Wednesday, August 19, 2009

GWAR's "Lust in Space" Delivers the Obscenity

CD Review
GWAR: “Lust in Space”
Rating: **** out of ***** decapitated heads.

Only a day after the release of GWAR’s new CD, Lust in Space, demand is so vast that riots have broken out nationwide due to a lack of supply. Crack cocaine use is up by 200% 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 eleventh 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 catalog, while still continuing in the thrash-heavy direction the group has been heading towards on War Party and Beyond Hell.

GWAR has come a long way since arriving on the planet in Antarctica in the late 80s to spread 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” have always been underrated talent wise and the writing is usually funny, even if tracks like "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 decapitations and disembowelment, sometimes on famous political figures such as George Bush and Osama Bin Laden.

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

”Again?/What grim vision this?/Bloodstained tomb, beer cans and piss!/ This. Is no life./ For a GOD!”

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 the live show. Songs like “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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