Gwar – Rag Na Rok – Review


Rag Na Rok (Metal Blade)
by Karl Geising

It’s been a while, but Gwar is back with an album dealing with a subject close to everyone’s heart: Violent, bloody apocalypse. Anyone who has seen Gwar live knows that the music is only half the experience; most of their charm lies in their unnecessarily uberviolent gore-fest of a stageshow. Even so, this album ain’t half-bad. They’ve beefed up their sound with samples and added a few stylistic incongruities to make things interesting. But the high point of the disc is definitely the lyrical content.

Ah, those nasty lyrics. Of late, they’ve been taking a little flak over them words, from label problems to parental censorship. But I maintain that they’re really misunderstood geniuses, that beneath their gruff, rough-and-tumble appearances lie a group of nice guys you’d like to take home to Mom. Why, just take another gander at their songs. “Fire in the Loins” deals with male-female relationships, accentuating responsibility and concern. When they sing “He’s just a person… with AIDS” in “The New Plague,” they show a touching sensitivity to people with this accursed disease. Their songs “Whargoul” and “Crush Kill Destroy” take a look at violence in an emotionally healthy and constructive manner. And by singing “Why don’t you just admit it; you’re a dirty rotten son-of-a-bitch” in “Dirty, Filthy,” they’re showing that all we need is a little togetherness.

With all these good vibes running around, can world domination be far in the future? Frankly, I’m all for it. A world run by Sleazy P. Martini or Oderus Urungus has got to be better than what we’ve got now. All we can do now is watch and pray.