At this point in rock history, just putting on crazy outfits really isn’t enough to qualify your band as weird. Slipknot? Not weird. Hollywood Undead? Please. Even KISS, the original crazy costumed band, doesn’t seem all that weird in retrospect. Really, they’re just a bar band with face paint and really good pyro. Hose them down and songs like “Beth” could be .38 Special for all I can tell.
But there’s something about GWAR’s particular brand of costumed mayhem that beats down the gates of Weird City, blood cannons blazing, and enslaves every puny pretender to the Weird Throne that’s come before or since. Compared to GWAR, KISS is almost cuddly. I mean, these guys take the whole costume thing to another level.
GWAR has been around for 25 years—not as long as KISS, granted, but they also never had KISS’s level of success, either. The guys behind these monster masks are in it for the love of the game—especially one David Brockie, the man behind lead critter Oderus Urungus and the only constant member of the band. The guy’s straight-faced dedication to GWAR’s mix of sci-fi and horror camp, thrash metal, and juvenile humor is almost as superhuman as Oderus himself. At this point, he must sweat spirit gum and latex every time he goes to the gym.
By the way, it’s worth noting that other current and past members of the band have included Flattus Maximus, Balsac the Jaws of Death, Jizmak Da Gusha, Hans Orifice and Nippelus Erectus. Did we mention they’re kinda juvenile? But in a good way!
With the band celebrating their 25th anniversary and the arrival of their 11th (11th!) studio album this year, GWAR seem to be enjoying some kind of resurgence…if a band that was never more than a cult oddity can ever be said to have a resurgence. Oderus is even becoming something of a media personality. He has an advice column on MetalSucks.com and has been making regular appearances on Fox News. No, we’re not making this up.
But really, it’s all about the music. So here’s a concert clip, too. All hail the mighty GWAR!