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Scumdogs Of The Universe - * * * * *

Stupid fucking humans pay money to die

-The Salaminizer

Many people are under the impression that Gwar is not a band, but instead a travelling freakshow. While it is true that they tend to rip shit up live, Gwar is not without musical talent. The Scumdogs disc is all the proof necessary to illustrate this point. Their second full-length CD, this was arguably the band's finest moment. Scumdogs is a glimpse of Gwar in their early days, still playing around with styles and enjoying themselves. The liner notes tell the story of a band of merauding alien warlords and sex freaks captured and imprisoned on earth. When the band's manager found them in Antarctica, he thawed them out and took them to America. There they learned to play guitar and smoke crack, eventually coming to be known as GWAR. Illustrious comments are scrawled on the lyric sheet by Edna P. Granbo, leader of a right wing morality squad determined to save the youth from Gwar's influence. The song topics cover the range of Gwar's favorite things: world domination, hard drugs, various illegal sex acts, smoking pot, and destroying things. On the song Slaughterama a hippie, an art student, and a nazi skinhead are ceremoniously killed in a game show format hosted by the band. This is classic Gwar. They are not serious about any of this which serves to seperate them from the truly sick. They are more of a parody of themselves. Gwar are not aliens, they are a group of bored art students who decided to start a band. Their mission was to create the most offensive, appalling band that they could possibly think of. They have succeeded. Thus said, the music is solid and impressive for a group of art students with rubber masks and guitars. The bass is amped high in the mix, providing the perfect backdrop for the wardrum beat of Jizmac the Gusher. The thrash and hardcore inspired guitar parts show style and diversity which is uncommon for a band this fucking ridiculous. Oderus Urungus, most of all, proves that he actually can sing. While impossible to understand live, on record he shows some impressive range and attention to pitch. Oderus takes on multiple personalities for the characters in his songs. In general, it can be said that Gwar resembles something like the Rocky Horror Picture Show on heavy doses of crack and ampetemines. This may be excessively violent and over the top lyrically, but that was their intention. Musically, there is no arguing with the fact that Sick Of You, The Years Without Light, and Vlad The Impaler could stand up to any band anywhere. Who cares if they dress in armor and giant rubber penises, Gwar fucking rocks. Listen to the CD.

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Reviewed: November, 1997

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