In Praise of Lordi

I love bands that wear costumes. Gwar, The Aquabats, and, of course, KISS. There's something about a group of musicians who have a concept. They're not just playing music. They are creating a bewildering and entertaining masquerade narrative entirely for the benefit of your startled imagination. That, my friends, is some goddamn commitment.

So, I was predisposed to liking the band Lordi. These Finnish rockers, and winners of the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest, do costumes right. They didn't just put together a bunch of random creatures and gruesome prosthetics into some thoughtless melange. Underpinning the costumes is a philosophy of sorts, what lead singer and spiritual guide Mr. Lordi calls "Monstericanism". And that's pretty cool, even if that name is clearly an attempt by a non-native English speaker to come up with a cool sounding English word. Also cool: the drummer's name is Kita The Extraterrestrial Man-Beast.

I could talk about Lordi all day, but to get a real sense of their awesomeness, you should just watch this video. I've helpfully annotated this video, just in case you get lost or scared.

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0:06 - Is that a walkman? Mad retro, kid.

0:16 - People who sing out-loud to music from their headphones are always unpopular.

0:18 - This high school is apparently in a basement.

0:19 - High school stereotype #1: mean jocks! Who wear their equipment on their way to class!

0:36 - You're late, and clumsy! Even the weird sing-out-loud girl got to practice before you...and she's not even on the squad.

0:39 - Head cheerleader + inexplicable tiara = hotness. And, high school stereotype #2.

0:41 - That's right, folks. It's the a-ROCK-alypse.

0:52 - "Hey, did it just get windy in the gym?"

1:00 - Surprise! And here I thought the only thing in the supply closet was dodgeballs.

1:09 - The girls are justifiably frightened of Mr. Lordi. But what they don't know is that his foot-high platform boots make him the easiest thing to outrun ever.

1:15 - Unless he kills you WITH HIS MIND.

1:33 - Day of ROCK-ening? You guys are lyrical magicians.

1:55 - Fun fact: that exact same pyrotechnic effect is in at least three other Lordi videos.

2:40 - "Hey, so I felt bad about you being all unpopular and stuff. So please, accept this army of zombie cheerleaders. Hope it helps."

3:07 - The moral: no matter how tough things are at school, you can overcome your problems with the help of a Finnish metal band and their army of undead preppies.

So there you go. The majesty and wonder of Lordi. Guard this knowledge well, friends. And always remember: if you're a musician, costumes equal amazing.