>Today’s New Band – Golau Glau

Mystery is a vital component in a musician’s armoury. The less that is revealed to eager rock journalists, the more teenage fans fill in the gaps with wild imagination, mentally spiralling the band to mystical levels.

In which case, Today’s New Band, Golau Glau, must be ranked higher than The Beatles in the minds of their fans. They are reticent in the extreme. This is the email I received from them:

“”Golau Glau” are two of our favourite words that go well together. We like Wales and cats, and whales but not Cats.”

And that was it. It left so many unanswered questions: What does Gloau Glau mean? Why Wales? Which Cats do they hate? Stevens? Deeley? I replied, breathlessly, but only received more cryptic emails in return – and the only confirmations were their status as an ‘anonymous collective’ that no longer live in Wales and that the Cats they hate is the musical (a reasonable stance).

Thus, we are to deduce all from their music, just as they intend. So: Placer Hush is a dreamy clatter, hissing angrily and throbbing with monster synth stabs, over vocals that vanish into the swirl. Virtual Boy is a polyrythmic paean to Nintendo’s failed vomit-inducing console, a skitter of drums occasionally, and usefully, interrupted by computer noodling and bleeping.

With so little else to go on, we can all make definite and confident statements about their music: Golau Glau aren’t going to stick their heads above the parapet to disagree. All of which means that you can shape them any way you desire, and in these days of strictly designated band cool, this is a treat. So feel free to disregard any analysis I have made above, and make up your mind for yourself.

>Today’s New Band – 5 Turns 25

>Music/Life Synchronicity Moment #24986 took place this morning, and this time it featured an early 90’s ambient classic and, er, a road sign.

It was one of those electronic roadsigns, intended to flash up “Sorry for the inconvenience”, and yet, ironically, was inconveniently performing its best impression of a ZX Spectrum loading screen.

The important thing was that the flickering, when not giving epileptic drivers a few anxious moments, seemed to harmonise beautifully with Little Fluffy Clouds by The Orb, a song, remember, that found meaning in clouds. I suppose it’s not too big a leap to then find equivalent beauty in a spasmodic sign, which I did. It was a curiously relaxing sight.

If I’d been listening to Today’s New Band, 5 Turns 25, similar confusion may have ensued. They make music that is almost beyond ambient – only one step beyond the sound of a band warming up, and one step behind true coherency.

Elephant Platform aches with the rhythm of an iron lung, sucking and blowing ennui-filled sighs. New Hand, Same Brain twinkles with warm sunshine and summery delight, marshmallow-soft; welcoming but obtuse. Effects Of Colours is hearing shards of a song played far away, and caught only when the wind changes.

5 Turns 25‘s music is a beautiful, organised jumble of sonic texture, thoughtful clutter and deliberate, precise disjointedness. They’ll yank you, gently, from your daily grind/worries/chores, and you’ll emerge, 20 minutes later, in a fug of serenity. Yum yum yum. Listen here!

>Today’s New Band – Cop On The Edge

>“I AM A COP, SHUT UP!” So grunts The Knife‘s The Cop, a song which brutalises your ears with wonky noise and threats of violence. This is a not-too-unusual representation of our devoted lawmen and women in pop ‘n’ rock.

Cops tend to get a universally bad rap. Speaking of which, this negativity reached its most aggressive nadir with NWA’s Fuck Tha Police, which at the very least leaves no room for ambiguity in their philosophical standpoint.

Despite their name Today’s New Band, Cop On The Edge, don’t appear to have any particular beef with your local bobby. Perhaps their name is just a pleasant daydream of a policeman standing on U2’s guitarist.

Whatever it is they’re dreaming of, it’s partly top-notch 80’s Commodore 64 games. Summer Games II clatters to life, whistles and chatters winningly, daftly, and possibly illegally: “She’s prime, she’s onto the next stage, high on nostalgia… underage!” yelps singer Jim. Perhaps those police will come in handy after all.

Spying On Boys is a jolt of shy teenage lust, appropriately fey and naive, and I Want Don’t Get buzzes with youthful exuberance. Maybe Cop On The Edge are all nostalgic for their tweenage years. If so, they’re expressing it through the medium of Good Tunes, and so who are we to judge? Listen here!

>Today’s New Band – Kezzie Beat

>Deep breath, and straight in: Today’s New Band, Kezzie Beat, makes music that is nerdy, obscure, almost incomprehensibly repetitive and mainly of interest to a selected few who consider early 90’s videogames to have the Best Music Ever. For these reasons alone, we should laud bands like this as a precious commodity.

To take a Gameboy or a NES as a starting point from which to make music isn’t really as unusual as it may seem. Limiting your sonic options in this way is akin to a band picking the same combo of drums, bass and guitar as a million other bands have before. Kezzie Beat starts with her limited palette in an attempt to create something more than the sum of its parts.

It’s a success – and here’s where she differs from many of her peers in the Chiptune/8-bit/whatever scene: where most songs produced in this way can be admiringly described as “the soundtrack to a videogame you’ve never played,” Kezzie Beat‘s songs step gingerly away from the obscure-Japanese-videogame-composer template. Her music takes hesitant steps towards life, love and happiness – you know, the big things that don’t involve cheat codes, mid-level-checkpoints or CONTINUE Y/N?

In songs like Evaporating An Ocean, she attempts to inject as much life as possible, flailing to get out of the end-of-level boss rut with some satisfyingly tactile, fuzzy grunting sounds, a manically bleepy melody and atypical rhythms. 233 is joyously smart, bright and wide-eyed – almost touching. Not quite – the sheer mechanical nature of the 8-bit computer sounds have a defiantly inhuman sound – but almost.

Kezzie Beat: where the videogame bleep nearly held hands with human emotion. That’s close enough. Listen here!

>Today’s New Band – Superpowerless PLUS! EPIC DOOM METAL!

>Genres. Bands hate them. You can bet your bottom dollar Muse hate being bracketed as Prog Rock, but ask someone on the street what kind of music they play and if they don’t begin with the words, “A sort of Proggy…”, then they’re just trying too hard to be best friends with the band.

Labels like Prog, Deep Bolivian House and Grindcore are all useful for us mere mortals who just listen to the music as opposed to being tortured artists, offended by all and sundry.

This means that when your auntie asks you what sort of music you listen to, you can mention “Epic Doom-Metal,” and then move swiftly on to enquiring about the health of her cat. Sub-genres like this decorate the interesting fringes of music, and it’s where the most ridiculous and the most quirkily new music appears.

Today’s New Band, Superpowerless, have meshed together types of music that are far removed from each other, and created something that should be so wrong, but actually drags itself into a strange new place. As you can tell from their name, which conjures up pop culture, irony and failure all at once, Superpowerless are a bit – whisper it – Emo.

So by coupling lyrical introspectiveness with bleepy Chiptunes and growling metal guitars they shatter attempts to be housed happily in the record shop. Electro-Emo-Bleep-Death-Chip-Core just wont fit on the shelf.

I think there’s a knowing sort of ridiculousness in their music – singing “I won’t leave your life/I can’t see your scars,” over what sounds like the song to California Raisins: The Grape Escape video game and being expected to be taken seriously is just an stretch too far for even the most stubborn self-loather.

More Than You is bleepy Nintendo-gone-wrong, with a computerised voice repeating “I like those bastards more than you*” and some super-metal guitars lingering threateningly in the background. It’s nicely effective, with the gibbering bounciness of the NES-a-like melody and the mildly insane undertones of the words.

Superpowerless thrill at generating some of the most happily-executed and satisfying Chiptune bleeping (see Wasted My Time) and then have as much fun getting gloomy at the same time (listen to the lyrics in the same song). For that type of nihilistic vision alone, they deserve to be saluted wildly, so do so, here!

*Oliver from the band tells me it’s actually “I like Ghostbusters more than you.” Perhaps it’s me that’s deranged.

>Indica Ritual – Today’s New Band

>I had one of those iPod mental tics this morning. You’ll recognise the problem – wandering along, scrolling through the albums, but none of them that scram up the screen seem to be the one that’s just right for that exact moment in time. This morning I knew that I needed a sound that was just so, something that was fast, hard and upbeat but that wasn’t gabba or screamcore. Something like a cross between early-90’s period Prodigy and, I dunno, The Fall. One of those kind of moods.

Funnily enough, I couldn’t find any songs that fitted hitherto-yet untested combination of cranky Mancunian miserablism and mentalist bonkers-core aggro-noise. In a fit of idiocy, I picked the full 10-minute mix of So Much Love To Give by Thomas Bangalter & DJ Falcon. After 8 minutes, I realised that my infatuation with Thomas Bangalter perhaps doesn’t stretch to a full 10 minutes of the same loop over and over again, however LOL! AWESOME! it sounds to start with.

It later occurred to me that what I actually wanted to listen to was Today’s New Band, Indica Ritual. Their song Top Forty is all of these things: 1) Bonkers, 2) Super-duper funky, and 3) Sounds like a test version of the 1973 Tomorrow’s World TV theme tune that was rejected for being too ‘out there’. Mostly, though, it’s a superbly alert, twitchy song that sounds confident and cocky. It’s modern without being arch or knowingly ironic, taking the path of least resistance to the parts of your brain marked ‘fun’ and ‘quirky’. Dad’s Wristband nicks the ace crunchy guitar sound off the first half of David Bowie’s Low and moulds it into a tasty, inventive instrumental. And surely Num Lock sounds more creative, more wild and more new than is plausible.

Indica Ritual are quite possibly the band you have been looking for, like, ages. They are actually brilliant, in every sense of the word. You must listen to them now, or your life will be that much poorer. Drown yourself, laughing, in their songs right here!

P.S. This is the second Liverpool band in a row on A.N.B.A.D. Could another accidental trilogy be the making? Tune in tomorrow to find out!

>Today’s New Band – MISTER BEEP

>Just as the Emo scene attracts people who like to wear black, cut outrageously stupid fringes and look identical to one another, and the Nu-Rave scene attracts 15 year olds who want a legitimate reason to dance to Scooter, the Chiptune set attracts people who are A) Nerds and B) Musicians. This is an unusual combo – mathematically-minded musicians are hard to come by – you don’t hear Thom Yorke yapping about logarithms. Actually, that’s probably a bad example, but you get my point. Nevertheless, the Chiptune scene is a monster on the Tubular Interwebs, and we have lavished much praise on it’s luminaries such as PixelH8 before.

Much of the enjoyment of chip music can rely heavily on nostalgic memories of late 80’s video games, though occasionally people like PixelH8 transcend those boundaries. However, just because Today’s New Band, MISTER BEEP, produces music which sounds like it really could be from an 80’s ZX Sinclair Spectrum game (because it has, kind of), doesn’t mean the music is like listening to someone on the bus play all of their polyphonic ringtones to their ‘bezzie mate’.

MISTER BEEP‘s music sounds great, at least to my ears – the ears of someone who spent much of their youth trying to complete Switchblade and Fantasy Island Dizzy on their ZX Speccy. Like how Orbital produce music that sounds like the soundtrack to a film never produced, MISTER BEEP‘s sounds like the tune that would have accompanied Chase HQ 3, had it ever been made. Those of you who used to revel in the excitement of spending 10 minutes waiting for the screeching loading noise for Operation Wolf to finish will find Who’s That Robot and Escape From 16-Bit Land leaving them joyously happy. Perhaps that’s the point of the chiptune: nostalgia through new (old) music. Pleasure through rubber keyboards. Mmm, sexy.

Listen to his ZX-tastic tunes here!

>Today’s New Band – oMMM


What would the sound of sleep be like? Silence? A deeeep humming noise? Your parents’ voices chanting “blood….blood…blood” over and over again? Something similar to the noise when you load a game into a ZX Spectrum? We may never know.

Or perhaps we will – because Today’s New Band, oMMM, produces songs that are apparently “spaced out bedcore…a bedtime pop experiment!” Don’t let that fool you, though – this music isn’t like Side Two of The Orb’s Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld. Instead, oMMM is a musical trip, a treat of inventive bleeping and what could be hesitantly described as ‘soundscapes’. In songs like CATWALKTVKAYAKARMX, the sound drifts – but not aimlessly. oMMM are taking us on a bit of a journey – but a nice one, with a break for a cream tea somewhere along the line.

could be described as residing somewhere between Boards of Canada, the ubiquitous Aphex Twin and Four Tet if we were being particularly lazy. Which we are. It’s a particularly lovely, deliberately dream-like skittle through spacey sounds.

oMMM’s music is calming yet attention-grabbing, a brilliant musical representation of the relaxation and insanity that both tumble from sleep. The music is good for your ears, and the calmness good for your mind. Listen NOW at oMMM’s Myspace page!

And if you found that all a bit too serious, here’s the best/most ridiculous song about a £1.50 portion of chicken and chips performed in a grime style ever. Thanks to Scatman Jamie for pointing out the brilliance of ‘Junior Spesh’


>Today’s New Band – PixelH8

>Making music’s easy isn’t it? Anyone can play guitar – Radiohead told us that, and if all the combined intellectualism of Radiohead says so, well, it must be true. Actually, look at it this way: Pete Docherty can play the guitar and after being arrested for the 19 billionth time for drug possession, questions must now start to be asked of his supposed intelligence.

So, if making tunes is a piece of cake, why would anyone want to shun the simple methods and choose to cobble together music by painstakingly wiring bits of old Gameboys, NES consoles and Commodore 64 computers together? That is a question which may never be answered, but if the end result is anywhere near as brilliant as today’s new band PixelH8‘s music, maybe the 48K Spectrum should be the instrument of choice for truculent teenagers everywhere.

PixelH8 may or may not be a minor genius. All the sounds on his songs are made from the sounds off old consoles and computers, and must take most of his time, or sanity, to make work as well as they do. Super Fantastic Turbo Magical is the soundtrack to the best videogame you never played, but then any of the great songs on his Myspace page http://www.myspace.com/pixelh8 could be.

Somehow PixelH8 takes the noises you’ll half-remember from your wasted videogame-playing youth and makes songs that are actually beautiful. For this, he truly deserves to be one of the chosen few who know the infinite lives POKE for Bubble Bobble on the ZX 48K Spectrum*. He definitely deserves a listen, at least. Let me know what you think!

*it’s POKE: 43871 52