This Toilet Earth

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On their fourth release, This Toilet Earth, Gwar managed to create a song so heinous ("B.D.F.") that it was removed from the disc post-release, just as the band was removed from their new label, Priority Records. Happily, the lords of gross-out metal were welcomed back to their old home, Metal Blade Records, with open arms and the group hardly missed a beat. On this 1994 offering, the mothers of scatological invention add a smidgen of stop-and-go faux funk to their assault. Faith No More and Zappa-like soundscapes advance tracks like "Pepperoni" beyond Gwar's traditional realm of bad metal. Vocalist Oderous Urungus' delivery sounds more confident than earlier efforts -- due undoubtedly to the years of touring and recording -- and his bandmates perform up to their own low standards. None of this is really meant to be taken seriously, and critical listeners need not consider This Toilet Earth or any other release from the world's most disgusting joke band. But there is some charm to Gwar. In the cynical American tradition of dualistic "free" speech, they are performance artists lampooning everything that's wrong with the marketing of teenage male entertainment, which -- not so ironically -- is everything that they enjoy.

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