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Column

This Little Underground

Our live music columnist checks out Areolas, Shehehe, a Fucking Elephant and more

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Remember when the Darkness exploded onto the scene a decade ago like a big, ridiculous glitter balloon? For me, it was kinda like Bac-Os. I knew this wasn't good in any sort of unconditional way. But regardless of anything my intellectual fiber told me about its complete (and even celebratory) lack of substance, it was deliciously irresistible.

Now, the rock cocks are in the midst of their comeback (Jan. 11, Hard Rock Live). But after venturing into the abyss of some true personal darkness (addiction, band implosion, etc.), would they still be as liberatingly absurd as when their tights first marched on the world? And does it matter anymore? After this much time, are there any kicks left to be had in what was always just a giddy, immediate and irrational infatuation? Turns out, yes – some sweet-ass scissor kicks, actually. And high steps, and headstands, too! Oh, boy.

From Justin Hawkins' outrageous outfit – a dick-bound plunge of a second skin that would make even ol' Diamond Dave blush – it was clear that subtlety was still an utterly incomprehensible principle to this band. It ain't deep or lasting, but like cotton candy – or better, nitrous oxide – it's sweet, dazzling ephemera that at least takes you on one hell of a ride. They're a fun bit of escapist glory that's still a thousand times more tolerable than Foxy Shazam. At its best, it can knock the snobbery right out of you – at least until you come down.

Side note: Um, what happened to the weather?

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