Naut Your Average Earthlings


The Phenomenauts could be the most inspired shtick-rock band to hit the scene since the day someone brought a Mexican wrestling mask to a Los Straitjackets practice. The Phenomenauts' shtick is simple yet effective. Bearing costumes, props, and helmets, they invade the stage as psychobilly spacemen out to make the world safe for rock 'n' roll — or, at the very least, they're costumed goofballs making music fun again. Even their tour van is in character. Which wouldn't matter half as much if it weren't for the 'Nauts habit of backing it up with a truly inspired take on old-school rock 'n' roll, fueled by theremin, rollicking Jerry Lee Lewis piano, and exactly the kind of guitar heroics you'd expect. And yet, as often happens when a band invents a prop for shooting toilet paper at the audience, they're not for everyone, just people with a sense of humor and an understanding that it's OK for a rock band to be entertaining on occasion.

The Phenomenauts perform with Left Alone and Unit Six on Thursday, August 24, at Backbone Music, 61 SE Fourth Ave., Delray Beach. Tickets cost $10. The all-ages show starts at 7 p.m. Call 561-266-2663, or visit

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Ed Masley