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BEST LOCAL ROCK BAND Minneapolis 1998 -

Readers' Choice: Semisonic

Not just the best band in town, but the funniest, Deformo are indie rockers with more brains in one of their ingeniously ungainly hooks than 50 major-label bands have in their whole lousy discographies. Strident students of the post-punk rave-up, they'll also add a taste of Tijuana with a two-piece horn section, and they do it without sacrificing their fervent guitarrorism. Screaming above this sonic mess, Deformo's huge-haired lead shouter, Steve Salett, bellows hilarious lyrics about twentynothing indecision. Yet the band manages to avoid the devil of irony. In 1997, our undersung heroes put out two damn fine records, an EP called The Queen Bazaar and an eponymous full-length release, both chock full of songs rife with attacks on Anglophiles, "rich kids," and that perennial source of young ennui, the day job. Rumor has it Deformo might be headed to New York over the summer--making them shoo-in winners for next year's award for Best Band to Leave the Twin Cities.

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