Phenomenauts seems like it should be nothing more than a joke band, conceived while inebriated (or, more likely, stoned) and realized on stage in the same condition. Either that, or the house band at a sci-fi convention. Either of these could easily be the case. Somehow, though, the band manages to transcend the '50's space epic costumes, techno-babble lyrics and general geekiness, mostly by virtue of embracing them with straight-faced sincerity. Call them meta-geeks.
It certainly doesn't hurt that they pair their geek-chic homage to (now laughably obsolete) future-shock imagery with equally cheesy punk-edged synth music that owes a heavy debt to New Wave. I would say that Phenomenauts are one of life's ultimate guilty pleasures, save for the fact the the band's sound, style, and philosophy seem to have one guiding principle. There are no guilty pleasures. So slap on a homemade Geordi La Forge VISOR, rename yourself Captain Capacitor, and get ready to rock your way back to the future. --Nicholas Hall