>Playboy Playmates, Hi-Fi Geeks and Today’s New Band – The Furbelows

>I once found myself chatting to a man in a pub who worked in a Hi-Fi shop. He was the kind of guy you’d expect to find working in a Hi-Fi shop – gawky, not quite fully aware of other people’s personal space, that kind of thing. But he was nice, even if he was one of those audiophiles who obsess about sound quality over what’s actually being listened to in the first place. I got the feeling he listened to a lot of Bruce Springsteen. But I digress.

I asked him what songs they play to test the quality of new CD players, amps and speakers. He said that for quite a while now, they’d used Angel by Massive Attack, by virtue of its ridiculously heavy bassline, which, Hi-Fi geek speaking, separates the Separates from the Separates.

As much as I love Mezzanine, the album that opens ominously with Angel, I’m not sure if I’d want to take it out of context as an enjoyable bit of dubby music and make it into an everyday quasi-scientific experiment. Music is enjoyment for its own sake, isn’t it?

Speaking of enjoyment, music and experimentalism, here’s Today’s New Band, The Furbelows. “I’m a fun-loving, heat-seeking pleasure machine,” they howl excitedly on Pleasure Machine, a song that’s so much fun and so good, I was almost positive it was a cover, but if it is, I can’t find any traces of the original anywhere.

This can only mean it’s all theirs and this is a good thing. Pleasure Machine rips up the carpet, stomps its Cuban heeled feet into the floorboards and before you know it, has created a clammy, uninhibited party. It’s as simple, attractive and as much fun as a Playboy Playmate, and twice as pleasant to listen to.

After a start like that – and I assume that The Furbelows will start their gigs with it, not to mention every single public engagement forthwith; weddings, funerals and doctors appointments included – it’s not too surprising, or unfair, that none of their other songs match it for bombast, at least.

That’s not to say they’re no good, though – What Whiskey Is For is nearly the kind of song that Spiritualized would write if they had a sense of humour. But, if you want a blast of pure, eccentric, in-capital-letters-FUN, you could do no better than clicking here and putting Pleasure Machine on loop.

>Today’s New Band – Sky Larkin

>Bands, generally, sound like other bands. The Kooks sound like Libertines Lite, Oasis sounded like Slade having noisy drunken sex with Status Quo, and Elastica sounded so much like Wire and the Stranglers that they got sued. But there’s nothing really wrong with that – there’s only so many chord sequences and topics to sing about. Unless you’re Natasha Bedingfield, in which the only topic you ever sing about is how unutterably gut-emptyingly awful you are (listen closely to her lyrics).

Sometimes when you listen to a band for the first time, there’s something unmistakable that leaps out and reminds you of another band. The vocals, the rhythm, or even the vibe, maaaan. This happened today when I was listening to Today’s New Band, Sky Larkin. The funny thing is that I just can’t place exactly who they remind me of. Sure, Summit sounds a bit Yeah Yeah Yeahs-y, but that’s just a lazy comparison, primarily because I have a thing for Karen O. But it was mainly their great song Somersault Notes that got stuck, nagging away at me in my head.

The song itself is lovely, swooping and grand, but slender – not stumbling into dreaded ‘overblown epic’ mode. I was positive that it reminded me of another song by another band. I spent a weekend trying to think, but had to give up. It suddenly occurred to me that perhaps it wasn’t reminiscent of anything else, but one of those instances when you hear a great song and it sounds familiar, but is actually brand new. Fingers crossed. The other great songs they have on their MySpace site includes a super-duper cover of QOTSA’s I Was A Teenage Hand Model. Listen to them all here! If you know what that song sounds like, please let me know….

>Today’s New Band – The Joy Formidable

>The weekend already! It’s been a weird week on A New Band A Day. Coherency is low on the ANBAD agenda at the best of times, but this week we’ve been all over the shop like Amy Winehouse on DisneyLand Paris’s new ride, Journey to the Centre of Crack Mountain.

We’ve romped between super lo-fi tinkling with Magpied and the sleepy bleeps of oMMM, via the rollicking insanity of the Velvet Orchestra and the jaunty jangles of Buen Chico. So in some ways, Today’s New Band, The Joy Formidable, is a bit like the conclusion at the end of a high-school essay, albeit an essay that begins, “What is a New Band? The dictionary definition of a New Band is…”.

That is to say, The Joy Formidable are tinkling, sleepy, rollicking and jangly all at once. This is a Very Good Thing, and can be plainly heard for yourself on their track Cradle, a driving pounder of a song, which, with its “Woo-woo-woo” male/female vocals, sounds, frankly, a bit like what My Bloody Valentine would sound like without quite so many layers of fuzz. Austere punches its way forward bluntly but delicately, leaving you sure of their intent – to RAWK, but in a measured way, slightly reminiscent of Yeah Yeah Yeahs in ‘noise’ mode.

I usually wouldn’t compare bands to others – it’s mainly unhelpful – but look, I’ve just done it twice. Maybe it’s because The Joy Formidable are really good, maybe it’s because I’m feeling lazy. I hope it’s the former. Even more thrillingly, all their songs are FREE! to download at their MySpace page, and their’s even a remix by old friend of ANBAD, Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs! What more could you ask for, really? Listen to their great stuff NOW, here!

>Today’s New Band – Dinosaur Pile-Up: DINOSAUR WEEK CONTINUES!

>Gimmick, Schmimmick. This dinosaur-theme is a goer, I tell you. The eagle-eyed of you will sport that this is the third consecutive dino-related band in a row, and while some may accuse us here at A.N.B.A.D. of mild idiocy, it turns out that there is method behind this Bronto-Madness. (NB: See previous posts, below, for the previous excursion into Dino-sounds)

That’s because the search for dino-bands – archeology, maybe – has unearthed yet another great band: Today’s New Band, Dinosaur Pile-Up. Firstly, let’s childishly focus again on how super the name is – anything that causes you to imagine a huge collision of freaking dinosaurs and the resulting pile-up is surely enough to make you as giddy as a 10 year old girl watching Hannah Montana – The 3D Movie.

Happily, Dinosaur Pile-up‘s music is great too. My Rock And Roll is a chunky, Pavement-y, Pixies-ish blast, singer Matt mumble-yelling “Since I was young, I always felt some sort of trouble.” It seems that writing great rock songs is outside of this trouble-sphere, as rock ‘n’ roll is a tough thing to get right, but Dinosaur Pile-Up can do it, seemingly without effort. My Rock and Roll is a fantastic song from a great-sounding band, who don’t seem to be slavishly following current musical trends. Fantastic – and apparently, unsigned. Crazy.

Check out their music at their Myspace page, here!

*No new band on Monday – it’s a Bank Holiday! So we’ll be sitting inside, sheltering from the rain, as usual.*

>Today’s New Band – The Alibies

>I gave myself an alibi once, when officers from Operation Ore came knocking at my door*. However, with that minor discretion now behind me, I can fully turn my attention to the quirky electro-pop of The Alibies.

They’re a bit like a fey version of fellow Scandinavian mentallists The Knife, but The Alibiesare slightly camper and exhibit slightly more unusual humour. This is a good thing. Their tunes sound like they were made in a bedroom by two friends brought together by a dislike of normality. This is also a good thing. Frighteningly, they are unsigned as of yet, which probably says more about record companies’ reluctance to send A&R men to their hometown of Ylivieska, Pohjois-Pohjanmaa. And yes, that is a real place – in Finland, apparently. It also has an incredible score of 61 in Scrabble.

Anyway, check out the fantastic “Burn Brightly” on their Myspace page: http://www.myspace.com/thealibies

The other songs are great too, but Burn Brightly sounds like someone locked Kraftwerk, Adam And The Ants and Erasure in a small room and then chucked a few grenades in, to see what would happen. If anyone has a wanton disregard for human life and wants to conduct this experiment for real, drop us an email to let us know how it went.

*for the benefit of mob-happy morons: this is a joke