Best Local Band (2012)

St Ranger

Phoenix-based St Ranger crams more ideas into Life Coach, its five-song debut, than most bands manage to fit on full LPs. And what's more, the five-piece does it with style and ease, never feeling unnecessary or forced. The easy bounce of "Take Time" rolls with a soul-pop groove and pop-and-lock bass, and the Beach Boys-gone-math-rock of "It's 'Appening" pulses with a sly grin. Backed by The Color Group, St Ranger doesn't seem content to let local accolades be reward enough, keeping its nose to the grindstone and pushing harder. Color Group pressed Life Coach on vinyl, and the tight pop compositions have gained national attention from the blogosphere in Phoenix and beyond.