Best Unlikely Reggae Band - 2012
It's not like Extra Classic is the first group of white musicians to try their hand at reggae — just look across the bay at Rancid, or across the Atlantic at Rock Hall-of-Famers like the Rolling Stones and the Clash. But listening to the local outfit's 7-inches and debut full-length, Your Light Like White Lightning, Your Light Like A Laser Beam, it's surprising to learn that the band was designed by Adrianne Verhoeven — who made her name over a decade ago as the keyboardist-singer in the Midwestern emo-turned-classic-rock band the Anniversary — and Alex deLanda, the local songwriter and producer with ties to indie acts Papercuts and the Donkeys. The best surprise is just how good it sounds. This is no accident: Verhoeven and deLanda (a couple who live together in the Inner Richmond) are dedicated scholars of reggae, roots, dub, and rocksteady. They've even created a dub version of their album. The live version of the band is more rock-oriented, but Verhoeven, deLanda, and company's willingness to go where the spirit takes them only confirms that this isn't some novelty act.