Best Rock Band (2014)

France Camp

There are any number of ways to skin the cat known as rock music, but it's often best when done fast, loose, and full of claws. In Minnesota circles, the gnarliest, most shit-kicking good time can be had with the boys in France Camp, led by their own howler of a frontman, Jay Simonson. This south Minneapolis quartet — long active but only recently risen from the ashes of Nice Purse — walk a fine line between rocking your face off and knocking your teeth in with a fast, wiry mix of pent-up Midwestern aggression and sunny California garage-punk hooks. Their debut EP, last fall's France Camp, bundles up Simonson's shouts and screams with the slashing chords of James Wolfeatens's guitar and the flurry-of-fists-and-elbows rhythm section of Kyle Kimm and Dylan Rosebringeth. It's a leather-clad frenzy of summer haze and binge drinking. But even that is no match for the fury of France Camp's live show, where Simonson and company practice what they preach — no matter how many stage dives and bruised bodies stand between them and a good time.


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