Best Garage Band

Koko and the Sweetmeats

Koko and the Sweetmeats are just a dude and his wife, but they make as much racket as bands three times their size. Garett van der Spek, a Seattleite by way of Durban, South Africa, writes, sings, and plays a jangly guitar on rough-and-tumble songs for which his wife, Laura, gamely beats along on the drums (Koko occasionally plays with one or two extra musicians on stage). The result is a raw noise that sounds part vintage '60s rock (think the Kinks, the Animals), part blues (of the frenzied, up-tempo variety, like Screamin' Jay Hawkins), and entirely, awesomely dynamic. ERIN K. THOMPSON

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