Best Of 2008

BEST NEW BAND: Tailgunner Joe and the Earls of Slander


Tampa quartet Tailgunner Joe & the Earls of Slander have been winning over fans during the past year with a smart, rowdy blend of rockabilly, punk and hard-chugging rock ’n’ roll. The band members are young — all four are under 25 — but their songs cover subject matter that goes well beyond the pursuit of cheap thrills and pretty girls. For instance, “Kill Zone” — the key track on Tailgunner Joe’s July-released debut EP The Red Scare — is a rollicking number fervently sung from the perspective of an American contract worker who is “just trying to keep from dying” while delivering goods across Iraq.