing Guitar Hero on the Xbox. Hopefully No-One’s Around will have those pasty teenage boys dispatching their plastic guitar-shaped controllers in favour of the real thing, combining bitchin’ guitar wandering with disconcertingly familiar musings on love’s quirks to be a suspiciously true-sounding love song.

Baby Long Legs remind us that all of the world’s mystery, joys and – GASP! – even life itself are contained in one shuddering Les Paul screech. That their songs are throwaway, catchy and straight faced only seals the deal. Supremely fun, serious and silly all at once. Rock out here!

>Today’s New Band – Meringue, Alcohol and Us PLUS! Chas and Dave! Status Quo!


One of the disadvantages with using iTunes as your primary music-playing source is that all of your music is clearly laid out for you. If you want to jump straight to your copy of Chas and Dave’s Gertcha, all you need to do is a quick keyword search. If you want to scroll through everything until that Abba Dub Remix album leaps out at you, that’s easy too.
It’s just not the same as manually sorting through a stack of CDs. The beauty of flipping through actual LPs is that, whilst looking for Ma Kelly’s Greasy Spoon by Status Quo, you may well stumble upon that The Decline Of British Sea Power disc you’d forgotten about and play that instead.
It might be apt at this point to observe that only the truly anal alphabetise a music collection. There’s a zen skill in keeping a randomised collection and remembering what each colour each CD’s spine has, and slowly scanning hundreds of them for one with off-mauve-yellow and red writing.
Shockingly, this exact scenario was played out in slow, agonising detail in my living room just last night. And what an album of British Sea Power’s that is (yellow-spined, by the way). Complicatedly crazy, beautifully melodic and deliberately obtuse all at once – I was so pleased to have rediscovered it.
The CD of Today’s New Band, Meringue, Alcohol and Us, is sand-coloured; CD-owning readers can commit that fact to memory now for future reference.
The band is French, (though they sing in English). All of the best meringues I have ever eaten have been whilst in France, and MAAU’s songs are similarly sweet, light and delicious. Their song Rollercoaster is closer to a gentle weave and bob around on a bike in a country lane than screaming and thundering around a metal contraption, but it drives forward with the same carefree impetus.
Love and Pets weaves more and more cutely honeyed instruments into the mix until a mandolin welcomes a chorus of freewheeling, downtrodden fun. Purple Dreams isn’t about diminutive, squeaky 80’s rock gods, but does manage to make a newly-discovered journey from light crooning over tinkling glockenspiels to angsty howling.
If you’ve ever been to France, you’ll identify Meringue, Alcohol and Us‘ deft jauntiness as being uniquely Gallic. They’re the band you’d like to listen to in a bar on a Friday evening after a long first week back at work in the New Year. Just like this one. So listen here!

>Today’s New Band – Play People

>There’s something odd about Today’s New Band, Play People, that has proven difficult to quite pin down. They sound so surprisingly polished and confident for a virtually unknown band that I wondered initially if I’d missed a class in the Rock ‘n’ Pop 101 course that I took all those years ago, and they had just passed me by.

Their songs shine and glisten. Oh What A Life is weary and reflective, yet chimes and rings lushly throughout. Just Don’t is punctuated with a Morse-code stab, and is a perfect example of how a good chord change can loosen the most knotted muscles in your neck as your brain is distracted by the sheer luxury of sound.

Something about Play People’s songs remind me of The Boo Radleys’ less frantic moments, which is high praise, I suppose. Delicate, coy and lovely, their songs are packed with naive charm. They’re a bit like a quick glimpse inside a shy teenage boy’s head, except without being bombarded with thousands of guiltily memorised images of Page 3 Lovely “Keeley, 22, from Bromley”.

Even without her considerable charms (note to self – must stop using dreadful Sun-style puns right away) to tempt you, Play People are an understated example of lovely songcraft – as un-rock ‘n’ roll as that sounds – and as such should be heard by more people, so check out their tunes here!

P.S. – Happy 18th Birthday to ANBAD’s now not-so-little sister Phoebe!

>Today’s New Band – Hiawata!

>It seems that we’re taking a virtual road trip around Northern Europe this week on A New Band A Day. A road trip, that is, without the casual sex, drunken debauchery and gradually itchier genitalia of a real one. Yesterday, we had Poland’s wonderfully er, beepy, MISTER BEEP, and prior to that it was the turn of Sweden’s brilliantly-chorussed Envelopes. So, taking a swift detour to Norway seems a perfectly reasonable turn of events, assuming you can afford to pay the exorbitant beer prices.

And, to continue a tortuous theoretical-journey-theme, joining us in Oslo is Today’s New Band, Hiawata! They’re a part Teenage Fanclub, part Belle and Sebastian, and all-super. Listen to their Song, Animal, and bask in the lovely ringing guitars and harmonised choruses. Then, when you’re done swooning in delight, cower in fear as they threaten to “make you forget everything that you said, cos I’ll love you like an animal”, which is disturbingly close in intent to W.A.S.P.’s ludicrous hit, Animal (Fuck Like A Beast).

Their other songs follow a similarly endearing jangly-guitar template, which is a good thing. It’s funny when music from outside a country’s ‘scene’ creeps in, insidiously – there’s a hint of the tabloid-loving skinny-jeaned brigade’s sound in some songs – but it always gets distilled through another country’s musical sensibilities, and in Hiawata!‘s case, it works like a charm. Have a butcher’s at their summery sounds here!

>Today’s New Band – Buen Chico

>Sometimes, it’s easy to dismiss bands for just sounding like…a band. You know – twangly guitars, drums and nice harmonies. Since the majority of bands are tyring to sound like they’ve just stepped out of the DeLorean from 1981, it’s easy to forget that not everyone wants to sound like Wire. Nothing’s wrong with that in itself, but there’s some sort of pure pleasure to be had from shunning your peers and going back to jangly basics.

Hence: Today’s New Band, Buen Chico. That kind-of means ‘good guy’ in Spanish – not that it’s particularly important – but we like the idea of providing Edutainment here at A New Band A Day. Buen Chico are Good Indie, in that they aren’t twee, but are a bit cute; they have a basic sonic template, but without being derivative. Giving Your Gifts is a great example of this – a simple, breezy singalong that would get any indie disco dancing around its ironically nostalgic handbag.

Gold From Lead, if anything, is even more jaunty, and veers into the ‘lovely’ territory during the chorus, the point where wistful and happy meet, twirling around each other like sugar-demented kids at a wedding. Hooray! Listen to them here, right now!

**PS – Apologies for the lateness of yesterday’s post – technical issues. Stupid internets.**

>Today’s New Band – Magpied

>A New Band A Day is a fairly broad church with regards to our personal philosophy on what we like bands to sound like, but if we were to nail our colours to one mast, the ‘made-in-our-bedroom’ sound would probably be it. While some bands pride themselves on sounding slicker than a seagull the day after Exxon-Valdez decided to pop a rivet, others shun ‘production values’ and just get on with making great songs. Rough-and-ready bands sound like they could be playing on your sofa next to you, and usually are all the better for it.

So, with that in mind, here’s Today’s New Band, Magpied, a band who relish the challenges put to them by Bontempi Keyboards and £69.99 guitar & amp deals from Argos. And meet those challenges they did, by cobbling together a bunch of songs which leap uncontrollably between “slightly bonkers” and “deliriously happy”. Downloadable-for-free song SCRAPS nightstatcher REMIXXX is a lost 1970’s kid’s TV show theme tune, tinkling, bouncing and vaguely promising edu-tainment; whilst It Hibernated sounds like one of the instrumental tracks off David Bowie’s Low played as a demo function on a child’s keyboard, crunchy drums and all. There’s also a super cover of Los Campesinos’ You Me Dancing, as if you needed another reason to listen.

Magpied are small, in gestation and from Norwich. All of these are good things. They say they are ‘wanting gigs’, and frankly they deserve them. A duo this crazily delightful deserve a wider audience. Go nuts, and get your ears around their ace tunes here.

>Today’s New Band – The Homophones

>Some bands’ music are suited for particular situations. Planning on driving a very long journey across a featureless desert? Ry Cooder’s theme from Paris Texas. Drinking Whisky straight from the bottle with your buddies, playing pool and leering at women whilst wearing double denim? Back In Black by ACDC. Making your weekly wander down to the Job Centre? Back in the DHSS by Half-Man, Half-Biscuit, obviously.

So next time you’re heading, carefree, through town at sunset to meet some good friends at your favourite bar, listen to Mala Strana Strut by Today’s New Band, The Homophones. It’s the sound of some friends who’ve been playing songs together over a beer for ages, effortlessly slipping into playing another chorus just for the sheer fun of it. It’s jaunty, laid-back and enticing – “I don’t care if I never get back home” they sing, and who would when it sounds like they’re having a blast right where they are?

Listen to it here at their MySpace page and also point your ears towards their other songs, Wanderlust – a bizarrely 60’s feeling, tinny jangler of a song – and then Pictures Of You, both of which are more melancholy, yet still retain an uplifting twang.

A campfire in the wilderness, a sunset, some beers with The Homophones? Now there’s a good night right there.

*No Images today – thanks for nothing, Blogger*