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Best Rock Band Orange County 2013 - Robert Jon and the Wreck

Readers' Choice: Social Distortion

There's no shortage of bands who can impress you with how many notes they can play, how many solos they can pull off, how many times the keyboardist can bang his afro against the ivories. To a certain degree, Robert Jon and the Wreck have all of those qualities. But what separates them from the rest of the pack is their ability to combine technical wizardry, headbanging gusto and Super Bowl half-time choruses in a way that just feels real. (Oh, and their OC Music Award for Best Live Band.) Even in the middle of sterile SoCal suburbia, songs such as "Georgia Mud" and "Rhythm of the Road" are delivered with pounding, relentless energy built for the roughest, toughest roadhouses. No matter where they're performing, you can count on them leaving the stage drenched in sweat, a graveyard of broken strings and sticks at their feet. Most important, you don't walk away from this band without conceding they have earned their facial hair . . . a true test for any great rock band.

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