Best Pop Band

Middle Class Fashion

The standard template for pop trios is guitar, bass and drums, but Middle Class Fashion eschews the electric six-string and adds the piano and synths of singer and primary songwriter Jenn Malzone. The result is a dark, lovely, angry, tightly harmonized and even more tightly arranged sound that suggests Exile in Guyville-era Liz Phair challenging Fiona Apple to a songwriting contest with sweet revenge as the ultimate prize. "When you touch me in this abomination, across these states on every station..." Malzone sings on MCF's 2012 debut, Girl Talk. Backed by the fuzz bass of Brian McClelland (like Malzone, a moonlighter from power-pop veteran Tight Pants Syndrome) and Brad Vaughn's skittering drums, the pretty little poison of great pop songs becomes an addiction.

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