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Best Funky Punkers San Francisco 2003 - Tussle

Or perhaps the award should be for Punky Funksters? In any case, San Francisco's Tussle wrestles with geography and time and comes out triumphantly on top. The four-piece scuffles with the mutant disco of late-'70s New York and the black-lunged post-punk of early '80s England, tying its influences into a squirming pretzel of knotted rhythms and throbbing bass. The band's tune titles -- "Tite Jeans," "Don't Stop," "Louder" -- express just the kind of restless hedonism that Tussle calls to mind. Still relatively young, the group's becoming ubiquitous, with appearances at venues as diverse as Cafe Du Nord, SFMOMA, the Third Street Beautification Project, and various back yards and basements from Oakland to the Mission. With its debut single due out in June on New Jersey's ultra-hip Troubleman Unlimited label, Tussle should be on the tip of everyone's tongue before long -- no matter what you call its sound.

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