Released: 2009, Metal Blade Records
Reviewer: Aaron Yurkiewicz
The enigma that can only be defined as GWAR returns with its 11th studio platter of debauchery, LUST IN SPACE. As fond as most of us are about GWAR, let’s be honest for a moment, shall we? New GWAR albums stopped being relevant a long time ago. At some point along the way, they became overly artsy and were more of a vehicle to introduce new characters into their (still amazing) stage show rather than anything else. The band recaptured some of their magic on 2006’s BEYOND HELL, which featured some of the best GWAR tunes since the ‘90s. Freshly re-signed to Metal Blade Records, LUST IN SPACE seeks to keep that momentum going and return GWAR to its rightful place upon the pantheon of intergalactic filth. While not as strong as its predecessor, LUST IN SPACE is a worthy addition to the band’s catalog.
You pretty much know what to expect from a GWAR album: space villainy, enslaving humans, general violence and depravity, etc. And GWAR continues to deliver on those expectations, but more convincingly so than they’ve been in years. From the title crescendo building opening title track detailing the band’s yearning to get back to galactic sex parties, to the Motorhead inspired “Lords and Masters” to the brilliantly titled “Make a Child Cry,” GWAR lets the world know where they stand on the important issues of the day.
GWAR’s trademark sense of humor is in tact, delivered courtesy of leader Oderus Urungus, whose vocals sound as off the wall and all over the map as they always have. LUST IN SPACE also marks the return of Casey Orr in the role of Beefcake the Mighty, who gets some time on the microphone on “The Price of Peace” and “Metal Metal Land.” The latter track being about a magical metal themed amusement park that encompasses just about every metal cliché one can imagine into the lyrics. And for a band that started out as a sloppy, post punk art project, the current incarnation of GWAR is actually pretty tight performance wise. From Beefcake’s prominent base lines to Balsac’s chugging rhythm’s (check out low end riffs on “Release the Flies”), GWAR’s actually turned into a pretty accomplished group of musicians. An accomplished group of musicians who just happen to spew body fluids and entrails upon their audiences.
LUST IN SPACE isn’t revolutionary by any means, but it’s the best of what you’d want out of a GWAR album. This is a good starting point for new GWAR initiates and for those that may have escaped from the slave pit along the way. And if nothing else, a new album means a new tour, which is what we all really want anyway.