The whiskey-stained portals of rock's hall of shame creak ajar once more....

The whiskey-stained portals of rock’s hall of shame creak ajar once more. For new and terrifying allegations from backstage witnesses claim that [a]Def Leppard[/a]’s aftershow relaxation techniques include – no! – wearing those [I]big furry animal-shaped slippers[/I]. Fluffy dogs. Soft pandas. The final [I]coup de rock[/I], and conclusive proof that if some bands are born evil and others achieve evil, some just remain sweet north country boys making soft-rock nonsense way past their bedtime.

‘Euphoria’ is their ninth album, and like querulous old ladies scared of the cashpoint, another attempt to keep up with a world they do not understand. “I’m a spaced-out alien techno-sapien”, declares Joe Elliott improbably on the amusing glam-stomp of ‘Back In Your Face’, making Bowie‘s tragic Internet dabblings look like transmissions from the Venusian cutting edge. The ballads are redolent of lighter fluid. The ‘rockers’ should be soundtracking a fratboy caper starring Rob Lowe and Judd Nelson. They try for Terrorvision‘s sprightly panache, yet songs like ‘Demolition Man’ (featuring Damon Hill on Cortina-speed guitar) and the hilarious “give it to me” grunting of ‘All Night’ are [I]Austin Powers – The Guy Who Rocked Me[/I] relics of another time.

A rock is most definitely out of the question. A smile in their direction is, however, common courtesy.

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