30 August 2006

New GWAR Album

So, the new GWAR CD, Beyond Hell, has been released. I’ve put one on order with Amazon.com. I guess the initial release is a limited edition CD that includes a DVD or some such. I’m interested to see what the band has been doing since I last saw them in concert. Earlier this year, they posted a song from the new album, Alice Cooper’s School’s Out, which (as far as I know) is the only cover that GWAR has ever done. It’s definitely GWAR, but without the profanity. What do you expect? They’re trying to get some radio airplay out of this song. I have no idea if it’s worked, as I haven’t heard the song on the radio out here.

Then again, I haven’t heard GWAR on the radio since just before I met my wife, when one of the now-defunct “hard rock” stations played Crack in the Egg as a “smash or trash” listener vote deal. That was in 1992. I’m sure that playing GWAR on the radio would result in the FCC firebombing the station in retaliation for the sudden and scatological violation of the airwaves.

Why would someone like me, a fine upstanding citizen with a one and a half year-old son, a loving wife, and a respectable job, listen to drivel like GWAR? I blame Amber.

Amber was a girl I knew in high school. We were both photographers for the yearbook. She was an interesting girl. I can’t recall every musical group that she listened to, but I do remember that she was a big fan of both GWAR and Danzig. Due to my exposure to GWAR through Amber, I eventually picked up the Scumdogs of the Universe album on cassette tape. Was it loud? Yes. Perverse? Definitely. Inappropriate for minors? Assuredly. But it was funny, too. Whether you like heavy metal or not, the musicians in the band are really quite talented. If you can put the disgusting (and oftentimes downright offensive) lyrics aside, you might enjoy it.

Then again, you might not. It’s definitely an acquired taste, and it can get tedious for some folks (like my wife) if it’s all that I listen to. It’s a complete parody of what people stereotypically consider that kind of music to be, with tongue planted firmly in cheek. There’s a lot of licentious humor, politically incorrect verbiage, and make-believe mythology to it.

Since those days, I’ve picked up every GWAR album that’s been released (except for the Road Behind EP, which I never did get; it’s a perpetual entry on my Amazon wish list). I’ve seen the band in concert three times, and I’ve seen the Dave Brockie Experience (ie, DBX; one of GWAR’s side projects) once. I will continue to listen to them until they stop producing albums, I suppose, so long as the quality of the music remains consistent. I’ll have to protect my son from the music, at least until he’s old enough to understand that it isn’t proper to say certain words in polite society.

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