I’ve always liked Gwar’s ability to take a longtime listener and serve up something both familiar and expected, while sniffing around and tweaking things a bit. “Lust in Space” is another album in the fast-paced style they’ve done since “Violence Has Arrived.” Fast and pissed off but funny as hell at the same time.
Thankfully there’s none of the neo-punk, 1-minute orgasms on what I call the dark ages of Gwar. Thankfully Dave Brockie/Oderus isn’t singing like a faux-bluesy goofball, the stuff that sickened me about those middle albums. But there’s enough of the basic punk chord progression and thump-whack drums to please the punks among us, ironically enough on the song “Metal Metal Land,” which eventually only sounds metal at the tail end.
“Lust in Space” is still fast-paced and metal to the core, and Oderus sounds as monstrous and evil as ever. There’s much more back-up vocals from the rest of the Scumdogs, and Beefcake and Flattus get their own leads. I don’t envy Jizmak’s feet because it seems every song has at some point the double-bass drum thumping like a burp gun. They even get a bit Iron Maiden, using twin guitar leads. Gave me a little twinkle, it did.
The lyrics are familiar to anyone who’s been listening for a while – sex, maggots, death, war, defiling small puppies, etc. And they go back to the “I hate earth” theme right off the bat with the title track; the lyrics reminded me a bit of “Death Pod” from the “Scumdogs” album way back when. “Lust in Space” is a sonically thin song but once it’s going the Gwar momentum is like a juggernaut.
There’s even a bit of Ministry here; the song “Lords and Masters” reminded me of the speed-metal-punk from the early 90s, particularly the “TV Song” series of tracks. But here, on “Lords” it goes from that immediately into the breakneck growling and sludge that only Gwar can deliver.
I wasn’t disappointed at this hunk of Gwar because it’s everything I’ve wanted in Gwar and haven’t gotten since “Violence.” Just about every deadly sin, gore, speed, anger, self-deprecating, epic megalomania, and that uniquely Gwar style of sick humor that drew me in almost 20 years ago.