Godzilla Black, and Oh No, More Puns

Arrrghh! Couldn’t… resist… today’s… band… because… of… vague… punning…

It’s a sorry state of affairs. I’ll apologise right now. But why even try to put up any defence any more? I’m loud and proud about it now: I just love rubbish puns, and Godzilla Black have a song called Fear of a Flat Planet.

A frankly crummy half-pun, yes, but also one that conjures images of a world made entirely of still-boxed IKEA furniture, with cardboard cut-outs of Chuck D and Terminator X (Flava Flav is already a cardboard cut-out) shouting angrily at all and sundry.

You can tell that Godzilla Black are grimy and sex-fuelled from the lewdly rumbling basslines alone. Lock up your daughters:

Godzilla Black // Fear Of A Flat Planet

Their lyrics aren’t so much sung as much as they ooze out of their lasciviously gopping mouths. By the time sentiments like,  ‘I’m the kind of girl that makes you wanna get a sex change,’ have reached your ears, you’ll find that your skin crawled into a dark corner a long time ago.

Their music is the kind of offensively crotch-thrusting grind that makes you want to weep, black, bitter tears. Godzilla Black: delicious dirt, condemned to tape.


>Ugly Megan, and Alexandra Burke’s Sincerity Vaccuum

Over two nights, I’ve seen two awful gigs. This will not do. The first band I will not name; they were young and new, and will surely improve.

But in the meantime, I will offer this nugget of advice: it’s fine to swagger about the stage like Ian Brown and Liam Gallagher‘s proto-lovechild, but only if you can back up your cocksure braggadocio with, you know, good music.

Oh, and never introduce another mindlessly drab U2-lite number with the words, “This one’s a fucking tune! Come on!” unless you enjoy the sight of a roomful of people raising quizzical eyebrows.

Still, at least they were sincere, unlike last night’s ear-harassment from X-Factor winner Alexandra Burke, who turned up in Manchester to pick up a large cheque and switch on the Christmas lights.

Insincerity made flesh, she actually used the, “Manchester is my favourite place to perform” line – and the crowd lapped it up. It was so embarrassing I didn’t know where to look. Then she ground out both her hits, offered a few more scripted blandishments and exited stage left.

As she did, she pretended to spot someone in the audience, pointed, performed an oh-my-god-can-you-believe-it! wave and then finally expunged herself from our drab lives. Sadly, the collective sigh of relief was conspicuous by its absence.

For all those who are recovering from similar half-hearted celeb-showpieces, Ugly Megan are the antidote. Gentle beyond measure on the surface, but unexpectedly steely and sexy beneath. “I really like your trousers but I’d prefer them on the floor,” sings Kathi on the delightfully nice ‘n’ sleazy One Night At My House.

Ugly Megan – One Night At My House

The template – guitar, cute female vocals and tinkling xylophone – has been used to death, but not in such an genuinely sweet, lusty way. And in Kathi and Orlando’s Revolution, their soft/barbed coupling makes even more sense.

Ugly Megan have also found a whole new niche: in covering Snoop Dogg‘s What’s My Name, they’ve – believe it or not – successfully melded twee pop and gangsta rap.

No, it doesn’t make sense to me either. But it works well, doesn’t seem to be a bad joke and sounds good. The opposite of Alexandra Burke then.

Photography by Deen O’Saurus

>Today’s New Band – Miracle and The Soul Interpreter PLUS! Beer Heaven! Beer Hell!

>The National Winter Ales Festival rolled into town yesterday, and, being the troopers we are, your brave A New Band A Day correspondents did our duty and duly attended. If you want to see what the Internet looked like in 1997, go to the festival’s website here. Stepping into the Coliseum Of Ales, and being presented with a bewildering number of beers, ciders and perrys, we cast off the shackles of decent behaviour and got well and truly stuck in.

The beauty, and indeed, horror, of a beer festival, is that the words “So many beers, so little time” buzz urgently like a neon light in your head. Everyone at a beer festival knows that the temptation to try this, that, and the other will ultimately end in disaster, and yet plough on regardless. And lo, that is exactly what happened to us too.

So today my poor head is being nursed in a perhaps-too-touchy-feely, caring way by Today’s New Band, Miracle and The Soul Interpreter. Their songs linger between the shimmer of house music and the grind of R&B, and a step removed from either.

Whatafuckingfailure is a jazzy piano loop, aching vocals and a sense of emotional doom. It’s pared back and lean, leaving plenty of room for the lightly downbeat gloom.

Doideeboid is buzzy, hummy and similarly sparse; its clicking drums occasionally interrupted with punchy bursts from a gospel choir. Sleazy and slick, this is the song that man you shouldn’t be tempted by would whisper in your ear, as one hand rests on the small of your back.

That Miracle and The Soul Interpreter are bold/daft enough to pull off a cover of the Steve Miller Band‘s Abracadabra by turning it into a funky, dancefloor creeper is confirmation of their talent. They sound slick and confident. Get seduced, here!

>Paris Hilton, Verb Confusion and Today’s New Band – I Am Austin

>I’m still persevering with my Spanish class, much to the surprise of, well, me, mainly. I think it’s because it was paid for up front and I’m too tight to drop out. Anyway, any progress that was being made courtesy of my guapa Argentinian teacher was dashed last night when it was revealed to us that in Spain they have two verbs for “to be”.

This mind-boggling Ta-Da! Surprise! threw me, as the decision of whether you use Estar or Ser – the offending verbs – hinges on some sort of arbitrary psychological hunch of whatever situation is being described. And all the while, my well-meaning teacher was making personal guarantees that Spanish is actually a very easy language.

Simplicity is comforting. This alone can explain the popularity of say, Paris Hilton. You know exactly what you’re going to get – and in her case it’s teeth-grindingly annoying vacuousness. It gives people a nice simple starting point for whatever they want to do or feel next.

Music is the same. There’s a reason that DJs at wedding discos the world over always play the same crappy songs ad nauseum. You won’t find Uncle Tony frugging to Aphex Twin‘s Canticle Drawl after a few too many sherries anywhere.

Today’s New Band are super simple – a straight down the line, groin thrusting, cymbal smashing rock band. It’s a combination that produces duff bands with unerring regularity. I am Austin though, have got it right, right, right. Stripper sounds as sleazy and grimy as you’d expect. It’s about strippers, having a good time, and then writing a song that describes it all. What more do you want for it? Contextual analysis?

I Am Austin are all hair, hormones and songs about lust. This Air Is Acid, which I hope is a song regaling the pungency of a particularly toxic fart, lurches at you drunkenly, scrabbling for balance and not finding it. It’s a big, bruising song that always threatens to explode violently. Similarly, Zombie Town rages and clanks dementedly.

I Am Austin are in that happy, early, just-enjoying-the-feeling-of-making-this loud-noise phase, with the added pleasure of creating great, mental songs along the way. And none of the band members are called Austin, either. I like that. You’ll like them too – listen here!

>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 – The Brownies


The world of rock is mainly cock-centric – guys singing about them snaring weak-kneed women and then strutting off towards the next conquest. Actually, that’s how it used to be, in the days when the codpieced, moronically-coiffured Whitesnake, WASP et al thrusted their collective groin towards us unfortunate listeners. Today, though, the majority of indie bands that pollute the charts are so busy pouting and imagining they’re in Skins that they’re incapable of waggling their hips at the girls in the front row.

So today’s great new band – The Brownies – are here to pick up that slack. Sophie, Stevie and Maxie leer out from behind the band’s bouncy, buzzy noise with a sexual predatoriness that is fun, confident and, for a very welcome change, female. “Not every girl wants to be surrounded by naked ladies – Naked, naked men for me!” they yelp on Vaseline Kid.

Listen to their bunch of great songs on their MySpace page: http://www.myspace.com/thebrownies and then lock up your sons, for their own safety.

And look: I went through the whole post without mentioning them being from Norwich and making a glib connnection with Alan Partridge.