5. Hop Along, "Sister Cities"
Don't take this the wrong way, Philadelphia, but when exactly did you stop sucking? Philly rock bands have been mercilessly mocked since the dawn of time, or at least since Hall met Oates, but these days half the bands worth hearing seem to live there and the other half are moving in. Respect! Hop Along's Frances Quinlan has no "medium" setting on her vocals — she just cranks the feelings-per-minute ratio into the red. "Sister Cities" is a monster song — the band bangs away at that jagged riff while Quinlan rants about fake friends and crazy old uncles and geraniums and guns and feeling exiled from a sister-city hometown she's never really been to. Best line: "Yeah, I guess I'm still pretty mad." You don't say.