Gwar
Lust in Space

A lot of folks downplay GWAR, thinking of it as a relic from the mid ‘90s when Saddam A Go Go was worshiped on Beavis & Butt-Head. Granted, their efforts on CD haven’t always been up to their other antics. Despite some strong outputs, funny songs and appealing humor there has been quite a bit of filler in the song department, gnawing the band’s relevance from the inside. However, things took a huge step forward with 2001’s Violence Has Arrived (despite some high moments on We Kill Everything). It was Violence… that reminded that the band, despite the funny bits, still had a serious aspect to them when it came down to the actual music. The release breathed new life to the battle-worn and ravaged group. This view was then enhanced with the release of War Party. GWAR’s new songs almost broke my neck. Unfortunately, Beyond Hell from a few years back did little to me, even though it had Devin Townsend manning the knobs. It might not been a bad album per se, but to me it turned out rather stale and soon slipped off the radar.

Lust in Space brings the band of scumdogs back to the NORAD monitors with a goddamn bang, making John Robinson fear for his family’s innocence and sanctity; hope you remembered to pack KY with you Penny, Judy and especially you Will – ’cause GWAR’s out for blood! What’s surprising is that they’re not relying on hi-tech shenanigans but instead are taking their power from the basics. There’s no bullshit, just pure in your face (facial?) thrashing heavy fucking metal, even if “Release the Flies” waves at stoners and makes a sleazy suggestion towards a certain Alice that’s being chained.

I can’t remember the last time GWAR opened their album with such ferocity that you actually forget there are funny lyrics involved; first and foremost the actual music does the speaking here. The beginning is a pummeling combination of songs, from the title song “Lust in Space” (goddamn!) to “The Uberklaw”. Guitars soaring, leads flying and riffs that that make you bash your head (or Stiffy’s mom) against the wall. There’s hooks and other small details that make you quote Miguel Ferrer: “(G)WAR – it’s fantastic!” Especially the solo and the events leading up to it in “Damnation Under God”. That shit almost caused permanent brain damage!

Even if the interest slightly drops during the supposed metal-anthem “Metal Metal Land” and the slightly more pleasing “Where is Zog?”, the band corrects its course avoiding any fatal shortcomings (plus “The Price of Peace” in between the two weaker tracks is another rocker). I’m almost inclined to think that Lust in Space is musically the most complete GWAR album to date. It’s definitely a lot more focused effort than its predecessors as it doesn’t solely rely on lyrical theatrics to prove a point. Even if the lyrics were actually Hermann Hess’ poems rather than elaborate fart jokes, it would matter not as the music would still rule, no matter what’s sung on top. But truth to be told… fart jokes are funny.

Lust in Space did to me what the monolith in Space Odyssey 2001 did to the primates: go apeshit. It’s a shame the summer’s over as this would have been a perfect summer album, but good music works throughout the year. I’m not going to philosophize about the past, nor the band’s future efforts as what matters is here today… and I’m growing the biggest boner I’ve ever had for a GWAR album. Lust in Space makes me feel like a kid again, raise my fist, throw the horns and admit that, despite anything, metal does indeed still rule. Fuck yeah!

Then again, I’ve always fancied the band.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Mikko K.
December 14th, 2009

Comments

  1. Commented by: appollyonx

    I agree with you,this album has renewed my interest in Gwar.Considering that the last album I really enjoyed from them was Scumdogs that’s saying a lot.I did get it and even though its winter it has the perfect feel for the season.They are from antarctica,right?


  2. Commented by: Old Pick Axe

    You see it too, huh? How “Violence Has Arrived” marked the beginning of GWAR’s modern “serious” period. I tried to explain to this numbnuts just the other day how GWAR “got serious” (fancy that) with VHA…and he was too stubborn to listen. The son of an onion actually said to me, “all modern GWAR sounds the same.” Bohab.


  3. Commented by: Apollyon

    I suppose one has to be deaf, dumb and blind not to hear the differences between the past and the course that the band took musically on Violence Has Arrived, as VHA is a completely different beast compared to the few albums that came before it.

    But I suppose a lot of folks can’t get past the lyrics where different orifices are decapitated, pillaged and ravaged nor see through the visual theatrics.

    Now only if they’d bring all that violence and bloodshed (and feces) to Northern Europe so I could finally experience them live.


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