GWAR – The Blood of Gods

Before I begin my review of GWAR’s latest record, The Blood of Gods, let me play Scooby-Doo detective for just a moment, rip off all of their masks, and remind everyone that this is not the real GWAR. This is fake news GWAR. You see, founder and frontman Dave Brockie died in 2014 and no original members remain. So, this is nothing short of a GWAR tribute band with the same name of the band that they are tributing. That’s pretty sad. The fact that folks buy into it is even sadder. It’s like it doesn’t even matter who’s behind the costumes. For nostalgia reasons, for money reasons, GWAR lives on. GWAR has essentially been corporatized – they’ve officially become the Chuck E. Cheese of metal and no one seems to care, “because it’s fun, brah!”

GWAR were always a fun band to watch live, it’s true, but a horrible band to sit down and listen to. Very few people outside of that one weird kid back in middle school that drew pot leaves all over his folders really ever liked the way GWAR sounded on an album. Let’s face facts: most everyone loved GWAR for the crazy live show antics and for the crazy live show antics alone. They were a novelty act. A really cool, over-the-top, sometimes funny novelty act, but they were still just that, a novelty act. But what Fake GWAR manages to pull off with The Blood of Gods is something that the Real GWAR never could, and I’m committing rock ‘n’ roll blasphemy for what I’m about to say – they finally made a decent record from front to back.

Perhaps why Fake GWAR excels so graciously on The Blood of Gods and is better than the Real GWAR recordings of the past is because they’re more fans of the band than anything else. They’re fans of the band now playing in their favorite band and all they want to do is give it everything that they have to honor the past and the present. I’ve seen tribute bands be better than the real thing several times in my life, but I’ve also seen the opposite happen. But who knows how/why Fake GWAR figured it out. Maybe it’s a simple formula to figure out and everyone was just doing so many drugs back in the day, yeah, that had to be it. All I know is, this is the most tolerable-to-kickass GWAR record that’s ever been made. The production is right on. It’s the right mix of smooth and raw, it’s not overdone. The music is well done, super-tight, not too busy. The vocals are clear, that’s a rare treat in metal. The songs may be silly at times, well, most of the time, but they’re still well written for what they are, every single one of them.

Finally a fun GWAR album that matches the fun of the live show, and it only took them 33 short years to make!

The Blood of Gods
[Metal Blade]