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From the Blog: Gwar's latest

BY ERIC ANDERSEN | AUGUST 20, 2009 7:05 AM

Only a day after the release of Gwar’s new CD, Lust in Space, demand is so vast that riots have broken out nationwide because of the lack of supply. Crack cocaine use is up by 200 percent, and murder rates are at an all time high around the globe.

I believe this is what Gwar would want to happen on the release date of its 11th studio album, even though the disc will likely be met with only moderate underground “success.” However, I doubt vocalist Oderus Urungus gives a damn what the listeners think after all these bloody, sex-infused years.

On Lust in Space, Gwar delivers a refreshing mix of tunes that regains some of the early punk elements of the band’s back catalogue while still continuing in the thrash-heavy direction the group has been heading toward on War Party and Beyond Hell.

Gwar has come a long way since arriving on the scene in the late-80s, spreading its message of death, destruction, and drug abuse. Once-simple songs are now filled with intricate guitar licks and complex rhythms. The self-proclaimed Scumdogs of the Universe’s talent has always been underrated, and the writing is usually funny, even if such tracks as “Where is Zog?” and “Make a Child Cry” are a bit ridiculous.

For those who haven’t been following Gwar over the years, the band’s music contains raunchy lyrics ranging from topics such as child murder to drug abuse. Oderus Urungus claims to have been born on the planet Scumdogia 43 billion years ago.

The whole band, which includes guitarists Flattus Maximus and Balsac the Jaws of Death, bassist Beefcake the Mighty, and drummer Jizmak Da Gusha, wear outlandish costumes and create the most epic live shows this side of Kiss, where they perform bloody mock decapitations and disembowelment, sometimes on effigies of famous political figures such as George Bush and Osama bin Laden.

Lust in Space starts out with the title track, a six-minute space epic in which Urungus shows his reflective side — well, at least as reflective as a frontman that is known for carrying a sword named “Lick” while wearing a 24-inch penis prop onstage can be.

“Again? / What grim vision is this? / Bloodstained tomb, beer cans and piss! / This. Is no life. / For a GOD,” Urungus sings on the song.

About a minute-and-a-half in, the clean guitars cut out, and the song delivers the usual heaviness that hits like a sword to the gut.

“Let Us Slay” is classic Gwar at its best — short, catchy, and brutal. The vocal hook “we have no need for your crippled Christ” has actually been stuck in my head for the past few days. “Damnation Under God” is a heavy number that will fit well into live shows. Songs such as “Lords and Masters” and “Metal Metal Land” feature punk influence from the days of old.

Lust in Space trails off in parts, but the album picks back up and ends strong with some low-end riffage on “Release the Flies” and the classic sounding “Parting Shot,” which is a worthy closer for the mighty Gwar. Overall, it’s the band’s best album in years.

It would be in everyone’s interest to buy Lust in Space, or else Urungus might just show up at people’s houses and kick some ass.

Eric’s Picks: “Lust in Space,” “Let Us Slay,” “Damnation Under God,” “Lords and Masters,” “Release the Flies”


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