Valient Thorr

Valient Thorr infused their first four albums with heady rhetoric about work, life and political duplicity, under the cover of balls-out rock. Informed by a Tao of searing Iron Maiden licks and MC5's revolutionary zeal, these North Carolina hair farmers emanate adrenaline-spiked fury. The music suggests an extreme sport involving Sterno, acetylene torches, roller skates and pain. (Hey, it reminds you that you're alive, right?)

Like the Ramones, each member of the quintet has taken a matching surname (Thorr, of course). Unlike the Ramones, they all say the band is a group of Venusians that has crash-landed its time-machine spaceship on Earth. The band's frontman is a former teacher, a vocation evident both in his canny lyrics and in how he leaps into the crowd every night to gather his minions around him. It's theatrical, enthusiastic, ear-rattling entertainment.


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