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The Birth Of GWAR - 95%

kgerych1995, November 15th, 2011

Hell-o! – 1988

I am not really a GWAR die hard. I never really have been. I initially heard of GWAR in the evil world of the mid 1990’s as a little kid. I saw them and liked their stage getup, with all of the blood and gore. I also dug the whole GWAR lore attached. It was pretty beneficial for a young kid with a creative mind. Over the years, I sort of forgot about GWAR, only hearing constant advertisements for upcoming shows at the local venue “Harpo’s Concert Theater” in Detroit, where they like to play every year on Halloween, essentially de-throning Detroit’s own “Halloween” from playing there every year, which was a tradition for Halloween fans. But during Halloween’s period of silence, I guess that GWAR could pass for the time being.

A few months back, I decided to re-discover GWAR, and what better place to start than from the beginning. What was in store for me was a very different style of GWAR. A GWAR that wore their hardcore punk influences on their shoulders. “Hell-o!” is very reminiscent to bands like “The Dead Kennedys”. The songs are loud fast and full of energy. It shows the foreshadowing of what is to come, as evidenced in songs like “Time For Death”. They are full of the heavy metal energy that was to become. But the punk flag begins to fly high on songs like “AEIOU” and “Americanized”. Punk rock GWAR is not the same GWAR that brought you classics like “The Salaminizer” or “Gor-Gor”. The humor is as present as ever on here. This has to be the most humorous album of them all, eclipsing “Scumdogs of the Universe” and “America Must Be Destroyed” by a sizable margin. The humor is at times juvenile, with lyrics such as “Doggy in my anal cave” on the track “War Toy”. But with that, the lyrics of “Americanized” never fail to make me burst out with laughter. But at times it is indeed strange. “I’m In Love (With A Dead Dog)” is a tender love story between a man and his dog named “Pookie”. The story takes a weird twist when he begins to “take the dog for a throw down the stairs”. Needless to say, the absurdity of the record only gets worse as time goes on. I do not really mind the absurdity and the juvenile humor, due to the fact that some minds think alike, if you catch my drift. Essentially, my sense of humor is somewhat on level with my brother who is a little 6th grader, at times.

If you like GWAR and do not have it, I would personally recommend that you pick up “Scumdogs Of The Universe” or “America Must Be Destroyed” for a first listen. If you jump right to this, you may be a bit disappointed. If you are a long-time “Bohab”, then you may find this as interesting and different than you are used to. I even have teachers this year that like GWAR, but have never heard of “Hell-O!”. The album is vastly different from GWAR of the now. Most fans prefer the next few albums over this. It is a fun listen, but I doubt it will ever become a frequent player on my turntable. K.G.