>Today’s New Band – Chungin & The Strap-On Faggots

It’s been the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester this week. Don’t worry, that’s as far as I”ll dip our collective toe into the murky world of politics. Still, the main outcome of it all is: well, it’s been a bit of a pain getting round town.

Even once you’ve negotiated the massive security barriers everywhere – vast concrete lumps that make you feel like an extra on the set of Children Of Men – you end up being continually harassed by dowdily-suited Tory leafleters, apparently tricked into believing that a career in politics is just a four-day flyering campaign away.

Having politicians swarming the streets has the same dreary effect as tipping 10,000 gallons of beige paint over the city. At a glance, the average iPod of these people would contain:

  1. James Blunt (lovely man, ex-soldier)
  2. Coldplay (ooh, edgy)
  3. Starship (non-ironically)
  4. 10 hours of David cameron podcasts

It’s terrifying. Looking for Today’s New Band became a mission to find the definitive Anti-Tory-Conference Band. In the Estonian three-piece Chungin & The Strap-On Faggots, I think I found them. Don’t think too hard, just feel the politico-tension as songs like Cats of Destiny and Dogshit City trouble your ears.

They’re not the student joke-thrash band you might think: The Professional Skinny Girl is a neat slice of power-pop-punk. It’s short, sharp and dancable, as is Victor, which starts with a battered drum, and, if played at your local indie club, will end with clobbered toes from all the pogoing you’ll do.

Chungin & The Strap-On Faggots: perfect for terrifying C/conservative politicians. I bet they didn’t anticipate that when they first got together. But don’t dismiss them because of that – they’re a fun, garage-with-a-small-‘G’ punk band. Finally, the sound of youth’s political apathy. Listen here!

Photograph by Jarmo Nagel

>Today’s New Band – Plastiq Passion PLUS! Christmas! Again!

>As is customary, nay, legally required, of all music writers, after spending the whole year complaining of bands’ artistic freedom being compromised by blithe pigeon-holing and categorisation, right at the end of it, they join in by listing, categorising and ordering then by rank. So, not wanting to miss out on this playground popularity contest, next week will feature the A New Band A Day Christmas List-stravaganza! Lists! Rankings! Hopeless Justification of both! Hooray!

Until then, have one more new band, before the maelstrom of Christmas/New Year takes over. Plastiq Passion are from New York, and just as Sweden is the Mothership of jangly guitar pop, so NYC is the epicentre of guitar bands with urgency and guile. Their songs are direct and slightly anarchic. You’d want to be best friends with them, whilst being careful never give them your address.

Taut, driving, passive-aggressive rock song I Can’t Wait is waiting for you in a dark corner, fingering a pool ball in a sock – you know, just in case. It’s the sound of a band who are just about to burst out in a shock of noise and light, but don’t because they want to keep you on your toes.

I Said is pleading and almost gentle, though the edge of danger is still there. Plastiq Passion‘s songs are simple, thrusting and sexy, somehow. Plastiq Passion can join the list of bands that make their British counterparts feel a bit inadequate, because they can’t carry off cool quite so effortlessly, and end up looking like try-hard crazies. (Hello, again, to Jonny Borrell from Razorlight). A nice, look-over-your-shoulder way to end the year. Listen to them here!

Oh, and a monster thanks to everyone who’s emailed in wishing ANBAD and team a Happy Christmas! If you’d like to give us a Christmas present, why not recommend us to friends who’d like our unique combination of new bands and mangled metaphors? We’d be ever so grateful, and not the fake kind of grateful either, like when your crazy aunt gives you an awful item of clothing for the 15th year running.

PS STILL not done your Christmas shopping? In a barely-suppressed frenzy of gift-less worry? Recession biting hard? Why not give the gift of shambolic writing, pun-obsession and ace new bands in the form of the ANBAD eBook? Perfect for whiling away those post-Christmas food-rammed days!

>Today’s New Band – Spazzys

>Women often get left behind in rock ‘n’ roll bands. Usually relegated to the status of either doe-eyed ‘n’ slutty hanger-on or occasionally bunged the token role of bassist (because it’s ‘easy’ and ‘not as strenuous as drumming’), women are severely underrepresented, with only the fearsome Courtney Love a household name.

I suppose one of the joys of hearing a woman-centric band is that, at a very basic level, they are simply a break from the masculine norm. As a male listener, it’s a happy change to hear women singing about the same things as men – sex, having a good time all the time, etc – but from a different perspective. I presume (but may be wrong) that women enjoy hearing the same things for the same reasons.

It’s therefore always a bit of a thrill to hear an all-female band, and Today’s New Band, Spazzys are that bit of a thrilla triple-pronged Australian one at that. On their Myspace page, they list a bewildering assortment of female movie and TV characters as ‘influences’ – some are cutesy, and some are obscure, but all of them could kick your arse.

Spazzys are more than ‘just a break from the masculine norm’ though. They have sex, sazz and guile – “When the show is over, drive off down the street and when it gets dark, slip into the back seat,” they sing on Zatopeks, a buzzy song full of hooks and big, dumb, satisfying chord changes. Like their other songs, it’s a heady mix of 60’s Shirelles pop and 80’s girl-punk – a neat link between two different eras.

I Want a Divorce is a straight-up punk thrash, and while the title is a request, it’s actually a statement of intent. “I’m taking everything you own”, they yelp, and then have the temerity to nick Tammy Wynnette’s D.I.V.O.R.C.E. refrain too. Great. Listen to Spazzys here!

>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—