One of many tightly-contested categories in this year’s BMP, East Bay trio Coma Coma squeaks out a back-to-back victory for Best Local Act. Drummer Dan Ulmschneider (also of Six Star General), guitarist Steve Demers, and bassist/vocalist Eric Sampson incorporate insanely proficient rhythms, gnarled guitar riffs, and thumping basslines to the math-rock formula, resulting in a stoner’s delight. Their 2010 breakout full-length debut, Chateau Rex (75orLess), took top honors in last year’s BMP. But the real magic occurs onstage, when these three unassuming dudes jam out and shred, particularly on the brand new cuts “21st Century Savior” and the totally off-the-wall groove of “Syndrome.” Sampson reports a new album is in the works but, knowing the band’s infamously reticent approach to recording and busy day-job work sked, we’re keeping fingers crossed for an early 2013 release. In the meantime, look up Coma Coma at the usual hometown stomping grounds, including the Common Pub and JR Bean’s.
RUNNERS-UP: Olneyville Sound System, the Rice Cakes, Last One Out