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BEST ROCK BAND Minneapolis 2002 - Lift Puller

Readers' Choice: Gel

Hardcore-inspired punk rock with synthesizers or organs as frosting may be nothing new. But no synth-punk band since Lifter Puller has worked the concept with as much pure, sweaty, manic live energy as Song of Zarathustra. How fitting, then, that the group recruited former Lifter Puller guitarist Tad Kubler for an expanded double-guitar lineup in December. You can see what attracted him: This band is the kind of force of nature that various members have packed up apartments and switched cities to be a part of. Recalling the bug-eyed, time-signature-obliterating scream-rock of Drive Like Jehu or Camera Obscura, the crew's 2000 debut The Birth of Tragedy (Troubleman Unlimited) was both forceful and seemingly overjoyed by its sheer power. Now a new album is on the way, a world tour is in motion, and fans are abuzz in California, Virginia, and even places where these guys have never lived.

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