Music » Critics' Picks

Valient Thorr

9 p.m. Sunday, June 20. The Bluebird, 2706 Olive Street

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Valient Thorr sounds like Motörhead's Lemmy talking your ear off about batshit-crazy UFO theories and government conspiracies at the corner tavern while the jukebox blasts "Panama" by Van Halen on repeat. Let me explain: The band pretends to be stranded travelers from Venus who use music to explain its alien perspectives on our planet. In reality, though, Valient Thorr is actually a rock band from Chapel Hill, North Carolina, which diverts its extraterrestial fascination into thinly veiled political diatribes sung victoriously over bar-appropriate cock-rock riffs. Its gimmick runs deep (most band members have adopted a Thorr surname and the band has ammassed an army of followers referred to as "Thorriors"), but the air that moves from the band's speakers carries a much simpler message of the unflinching power of no-frills rock & roll.

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