BEST FRONTWOMAN - 2006
Hayley Helmericks Monofog
There's nothing about Monofog that doesn't rule. But the first thing that strikes you -- and the last thing that lingers -- is the voice of Hayley Helmericks. Part Patti Smith, part PJ Harvey and part Hurricane Katrina, Helmericks howls like a poetic force of nature, lending an almost asphyxiating atmosphere to the band's saw-toothed post-punk. But it's not all sound and fury. Her lyrics and melodies are at once cryptic, bruised, anthemic and complex, and they utterly humanize the mutant riffs slicing out of her bandmates' amplifiers. And on stage? Let's just say Helmericks makes Karen O look about as intense as Kelly Clarkson.