Best Pop Band - 2008
All who've experienced Say Panther's triumphant choruses and trumpet blasts need no explanation for how the group has transcended its status as the town's most promising young ensemble to become the city's best pop band. Formed in 2005 with Strokes-y ambitions, the group has spent the better part of three years whittling its danceable, exuberant tunes into bite-size nuggets of melodic bliss. The collective may have enough members to spontaneously play a game of pickup basketball (against itself!) — although you're never quite sure how many people will be onstage during one of its shows — but its songs are a study in economy. They often feature little more than two chords and a slew of "woah-uh-oh-oh-oh"s. This fat-free approach to songwriting makes the band's fireworks brighter and reiterates the strengths of lead Panther James Bishop, a barely legal tenor whose Kevin Drew-meets-James Murphy vocals are light on the ears while yanking heavily on the heartstrings.