GWAR

Hell-O

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While Gwar is really more of a sight gag, its music has always held up its end of the band's bit, riffing on heavy metal clichés while using those same elements to create serviceable headbanging music. Musically, the papier-mâché pranksters' 1988 debut falls somewhere between Black Sabbath and Anthrax; lyrically, it's like Ween trapped inside the brain of a 14-year-old kid. Fart jokes, snickering song titles (the winner: "I'm In Love (With a Dead Dog)"), plenty of bizarre and/or gory references to sexual perversion, and references to anal caves -- it's all in a day's work for Gwar. Standouts include "Americanized," which adds a bit of Crass-style street punk into the band's sound, the joke-establishing "Gwar Theme" ("We are Gwar/We'll go far/We've got guitars/We'll eat your car") and "Techno's Song," which introduces Techno Destructo, a Gwar-hating alien who lives "way past Uranus." The death ray sound effect cutting through "World O Filth"'s hardcore thrash is also spectacular.

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