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appears on Violence Has Arrived (2001)
Does anyone else fondly remember the days of rock and metal bands who wore masks and costumes having to pretend they absolutely despised each other for the media? Slipknot vs Mushroomhead, Slipknot vs that weird Burger King band… well, I guess for a long time it was Slipknot versus everyone, really.
Enter GWAR, a band who have had their fair share of the age old who copied who question asked of them (plus a bonus feud with Slipknot, because Slipknot really got on everyone’s nerves for about a decade there didn’t they). With their huge foam and latex costumes, the closest comparison for the ensemble from Richmond, Virginia always seemed to be Finnish metal monsters Lordi – even though they couldn’t be further apart in theme. And I’m pretty sure Lordi never sprayed fake blood, shit and semen over the crowd, either. At least not that I remember.
With GWAR, it never ended with the costumes. Their whole deal was being as affrontive and shocking as possible, but within the confines of the very tongue-in-cheek, fantasy based nature of their act. They knew full well that people wouldn’t take them seriously, that was the whole point; it’s pretty difficult to take a lead singer named Oderus Urungus (RIP Dave Brockie) seriously, about as difficult as it is to take giant prop dicks and enormous fake bags of crack cocaine seriously. The band lived and breathed the performance art nature of what they were doing and put out some seriously good – if again, pretty damn silly – heavy metal music along the way.
As the group were made up of a rotating cast and crew of musicians, actors, stage performers and people who really have a knack for making fake semen, their musical output has definitely ridden the hills and valleys quality-wise over the nearly forty years they’ve been kicking about. In this humble article writer’s opinion, however, it never got better than Violence Has Arrived and you don’t have to look too hard past the gimmicks and shock value to find that out. This iteration of the band was immensely musically talented and there wasn’t a song better to showcase this than our pick for the Rock Song of the Week, Immortal Corrupter. It’s big, it's silly and it’s a bona fide treat. Just don’t let the Spanish guitar throw you off too much. Enjoy this one on us, on the proviso that you come back next week and enjoy that one too!
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