>The Mourning of British Summer Time, Sleepless Nights and Today’s New Band – Cut Cut Shape

>The clocks going back a single measly hour confused me almost completely this weekend. On the night itself, I woke up repeatedly, churning over the bowel-loosening possibility that I might be waking up a WHOLE HOUR earlier or later than I thought. This, apparently, is of great importance to my subconscious self, much to my sleepy frustration.

If my mind boggled so pathetically at the prospect of gaining an extra hour in bed, imagine what turning back the clock 20 years or so might do. Bands manage to do this all of the time, endlessly recycling, rejuvenating and scrabbling for new scraps of interest to find new sounds and new directions, without spending all night thrashing around with worry. Perhaps it’s another sign that I would have been a hopeless rock star.

Conversely, Today’s New Band, Cut Cut Copy, have all the signs of making a very good rock band. It’s hard to tell whether Heart For You is an of-the-moment rock song, with its angular, choppy guitars and urgent drumbeat, or a song which shows a band deliberately not courting Cool. Cut Cut Shape find themselves looking back to when big echoey guitars were de rigeur and even bigger, croony vocals weren’t something to be embarrassed about. Swirling and cavernous, but without any bloat or pretence, Heart For You is a neat calling card for their sound.

There’s something incredibly satisfying about the manner in how whichever Cut Cut Shaper it is that delivers the vocals (it might be one or more from: Tom, Joe, Jake, Josh or George – which sounds a bit like the line-up from a crime-solving gang in an Enid Blyton book). It’s a voice that’s heartfelt, unconcerned with artifice and not at all worried about trying to force an awful faux-Estuary Accent down our throats like The Kooks, Scouting For Girls et al. Crossing The Line is a good song made better as the vocals’ directness engages with you, lapel-grabbing and alive.

There’s something indefinable about Cut Cut Shape that, I dunno, sounds old and yet new. A hopeless description, yes, but that’s about as fully formed an opinion as I feel capable of. This is hopefully due to their unusually dynamic and powerful sound, and not my unreasonable confusion that has arisen since the clocks went back, but who can know for sure? Well, you can, young ‘un, by visiting their Myspace page, right here.

>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 – Awesome Wells

>We started yesterday with a quotation, and that shaped up pretty well, so here’s another one: “The goodness of the true pun is in the direct ratio of its intolerability.” That one was from Edgar Allen Poe, and it makes us think our writing has some associated respectability when really, it doesn’t. In all honesty, we still haven’t totally figured out what he’s trying to say. But anyway, – PUNS! – we can’t get enough of ’em at A New Band A Day.

So, inevitably, it’s Another Day, Another World-Class Pun. Today’s New Band is – wait for it – Awesome Wells. His music is soft, strong and long, like Andrex toilet paper, except you wouldn’t want to wipe any part of your body on this – it’s too good.

The Highs and Lows of… is an eight-minute long magnus opus, that starts with chanting rounds, clapping, brass and a military drumbeat and then decides that, having started with such a rich and varied sound palette, everything else may as well be thrown into the pot as well. Strings, glockenspiels, accordions and samples of big bands then all make a fleeting appearance. On paper, this sounds like a recipe for overblown, rock-star-experimenting-with -new-solo-material- type disaster, but Awesome Wells clearly has a deft touch and all the sounds are massaged gently into something that is not only coherent, but hypnotically soothing.

After that, how many people would then have the audacity to cover the Theme From Twin Peaks? To anyone who has spent hours drawn in my David Lynch’s masterpiece of TV weirdness, the song has such strongly defined emotions stitched to it that this too seems like a bold step too far, but Awesome Wells gets away with it in style. Removing it almost completely from its’ origins and yet retaining every haunting nuance is some achievement in itself, but to then pull it away even further into new, fascinating places, as the five-minute weird-out at the end does is evidence of a special talent.

If you combined mid-90’s Tortoise with the entire BBC Sound Effects Library, you may come close to approximating Awesome Wells‘ sound. But you wouldn’t come anywhere near to his precise, caring control – the sounds ebb, flow and weave together to the point where any lingering doubts are assuaged by the gleefulness of the sonic journey you’ve just taken. Make yourself feel underwhelmed by your comparative lack of talent here!

>Today’s New Band – White Williams – Bestival Themed Week

>More Great bands as seen at Mudfest 2008 Bestival 2008

Mixing and matching is a whole bundle of fun – that’s why Fuzzy Felts and Sticklebricks were the the weapons of choice at playschool when i was a nappy-bound dribbler. This inquisitive desire to put two and two together and see if they make three, four or even five stays, latent, with even the most rock ‘n’ roll of adults.

Hence a band that has a smattering of Talking Heads‘ polyrhythmics, whilst simultaneously somehow summoning up the spirit (though not the sound) of 80’s RAWK, yet without any of the awful associated ear-pounding, poodle-haired horrors. This sounds like either alchemy, insanity or stupidity – but it’s actually a fair starting point when describing Today’s New Band, White Williams.

Pulling sounds together and fusing them to make something that is almost entirely unique White Williams are creative, idiosyncratic and mysterious. Funnily enough, when these facets of rock align, great tunes almost always result – and guess what, it’s happened again.

Songs like New Violence chime and shimmer brightly, then dip into lo-fi simplicity, before bursting out, wide-eyed into joyfully soaring choruses. Violator also draws influence from a billion different bands all at once, and works to produce a fabulous new sound that wobbles along like a happy fat man in a Hot Chip-py, Lou Reed-y sort of way.

Always restrained and controlled, but not compromising their ambitious scope, still managing to zip around inventively with a wilful naivety, White Williams are dreamy, happy and brilliant. Listen now!

>Today’s New Band – The King Blues

>Cities shape bands. Listen to Manchester’s Happy Mondays, and the influence of a city dragging itself up from dereliction on a cloud of E-fuelled excitement is clear. The La’s jangly indie sea-shanties have Liverpool’s mucky fingerprints all over them. The Clash were born from both the racial tension and collaboration of late 70’s London.

Today’s New Band are another child of their home city. The King Blues are a rare example of a band that aren’t happy to grind out the same-old songs, but are actually trying to fuse their individual, disparate influences into something new. The mating of punk and reggae has happened before, of course, but that doesn’t make The King Blues any less interesting.

On Let’s Hang the Landlord they dream of a better life by considering the, er, tried and proven technique of lynching your landlord. “Let’s have the landlord from the top of the stairs – we’ll live like millionaires,” they sing, whilst still celebrating having the time of their lives in their squalor.

The King Blues are an indication of what might have happened if Manchester’s The Young Offender’s Institute had kept building on their early promise – a mix of testosterone-fuelled boisterousness and a pile-up of sounds that could only really come from a large, multi-cultural city like London.

Aspirational and in tune with their audience, The King Blues are a band from right now, for right now. So listen to their songs here – right now!

>Today’s New Band – Ten Tigers

>I like surprises. Well, to a point – those, “darling, I’m pregnant,” shocks don’t get easier even the 14th time around – but as a rule, happy accidents and unexpected pleasures are the best bits of life.

Bands that spring a tasty surprise make me want to hunt them down and smother them to death with hugs, such is the prevalence of charmless, bland bands. So, usher in quietly Today’s New Band, Ten Tigers from Southend, whose songs veer from spazzy-punk to contemplative-campfire singing, and don’t give a monkey’s what you think.

For example: their song Superlucky is a simple, crunchy, yelpy, sharply-female buzzfest that sounds like it’d be a great song to open a gig with. It’d set out the stall, to use football manager’s parlance, and everyone would know exactly what to expect. Except their other songs aren’t even like it at all, or even like each other. Possessing the shortest attention span in pop, song ’82 has a verse that’s a bold attempt to rescue the Wah-Wah pedal from Blaxploitatio-clichés, before strolling into a lovely, heavy, yomping chorus of “Everyone was gay in 1982”. It goes without saying that Runaway and Sunny Shades are altogether different again (a summertime lilt and the aforementioned campfire sunset sing-song respectively).

They’re hit-and-miss, but that’s a given – it seems an ingrained part of Ten Tigers’ nature. So what if you only like half of their songs? It’s better than having middling feelings towards a band that treads a carefully safe route. A sensation of swinging between love and hate makes you feel alive, dagnammit, so ponder their songs here!

Today’s New Band – Glastonbury Special!

It’s Glastonbury Festival this weekend, and for the first time in about 6 years, ANBAD isn’t going.

Why? Well, forget all the at-best-idiotic, at-worst-racist fuss about Jay-Z headlining. The real problem with Glastonbury ‘these days’ are the awful Pete Docherty and Peaches Geldof-wannabes clogging it up with their pristine hair and designer wellies.

Unfortunately, it’s no longer a wonderful brain-altering weekend in the countryside, and is now simply something for moron Gap-Year-ers to tick off their ‘Must Do Before I’m 30’ list.

There were myriad final straws: last year I saw a number of girls straightening their hair with heated tongs. These were possibly the same people who I later saw waiting to waste gallons of water to wash the mud off their boots, before stepping straight back into knee-deep mud again.

And all this at a music festival who turns over millions of pounds to Water Aid. This idiocy must stop. At least nature is kicking back by raining on them continuously.

Glastonbury has never been about the big crowd-pulling bands. In fact, it’s rarely about the music at all, and more about ‘finding yourself’ via the dubious purchase of unusually healthy-looking weed cakes from a topless hippy woman and then staring at the sky whilst curled up in a giant bird’s nest in the Green Fields.

That said, the most enjoyable experiences at Glastonbury for me have been stumbling on an unknown band in one of the many tiny stages scattered all over the site.

So, with that in mind, today’s new band is up to you! Have your own virtual staggering-around-at-2-in-the-morning festival experience. Start here, and wander around Myspace until you trip over a band you like. It’ll be like Glastonbury, but warm, dry and with hardcore pornography a click away.

And if you have their misfortune to meet a Kate Moss/Russell Brand wannabe, you can click on a new page to get rid of them, as opposed to suffocating them with a clod of earth as I had to do last year. Enjoy.

>Today’s New Band – Grandmaster Gareth

>Brevity, as anyone who has sat through the full-length version of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s Freebird will testify, can be merciful. I’ve had power naps shorter than Freebird. Freebird is so long that you could boil three eggs, one after another, whilst listening to it. You could boil two of them during the guitar solo. If you did this at a Lynyrd Skynyrd gig, by the end of the song, you’d have enough hard-boiled eggs to throw one at each band member – which is useful, and eco-friendly.

Today’s New Band, Grandmaster Gareth, however, could play a bare minimum of 10 songs during the same amount of time. Grandmaster Gareth, you see, specialises in one-minute long songs. He calls them, suitably enough, ‘Minute Melodies’. Remarkably, although each song is only 60-ish seconds long, each seems fully formed as a song, with snippets of stories, super tunes and a fearsome sense of fun will invade your ears. Most of the melodies in his songs are so super-duper that many a musician would expand them into a full song. Not Gareth, though, who has realised that short ‘n’ sweet means that the songs are always regarded as tasty morsels – musical tapas, if you will.

Listen to all of the songs on his Myspace page – go on, it’ll only take 6 minutes – and chuckle with glee at the wall-to-wall diversity of his musical treats. Dr. Dre’s imagined tussles with the mundanity of life pop up as a reoccurring theme in his songs, with Dr Dre Gets Complacent only rivalled by Dr. Dre Buys A Pint Of Milk for true every-day Gangsta status. Organs, brass, computer noise samples, old clips from films and TV shows are all tossed into the mix and out pops a mini fairground meisterwerk each time. Grandmaster Gareth: touched by musical genius – but only for a minute. Listen to his songs here!

>Today’s New Band – The Last Army

>What is it to be called ‘Indie’ today? Everyone’s Indie now, bastardising this once hard-earned tag and using it as a selling point as if it was another adjective in an estate agent’s brochure. The Kooks are now probably associated most closely with ‘Indie Rock’ in many people’s minds, and that tells a whole sob-worthy story in itself.

So describing a band as having a 90’s-Indie-feel could seem like a criticism, but in the case of today’s new band, The Last Army, it’s a re-affirmation of how indie music once was. As an output of music, The Last Army has a strange mix – songs are sung by the male or female members of the group, and these respective songs sound quite different. On their MySpace page, listen to Submit to the Chemical and Little Soldiers Hold On to see what I mean. Then, like in science class at school, compare and contrast, and draw your own conclusions. My minor teenage infatuation with Elastica probably drew me blindly towards the female-led ones.

Their love of Indie shines through – and to top everything, Submit… is upbeat, jangly and even has the classic Indie spoken-word section. Perhaps then, The Last Army are a kind of Pick ‘n’ Mix Indie band – choose the songs which suit your Indie needs the most, and enjoy – the blending of 90’s sounds with Noughties consumerist choice.

FACT FANS: The word ‘Indie’ was used 10 times in this post. Oh, that’s 11 now, actually. 12 if you count the tags.