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Gutter Punk meets Hawkwind - 72%

Charcaroth, January 23rd, 2010

(Or.. "Hawkwind is Assaulted by Gutter Punks in a Sci Fi Convention Bathroom" )

...And amazingly, it works like a motherfucker. That pretty much sums up this whole album, but let us continue...

The key to enjoying this album is to keep from comparing it to any other GWAR album, as there's little this has in common with any of their other work, apart from the more obviously punk-derived songs on later albums. This is a sloppy, noisy, garage band instead of the GWAR that would emerge fully realized as of the very next album. The GWAR mythos feels undeveloped as yet, and David Brockie's delivery in particular is jarring in it's near total lack of the trademark authority and charisma heard on "Scumdogs", excepting the closer "Rock and Roll Party Town" in which he begins to sound more like Oderous. I don't think he'd found, or committed to the character yet here. Some of these songs sound as if they weren't even written according to the GWAR mythos. "Techno's Song" seems to provide the strongest tie to GWAR's later work of anything on "Hell-O".

The production is pretty raw, thick and noisy, with the guitars a bit low in the mix. It's almost a basement-level production, but manages to cast an atmosphere.

I can see some GWAR fans rejecting this album outright, and some non-fans of GWAR enjoying this quite a bit, it's that different. All comparisons aside, this is a rowdy, filthy, ugly, fun album that demands not to be taken seriously. It's practically a straight up punk album at times, and I'm only marginally into punk or else I would probably have rated this higher. Mostly, I enjoy the insane, but incredibly effective midpaced, noisily psychedelic, seemingly classic Hawkwind influenced approach to riffing and atmospheres in some of these tracks. It works, and seems to provide the "space" element to the band's mythos as of this album. It would have been interesting to hear them develop that sound further if they'd chosen to, but then we may not have had a "Scumdogs of the Universe", which would suck.

For people who wish Hawkwind had dropped all the horns and flutes and shit, written shorter songs and gotten really raunchy and filthy, and people who wish more punk bands would sing songs about interplanetary necro-bestial butt sex.