Gwar - War Party
DRT Entertainment
Thrash Metal
11 songs (38:26)
Release year: 2004
Reviewed by Tony
Archive review

Last time I reviewed a Gwar album, I got mauled by many MR regulars for severely over scoring Lust in Space. I genuinely thought that Lust in Space was better than Beyond Hell in some respects but not all, and therefore deserved a couple extra points. I'm not sure if it's the fanboy or the musician in me that loves Gwar but aside from their alluring yet repulsive charm, shocking lyrics, and bloodbaths, pro wrestling, politician massacres, and ejaculations laden over some great Metal.

While many consider Gwar nothing but a novelty act, I consider them a legitimate Thrash band and one who collectively contain an immense talent base. Having played in a Crossover band in my final 3 years of high school in South Florida, it can be a nightmare to play outside. In the summer you lose every drop of water in your body en route to the most disgusting laundry load this side of rugby, and in winter the humidity freezes your fretboard fingers making it a strain to shred, while I find weather a nasty factor in playing, imagine what it must take to play the intro solo to Womb With a View in a red grimacing mask, fossil foam boots, with triceratops pauldrons mounted on your shoulders. Gwar continued their reintroduction to Thrash after a mostly forgettable 90s decade with their follow up to 2001s Violence Has Arrived with a technical, shredding, heavy as all Hell opus entitled War Party. This 2004 album was their most political one in years, most likely because it was released in the heat of the 2004 American Presidential Election (one in which I was too young to vote, but actually supported Bush, being mature enough at 16 to know what a nightmare it is to have a majority in all 3 branches had Kerry been elected. Just look at us now!!!) At this point I was just getting into Gwar at the tender age of 16 and by the end of my first spin of War Party I was immersed in the Bohab nation. Gwar was an important part of my high school years and would probably be the chief music influence in my insanity/debauchery as I drank, smoked, and grew to my misanthropic self during these young years.

Gwar come out firing on all cylinders as the first 5 tracks are a scorching freight train delivering wondrous Thrash to the tracks in your ears. What music!!! Starting with Bring Back the Bomb a song still played live, that at the time featured a usual decapitation of former President George W. Bush on stage and subsequent blood fountain, starts off with a roar from Oderus Urungus and a surprisingly technical riff and some nice drumming by Jizmak. Krosstika is next and is another political song about the harmfulness of Christianity featuring a really awesome bridge with some interesting harmonics that must be hard to play because Flattus Maximus and Balsac had trouble executing it live (I have trouble keeping a straight face as I write about a man named Balsac executing harmonics but I digress) I feel like from what I've seen in Oderus Urungus whether it be his regular appearances of Fox News' Red Eye or his 1990s interviews with Jerry Springer and Joan Rivers (look up the latter on Youtube it's hysterical) that he's extremely intelligent and while his lyrics aren't exactly ingeniously ridden with fancy words and valid political arguments they're nonetheless hilarious. Oderus Urungus isn't running for office, he's messing with those who are, and he is extremely effective in satirizing politics. <\p>

Womb With a View is another one of the gory songs about pretty much nothing but is still one of my favorite Gwar songs of all time. It starts off with an outstanding guitar solo which I have learned to play myself. While it's short and has Oderus singing over part of it, it's nonetheless awesome. Decay of Grandeur is somewhat forgettable as it just leads on towards the next two tracks which are amongst the best on the album War Party, the title track, is a fun, mosh worthy Thrash piece and that's about all it is, but it's great. Bonesnapper is the best song on War Party it has a foreboding clean plucked guitar intro before the band picks up the slack and continues on an epic and contemplative look at a "merciless bastard" who kills for fun in their mythos. Bonesnapper is like a green looking dinosaur thing from what I saw on stage. The song has one of the most memorable solos in Thrash Metal this decade, it's truly a beautiful and melodic solo with just the right amount of shred to balance the atmosphere of dread, hatred, and malice that the song sets forth from the first note to the last. The Reaganator is a song about a cyborg/robotic Ronald Reagan which I think is not only an overrated song but an insult to the 1 person they shouldn't touch in their satire.

I've always had a soft spot for the fast, simple Punk songs where Beefcake sings in his traditionally treble voice (which actually bears similarity to mine whilst in my Crossover band) and he does a nice number with The Bonus Plan.

While I am in no way agreeing with the politics of Gwar is distinguish bands for their talent and songwriting and I of course know to take Oderus' lyrics with a truck, not just a grain, full of salt. War Party is one of my favorite Gwar albums and in my quartet of tops with Lust in Space, Scumdogs of the Universe, and Beyond Hell. War Party is a victory for Gwar and 21st Century Thrash Metal and should be a go to record for any fan of Gwar or the genre.

Killing Songs :
Bring Back the Bomb, Krosstika, Womb With a View, Bonesnapper, The Bonus Plan
Tony quoted 87 / 100
Other albums by Gwar that we have reviewed:
Gwar - Battle Maximus reviewed by Jared and quoted 75 / 100
Gwar - Bloody Pit of Horror reviewed by Tony and quoted 87 / 100
Gwar - Lust in Space reviewed by Tony and quoted 95 / 100
Gwar - Beyond Hell reviewed by Kayla and quoted 91 / 100
Gwar - Scumdogs of the Universe reviewed by Shane and quoted 92 / 100
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