The Sun-Birds, Vast Numbers and A Blown Mind

Today, ANBAD is going to blow your mind. Straight in, then: do you know how big a billion is? Not that big, right? Banks write them off all the time.

Well, listen: it’s big. It would take 30 years to count to a billion. And while your brow crumples thinking that over, take a second to consider the googol. A googol, by the way, is a 1 followed by 100 zeros.

And here’s how big it is: a googol isn’t just more than the number of atoms in the human body, it’s bigger than the number of atoms in the whole planet Earth.

Wait – that’s not true: it’s bigger than the number of atoms in the observable universe. And get this: a googolplex (10 to the power of googol) is such a big number, there’s not enough fucking universe to write it down.

So what’s the point? Now there’s a question which has just taken on a whole  new meaning – but in terms of new bands the point is this: if you’re worried that there are too many bands in your way for you to emerge from, stop. There’s practically none.

Here’s a story about how I found The Sun-Birds. A separate band called the Sunbirds got in touch by email. By the time I visited their Myspace page, it had disappeared. I googled “The Sunbirds band” and found today’s new band instead. From such coincidences, happiness reveals itself.

The Sun-Birds – Drag Me Down

The Sun-Birds‘ particular strain of happiness is soft and fizzing, like the taste and sound of dispersible aspirin in a glass.

Their music soothes and batters simultaneously: order in disorder, pins and needles, ice-pop brain freeze. The pain of being hit in the face with a pillow. Counting to a Googol.

It’s all here. Start now: one-two-three-four-five-six-seven-eight….

>Today’s New Band – Schande Boy! PLUS! Put a Donk on it!


Donk. Say it, out loud. Donk. Donk. Donk. Donk. Donk donk donk. Then repeat it over and over, preferably in a room full of sweaty, E’d-up Thug-Lite 18 year olds. Congratulations! You have just recreated an experience only a fifth as banal as the actual music scene whose name you’ve just been chanting, to the concern of your nearest and dearest.
Donk, for those of you who don’t lecherously hang around teenagers like I do, is a type of Bounce House music, which is in itself a sub-genre of Scouse House. Actually, there’s no point in explaining any more – just check out the truly astonishing Put A Donk On It by Blackout Crew.
Having had my eyes belatedly opened to a whole new world of idiocy, I discussed it with sometime ANBAD contributor Jamie. It’s like lame Happy Hardcore, we agreed. It’s so bad it’s gone right past good to being bad again, we agreed. There’s virtually no good song Donk couldn’t destroy, we agreed.
This last idea raised an interesting point – could Donk, the Poor Man’s Gabber, be used to improve bad songs? Keane‘s newest album perhaps, or anything by U2? It’s hard to deny that hearing the words “Put a donk on it” looped over the chorus of Vertigo wouldn’t have been an overwhelming improvement.
I’d like to hear a Donk be put on Today’s New Band, not to make it better, but to see if Schande Boy could be made any weirder. Schande Boy is musically schizophrenic. Can’t Stand Punk is a weird, harmonium-led, quasi-choral chant about the singer’s disdain for, errr, punk. Rounds of ah-ah-ah vocal sounds, distressingly grand stabs of organ and confused lyrics mean it’s compellingly strange, but not for the sake of it.
In Deep Water, Schande Boy‘s best song, uses the same tricks and sounds to make a song that starts sharply, quickly, with dancey rhythms, urgent guitars and and then dissolves into fuzzy nothingness. PC Blame, with an almost Afrobeat tinkle beneath an incessant drone, is sweet, breezy and dense all together.
Schande Boy is a real one-off – creative, unusual and left-field – all things we really love on ANBAD. If a Donk remix appears, it would only be the (deeply cretinous) icing on the cake. Listen here – and put a donk on it!

>Today’s New Band – Mi-Kuhmi

>I’ve got a headache today. That’s why all the following sentences are short and childlike, to match my mindset and attention span. It was there when I woke up as a kernel of a headache – a suggestion of a headache, if you like – and has slowly bloomed into the thumping, head-in-vice throbber that is located between the eyes at the moment. How unfair. This aggression will not stand, brain.

Fortunately, one of music’s most compelling traits is the ability to, y’know, make you feel stuff. Feelings come from the brain, and my brain is what is hurting now. Perhaps one can affect the other. This, I fear, is classically flawed male logic, but I’m willing to put it to the test.

Popping out of the silver foil and emerging as Today’s New Band is Mi-Kuhmi, who may or may not be minor Klingon character in Star Trek. I don’t usually quote what bands have to say about themselves, but Mi-Kuhmi‘s description of the songs as, “tiny desperate songs which talk about sadness, love, nature, future, past, happiness, bubbles, knifes, chairs, everything or just nothing,” is quite lovely.

The songs themselves are like glimpses of other songs, sound-ideas and noises that Mi-Kuhmi likes and wants to keep a record of, lest they disappear forever. In that respect they’re very human, and very touching. They’re also very short, very unusual and very non-melodic but with titles like Kohi, Eki and Toupie, you could probably guess that.

They’re not songs. They’re not supposed to be. It’s aspirin to be taken aurally, twice a day, with meals – get your dispensation here.

>Insecticide Lobotomy – Today’s New Band

>When I recently went to see My Bloody Valentine, the general consensus as we staggered out of the venue, wiping the blood from our ears, was that it was entirely unlike any other gig we’d ever been to. There was no moshing, no singing along and no middle-aged men standing near the back ‘appreciating’ the band, just a room full of shell-shocked gawpers struggling to comprehend the savage softness of the noise that was comically blowing their hair backwards and flapping their collars around.

The other universally agreed point was that the experience of having carefully constructed white noise smash your ears into submission was actually intensely calming, and we left in a strangely Zen-like state which was only later voided by cut-price rum at the Star and Garter. Still, we were left in no doubt of the powerful enjoyment to be had from ridiculous noise. Thus, push cotton wool into your ears now and prepare to be overwhelmed by Today’s New Band, Insecticide Lobotomy.

The sounds Josh from Insecticide Lobotomy makes are, in effect, just noise – but put together with such care and precision that it’s ridiculously enjoyable. Rotor Disc is the sound of you being locked inside a steel drum and then someone using a blunt circular saw to buzz you out. Toxic Waste Drum grinds, growls and hisses and Late Night Practice is deeply dark and intimidating.

The only realistic course of action you can take listening to the music is to just let go and allow it to wash all over you – a tsunami of spasmodically repetitive high- and low-end fuzz boring into your brain and removing all thoughts except acknowledgement of the noise itself. It’s a great, cathartic sluicing-out of of all other music from your mind, and whilst it’s a tough listen at times, you’ll miss it the second the sounds stop. Lovely, soft/hard, confusing stuff. Listen to it all here!

>Today’s New Band – Pre

>Anyone fancy taking part in a small scientific experiment? Great. Follow these instructions to the letter, please. First, bash your head against the table in front of you. No, go on – it’ll be fun, I promise. Assuming your initial attempt was slightly cautious, now do it again, but harder. And repeatedly. But not so much that you lose consciousness. That would be bad.

Finally, write down your findings. I’m guessing they might be along these lines: “Arrrrgh, confusion and pain.” And this, of course, is the point of the experiment, as Today’s New Band will have a similar, if less bloody effect. It’s Pre, and they’re the sound of a manic, sweaty moshpit storming the stage, hijacking the instruments and making NOISE. Listen to Dudefuk as an example: a sub-two minute guitar-spazz, replete with screamy yelping and thrashed instruments. The music screams, literally and otherwise, with a real base desire to go crazy, make a racket and get drunk, which, assuming I didn’t miss any lyrics about them being Straight-Edge Christians, is probably true.

It’s not tuneless wailing though – there’s satisfying coherency to the distorted brain-drilling of And Prolapse, a song title that deserves to be elevated to the pantheon of greats that have previously featured on A.N.B.A.D. Ride Ride Ride, thankfully, is not a celebration of the eponymous Shoegaze bore-droners, but actually a 30-second buzz along the Autobahn to Hell.

So: Pre – like banging your head against a table, except enjoyable. Listen to their noize here!

>ANBAD = The KISS OF DEATH – Today’s New Band – Everything We Say Is Fact


What is it with bands splitting up so soon? It’s painful to see them cut down before they’ve even had a chance to be in their prime. Look at the past examples on A..N.B.A.D. – the wonderful The Royal We recorded a lone, brilliant, EP and then got all grumpy and split up and then, on Monday, the super Held By Hands imploded, leaving us with just a few, lovely, sad tracks to remember them by.

So it appears that A New Band A Day has the reverse Midas touch – this is the second time this week that a band has split up just days before they are featured. And it’s only Wednesday. Perhaps we should have Bon Jovi or The Kooks on here on Thursday and Friday, and see if they do the decent thing. Therefore, take this opportunity to have a peek into the coffin of Today’s New (Dead) Band, Everything We Say Is Fact. They slipped into a musi-coma last week, and the machine was switched off shortly after. From the sounds of their FRANTIC, mentalist music though, they lived life to the full, and must have been dragged to Noise Rock Heaven kicking and screaming, because, well, that’s pretty much how their breathless songs sound.

Of all the weather patterns that get me a bit grouchy, windy days are up there with fine drizzle, but on Ewsif Hates Blustery Weather, Everything We Say Is Fact demonstrate that they REALLY hate it. Guitars grind and howl whilst the drums get punctured from the ANIMAL! ANIMAL! ANIMAL!-style treatment they receive, and, just to makes sure everyone is aware of their message, there’s about 3 or four false endings. Their other songs, like Noah Won’t Let Me On The Ark, are all approached with the same forehead-stoving enthusiasm.

You could approximate Everything We Say Is Fact‘s sound and impact at home if you put all of your pots, pans and cutlery in a bin, then climbed in yourself and rolled it all down a hill. But much easier than that is to just listen to their songs, right here, right now.

>Today’s New Band – Microwave Window

>Jesus Christ Monkey Balls, the process of choosing Today’s New Band was akin to pulling teeth. No, actually, it was worse – physical pain is only temporary, but the mental scars from today will never fade, and will lurk in the corner of my addled mind to taunt me again just when I least expect it. It was a classic example of one of those moments when you just can’t decide what CD to put on, and end up spending half an hour staring mutely at your shelves of CDs, reading the names and mentally writing them off as ‘not quite right for now’, whilst a pool of dribble from your limp jaw starts to moisten your socks.

In the end, just when I was about to start knawing on my fists with frustration, I found the band I wanted, having skipped over any number of lovely Swedish jangly guitar bands and stereotypical French BANGIN’ CHOON merchants.

On most days those bands would have had me farting with glee, but today, the desire for a deliberately obtuse, brain-spazz noise-spewer crept up my trouser leg and grabbed me by the balls. As such, after the painful ordeal of searching for the right noise to satiate this idiot desire, one band stood out like a WAG in Lidl.

Thus, Today’s New Band is the wonderful Microwave Windows. They have no songs, as such. What they do have is mind-fisting noise that is possibly sucked from the skies of a planet in a different solar system at the precise moment that their local sun decides to explode. Microwave Windows say that they use, “the Multimode Delay Line Distribution System (MDLDS) to generate 600 MW pulses for the accelerator by storing RF power from multiple klystrons and switching that power to the appropriate accelerator sections”. This may or may not be nonsense, but when you’ve heard the sounds on their Myspace page, it’ll sound all too plausible. Or your thought processes will be too garbled to know if it is or not. Listen to their logic-destroying noise now, and then listen to a song you know and love. It’ll sound sparkling, chiming and new. Microwave Windows are an enema for the mind. Awesome.