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An insane chugging PUNK Antarctic landscape - 85%

nostrovia, September 22nd, 2007

I've seen quite a few reviews for this album over the years, and I'm surprised to find that in general reviews of this album are low. This was the first Gwar album I heard (it was the only one at the time), and I'll admit when I first heard it, it sounded like a wall of throbbing noise. It sounded truly awful, and I nearly gave it back to it's owner who had lent it to me along with Sound Garden's first. But something unexpected happened.

This Gwar album, as much as I didn't think I liked it, drew me back. There was something just so unique about these guys in hideous elaborate costumes, hilarious names, and over the top lyrics about falling in love with dead dogs, and a song lovingly disparaging Jacque Cousteau, of all people. The band sounded smart, and insanely childish at the same time. Obviously they were having fun. So, I kept listening to it anyway, I considered it a challenge to understand Gwar, and it grew on me--fast. In the end I got it, and I had fun too. The Sound Garden album bored me, and I'm still not a fan, so that went back, but this Gwar album I wouldn't give up. To this day it's still "borrowed".

The bottom-line folks is that this is a great PUNK album with hilarious genius lyrics and massive catchy riffing. It's not really a metal album like the brilliant follow up Scumdogs of the universe, and it's not as obvious and noveltyish as some of their later day stuff.

Sure I have trouble getting through a track like "Captain Crunch" too, but in a way I appreciate the fact that the song screeches like a half a pound of nuts and bolts in your mom's favorite blender. And nothing compares to the lyrical experience, the whirling death machine that is "I'm in Love With a Dead Dog", to quote "We share a cheese ball, we just do it all…" "Time For Death!", while horrifying lyrically, is hilariously delivered by Oderus' in his nonchalant understated way. It's just everyday business for Gwar.

"Americanized", "Slutman City", "Je M'Appelle J. Cousteau", and "Pure as the Arctic Snow" are also highlights of this great album. All feature catchy vocal melodies and plain old fun punk riffs. It puts a smile on my face just to type the names of those songs. Remember though this album will most likely NOT be and easy experience on first listen, but your persistence will be rewarded as the songs take shape after a few spins of the CD.

I saw Gwar in concert years ago when they were supporting their third album and they played a few of the track from this debut and I was just enthralled. They did the encores without their costumes too, as is customary. For my money it's Hell-o and Scumdogs, both GENIUS albums that the world at large will never know. If you "get" GWAR but don't like this album my suggestion is to at least listen to it again and try to appreciate it as an insane chugging punk Antarctic landscape.