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50 Best Miami Bands of All Time: From 25 to 21

Disco Rick: Pimp, bass legend, and King of Diamonds stripper wrangler.
Disco Rick: Pimp, bass legend, and King of Diamonds stripper wrangler.
Photo by Giulio Sciorio

There's a classic Miami song for every occasion.

Protesting SoBe nightlife? Crank up ANR's "Kill South Beach Dead." Getting a perm? Frizz with Nuclear Valdez's "Summer." Stripping for the rent money at King of Diamonds? Try Disco Rick and The Dogs' "Take It Off."

Check the cut for numbers 25 to 21 in Crossfade's 50 Best Miami Bands of All Time. And discover another round of day-enhancing Dade County ditties.

25. Critical Mass

When exactly did Miami punk rock come crawling outta the swamp-water gutter, start walking and snarling and spitting, snatch up a guitar, gnaw on a microphone, and release its very first seven-inch single? The year was 1978. And the original specimen was Critical Mass.

Weened by Mick Fazz, this five-year-old "high-energy progressive rock" creature was radically reborn (like a million others around the world) after consuming a copy of the Sex Pistols' Never Mind the Bollocks. Almost instantaneously, Fazz and the Mass mutated into punks. They fed on the Pistols and the New York Dolls. Then they headed for a Hialeah studio to crap out a couple of SoFla punk classics, "Silver Screen" and "No One Left To Blame."

And though Critical Mass soon went extinct, its punk progeny inherited the Earth. Or at least a sizable slice of the Miami music scene. -- S. Pajot

24. Phoenicia

Unlike so many composers obsessed with the sonics of cinema, Phoenicia's Romulo Del Castillo and Josh Kay were not interested in generating the background noise that constitutes a film's score. Instead, the Schematic Records founders were obsessed with designing soundscapes inspired by the commonplace noise inherent to any plot depicted on the big screen. More Skywalker Sound than Jon Brion, if you will.

The end result of their synaesthetic query is a powerful discography (including the duo's magnum opus double-LP from 2001, Brownout) showcasing extraordinarily complex electronic music founded expressly upon textural nuance and forward-thinking aural architecture. -- Matt Preira

 

23. The Dogs

If the Young and Restless's Charles "Dr. Ace" Trahan and Leonerist "Prince P" Johnson were the PG-13 alternative to X-rated party boys like 2 Live Crew and Poison Clan, then The Dogs shouldn't even have been able to even get a rating from the Recording Industry Association of America.

In just three years, these four Miami bass heads (Disco Rick of Gucci Crew fame, along with Keith Bell, Labrant Dennis, and Fergus "Cracked Up" Smith) dropped three very dark, occasionally strange, and always volatile albums (1990's The Dogs, '91's Beware of The Dogs, and '92's K-9 Bass) before finally breaking up in '96 when Dennis was convicted and sentenced to death for a double murder .

But even with tracks like "Fuck the President" and "Ten Little Niggers," The Dogs' most terrifying and singable moment will always be "Crack Rock" and its nightmarish schoolyard taunt about yo' mama tricking for a fix. -- S. Pajot

22. Chickenhead

Led by Iron Forge Press master-screenman Chuck Loose and Scam Zine's Erik "Iggy Scam" Lyle, Chickenhead was as punk as a punk band could get. And any time they played, Loose would drag the entire club into the gutter with him.

He'd occasionally forget which hand was holding his beer and which hand was holding the mike, and sing half the set into a can of Schlitz. He was also "banned from Churchill's for life" on two separate occasions: once for driving his motorcycle onto the stage, another time for lighting himself on fire. No big deal.

Moreover, Chickenhead's lyrics are among the best in anarcho-punk history. Just take this one in: "Do you like my car? It was free because I stole it!" -- Jose Flores

21. Floor

According to stoner metal mythology, the Brown Note is an infrasonic frequency that causes human beings to lose complete control of their bowels. For decades, scientists have been toiling in soundproof laboratories and the such, trying to pinpoint this elusive low-frequency poop trigger. Someone should have just told them to just pick up a record by South Florida's most revered and celebrated purveyors of sludge: Floor.

As far as we're concerned, Steve Brooks's bomb string (tuned so low that it's looser than your kids' tooth) is the most effective sonic laxative know to mankind. We shit our pants every time. Underappreciated in their day (AKA the '90s) and then revived by cult popularity, no band is more worthy of your skid marks. -- Matt Preira

Check out the other installments of Crossfade's 50 Best Miami Bands of All Time:

-From 50 to 46: Scraping Teeth, Frank Williams & The Rocketeers, Iko Iko, ANR, Miami Bass Warriors

-From 45 to 41: Nuclear Valdez, The Goods, Locos Por Juana, Cynic, Avenue D

-From 40 to 36: The Agency, Pygmy, Suenalo, Triple C's, The Crumbs

-From 35 to 31: Quit, Young and Restless, The Reactions, Afrobeta, Cavity

-From 30 to 26: Holy Terrors, Clay D & The Get Funky Crew, Laundry Room Squelchers, ¡Mayday!, Poison the Well

-From 25 to 21: Critical Mass, Phoenicia, The Dogs, Chickenhead, Floor

-From 20 to 16: Buckwheat Boyz, The Mavericks, Against All Authority, T-Connection, The Eat

-From 15 to 11: Jacuzzi Boys, Gucci Crew II, Charlie Pickett and The Eggs, L'Trimm, To Live and Shave in L.A.

-From 10 to 6: Murk, NRBQ, Exposé, Poison Clan, Load

-From 5 to 1: KC and the Sunshine Band, Sam & Dave, Harry Pussy, Miami Sound Machine, 2 Live Crew


Follow Crossfade on Facebook and Twitter @Crossfade_SFL.


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