Best of Boston

Best Band

2017 Best Band


It's the songful lilt of Rick Maguire's voice that exhilarates the oft-agitated melodies on his band's latest, A Hairshirt of Purpose. Pile isn't new on [...] read more»
2016 Best Band


Ellen Kempner’s vocal melodies have a tendency to shoot up high without warning, just like her hands on the fretboard of her guitar during bouts [...] read more»
2015 Best Band

Speedy Ortiz

The commonwealth's next great rock ’n’ roll band? That'd be Speedy Ortiz, a quartet secretly amped on pop but swinging its guitars with a raw, [...] read more»
2011 Best Band

Dropkick Murphys

Okay, a crushingly obvious choice. But consider that the Dropkick Murphys were able to get Bruce Springsteen on their first new studio album in four [...] read more»
2002 Best Band, Live


Rubyhorse's recent album Rise does not "sparkle" like their single, but it's to catch these Irish rockers (who are Cork-to-Boston transplants) in the act. The [...] read more»
1998 Best Band, Cutting-Edge

Club d’Elf

The sound of the future is here. The band's deeply hypnotic trance-grooves combine jazz, world, and electronica. Bass wizard Mike Rivard, percussionist Jerry Leake, sampler [...] read more»
1998 Best Band, Ska

Tie: Bim Skala Bim and The Allstonians

Two acts ostensibly playing the same style, but each with a unique sound. The former's catchier doubletimes tunes rocket you from your seat; the latters [...] read more»
1997 Best Band, Mariachi

Tacos El Charro

Jamaica Plain
There is a little bit of Mexico at this pinata-filled spot near Jackson Square. Despite the bright lights and the warm sangria, Tacos El Charro [...] read more»
1997 Best Band, Pop

Papas Fritas

Many starry-eyed bands crawl up from the primordial soup of Somerville, but few are chosen. On the trio's latest Minty Fresh release, Helioself Papas Fritas [...] read more»
1995 Best Band, Cutting-Edge

Cold Water Flat

Okay, so Paul Janovitz of Cold Water Flat is the brother of Buffalo Tom's Bill Janovitz. There's no sibling rivalry going on here. Buffalo Tom [...] read more»
1994 Best Band, Ska

Bim Skala Bim

Bim Skala Bim will continue to attract fans near and far with its unique blend of ska, reggae, calypso, and rock. read more»
1994 Best Band, Funk


The band counts one Berklee and five Wesleyan grads among its members, but don't be deceived by such lofty credentials—these guys are out to have [...] read more»
1993 Best Band, Names, Local

A multiple tie: Dogzilla, Beware the Haberdash, Tommy’s Darkling Thrush, Billy Caucasian & the Lack of Soul Band

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1992 Best Band, Dance-til-You-Drop

Taylor Made

A Motown band with infectious energy. Sizzling R &B brings sweet sweat to the dance floors of Boston. read more»
1992 Best Band, Local, Cutting-Edge

The Lemonheads

They can churn out music that sounds intensely tortured one minute, gently sentimental the next. Maybe it's just us, but is Evan Dando (the group's [...] read more»