Is it just me or are the Parenthetical Girls one of the most underrated indie-pop bands of the last decade? Granted, hyper-literate, baroque pop with sinister undertones and a pronounced dramatic flair isn’t exactly the most marketable style of music (although that never stopped the Smiths, right?) but even so, you’d think that more folks would have taken notice of the four fantastic records the group has released since 2004. I saw the band play at the Glasslands Gallery on Thursday night (along with the much-talked-about Gauntlet Hair) and when the soundman played the Arcade Fire’s “Crown of Love” in between sets, Zac Pennington got down on his knees and mockingly serenaded his bandmates. It was funny but it also underscored something—the idea that most people are comfortable with a good deal of drama in their pop music just so long as it’s vague enough to be universally relatable. The Parenthetical Girls’ problem is that their sordid tales of infatuation, reproduction and exploitation are perhaps too specific—specific enough to make the average listener squirm in her seat. Of course, that’s the whole point but music like this is always bound to alienate a lot of listeners, even inside a community like indie rock, where the tolerance for confrontation is fairly high. If you’re like me, however, and you find the idea of being made mildly uncomfortable at a show appealing, I’d highly recommend checking out the final show of the Girls’ east coast tour at Shea Stadium on Tuesday night, likely to be their last gig around these parts for a while, if history offers any indication. For a taste of what you can expect, check out my photos and write-up of the band’s Thursday night set at Glasslands over at MTV Hive.