Best New Rock Duo 

The Hecks

Over the past decade or so, it's become a totally acceptable thing for loud rock acts to have only two members—the problem is that such an outfit often sounds like half a band. But the Hecks, aka 22-year-old drummer Zach Hebert and 25-year-old guitarist-­vocalist Andrew Mosiman, turn the limitations of the duo format to their advantage. Mosiman plays repetitive patterns on either a two- or three-string guitar (there's not even a full lineup of strings!), and Hebert dances around them, playing his kit not just with sticks but with small pieces of metal, soft mallets, or maracas. The music's simplicity and obtuse melodic bent remind me of Wire's quieter moments, and the eerie vibe Hebert can conjure with a maraca-struck snare drum just screams Sonic Youth. The Hecks' first show was in December at DIY space the Dustbowl, and after having their way with the house-show circuit for six months, they've started popping up as an opener on bigger bills, including May's Black Dice gig at Bottom Lounge. The band just self-released a tape, and it's only a matter of time before a label steps up and puts out an official record.

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