Music » Critics' Choices

Thee Lordly Serpents

Saturday, December 13, at El Torreon.

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Like innocents in Eden, garage-band devotees will face glorious temptation when this hell-bent retro-rock trio slithers in from St. Louis. Clearly nothing is sacred to these men. Brandishing menacing stage names -- Mick Viper, Johnny Venom -- and toilet jokes for album titles (It Came From Uranus), Thee Lordly Serpents certainly won't be winning any humanitarian honors this year. But in the category of Missouri Band Most Likely to Be Mistaken for Blue Cheer, our scaly statemates should be strong contenders. The band unleashes fuzzed-out '60s rave-ups and gritty stomps that defiantly place attitude above musicianship. For folks too young to remember flame-painted hot rods and Technicolor monster movies, the Serpents' tunes re-create the vibe with pomp and swagger to spare. Openers the Hefners are equally planted in the garage tradition, but their perky, quirky, keyboard-driven offerings are less likely to wake the neighbors.

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