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Gwar 

War Party (DRT Entertainment)

Long before it became fashionable for underground metal bands to enhance their image via masks, uniforms, and oddball antics, the Antarctic exiles (via Richmond, Virginia) of Gwar kept busy carving a swath of mayhem through studios and on stages. How can one not find endearing the golden-throated goodness of Oderous Urungus and sublime bass work of Beefcake the Mighty?

That being said, everyone's favorite scumdogs return with War Party, their first release in three years. The album picks up where 2001's Violence Has Arrived left off, dispensing with the extraneous satire that hampered weaker endeavors. The result is a lean, mean body of work, immediately throwing wild punches with the opener "Bring Back the Bomb." Oderous keeps his raunchy sense of humor intact with "Womb With a View," while his vocals become almost guttural on rippers like "The Reaganator" and "The Bonus." The effort wraps up with the epic "Fist Full of Teeth." All in all, Gwar makes War Party a festive occasion, where, in Oderous's own words, "the music is as beautiful as we are."

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