Garage Rock Act
Calling Streight Angular a garage-rock band feels like an oversimplification, and not just because of their recent flirtation with ambient electro-pop. Heck, calling them a “band” feels like an oversimplification. As much as any act in town, Al Polk and his uncanny entourage endeavor to be “experienced” as much as heard. Their preliminary-round set at this year’s Rock and Roll Rumble integrated a wandering gorilla (who was really a guy in a suit . . . right?), a dapperly attired gentleman in a lucha libre mask, a shower of single-bite candies, and more neon blacklight paint than you could shake a baby pacifier at. They didn’t make it to the semis, but the spectacle carved out an indelible notch in the Rumble’s collective memory. Let’s say Streight Angular aren’t just a garage band, but a cheerfully unruly, jangly, psychedelic rock-and-roll battalion raging, Gandhi-style, against normalcy.
RUNNERS-UP: The Needy Visions, The Fagettes, The Dirty Virgins