The class of 2010: a little bootstraps punk, some junk-drawer indie, some dramatic-lighting post-punk soul. But it's the spiffy dance-funk sextet Gentlemen Hall who take first prize. Born hardly a year ago, the Gentlemen leapfrogged a few steps in the local-band timeline and landed at the head of the class. They snagged an MTV VMA this past year ("Boston Breakout Artist" — that exists?), hooked up with producer Earl Cohen (Lady Gaga, the Temptations), and otherwise cranked out glittery shards of disco hooks without end on their Gentlemen Hall EP. Gavin McDevitt alternates breathy '70s croon and motormouth with unsettling ease, while fellow vocalist Jacob Michael turns the lone-wolf anthem "Castaway" into the most reliable mood swing of the year. These songs sizzle and pop with resuscitated beats, bass lines, and laser-booty synths that argue the last 20 years should be stricken from the record.
2. Streight Angular
4. Razors in the Night