All-Time Best Band: Slint All-Time Best Solo Artist: Will Oldham Best New Band: Wax Fang
Okay, so our admittedly hip winners here may reveal which side our proverbial Kentucky biscuit is buttered on, but come on. This is Boston. We love stuff from down South, provided it doesn’t make us feel like we’re down South. Take SLINT, who painstakingly liberated metal and indie rock from their most cliché trappings — leaving behind prototypes that dozens of protégées have tried to improve on. Plus, they were super loud, played songs in 7/8, and were so fucking serious. | We also went contemporary for our solo all-timer in picking WILL OLDHAM, but it doesn’t feel that way. Whether we’re talking the busted grammar of Arise Therefore, the multiform countrified oddities of his Palace projects, the artful folk of Bonnie Prince Billy, or just his beard, Oldham seems to preside over many epochs at once. | And for our folky, somewhat experimental buck, it doesn’t get much bangier than WAX FANG. They may be in violation of their Louisville hometown’s traditions of austere, cerebral rock (thanks again, Slint), but their hyper-melodic, avant-party jams make up for it.