BEST ROCK BAND Minneapolis 2000 - Lifter Puller
The marble-mouthed stream-of-unconsciousness ranting of Lifter Puller headman Craig Finn makes this one of the most pleasurable postpunk vehicles to cruise local stages in recent years. On Fiestas and Fiascos, the band's third album and smoothest to date, Finn and the gang sing songs about drugging, party girls, and scenester posing--old-fashioned rock material, in other words. Yet Lifter Puller isn't your standard just-outta-the-garage outfit. On tracks like "Lifter Puller vs. The End of the Evening," a swerving, tongue-in-cheek paean to the endless party, these wild boys combine cerebral art-rock à la Sonic Youth with a stiff shot of punk irony. You're not going to get the complete Lifter Puller experience from any of the band's albums, but once you've seen them thrash through a live set, you'll understand why their sizable local following never wants the evening to end, either.