Gwar

Gwar

GWAR (an acronym for God What an Awful Racket) is thrash metal's answer to the more mainstream satire of Spinal Tap. Gory, sexually perverse, and scatological in the extreme, GWAR was formed at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond as an experiment in marketing strategy by several musicians, art students, and dancers. The group claims to consist of all-powerful interplanetary warriors, descended from aliens stranded in Antarctica and initially created from the lowest filth in the universe, who have come to Earth to sexually enslave and/or slaughter the human race. All members perform under aliases; the main group consists of Oderus Urungus (vocals, born David Brockie), Balsac the Jaws of Death (guitar, born Steve Douglas), Flattus Maximus (guitar, born Peter Lee), Beefcake the Mighty (bass, born Michael Bishop), and Jizmak the Gusher (drums, born Brad Roberts). Auxiliary characters include Techno-Destructo (occasional vocals, born Hunter Jackson), Slymenstra Hymen (born Danyelle Stampe), the Sexecutioner (born Charles Varga), and Sleazy P. Martini (manager, born Don Drakulich). The group performs in bizarre costumes made of latex and papier-mâché, and their stage show features fake pagan rituals, corpses spewing washable bodily fluids on the audience, and sometimes a mechanical giant maggot. Not surprisingly, authorities in several locations have not taken kindly to the group -- Charlotte, NC, fined Urungus on an obscenity charge and banned them for a year, while police in Athens, GA, shut down a concert in 1993. With the help of the ACLU, GWAR sued and settled out of court, donating their award to charity. GWAR is best appreciated with its visual aspects, which are far more creative than their music; indeed, the group received a somewhat stunning Grammy nomination in 1993 for its long-form home video Phallus in Wonderland.

Gwar has survived numerous personnel changes over the years, something that has been easier for this band than most as the "characters" never change, only those playing them. Despite a decline in media attention, Gwar has proven to be a consistent live act and continues to record a new album with each new stage act. Unlike most career bands, however, Gwar has released almost as many full-length videos as they have albums. Along with the previously mentioned Phallus in Wonderland, the group has also assaulted the eyes with Skulhed Face (1994), Rendezvous with Ragnarok (1997), Dawn of the Day of the Night of the Penguin (1998), and It's Sleazy (2001). Musically, Gwar's early gem Scumdogs of the Universe (1990) is considered to be one of the band's most entertaining works. Subsequent albums, including This Toilet Earth (1993) and We Kill Everything (1999), have repeated many of the shock themes that gained GWAR notoriety early on. After a few Gwar-less years, the band returned in 2004 on a new label, DRT Entertainment, with a new album, War Party. Live from Mt. Fuji was released the following year, and the band returned to the studio in 2006 for Beyond Hell. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide





Albums:

Violence Has Arrived Violence Has Arrived
2001

We Kill Everything We Kill Everything
1999

Ragnarök Ragnarök
1995

This Toilet Earth This Toilet Earth
1994

Hell-o! Hell-o!
1988

Videos:

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