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GWAR - Live From Mt. Fuji Review
by Travis Becker

Cower pitiful Earthlings! Your galactic conquerors have returned and thralldom is inevitable. No, it's not the Martians and it's not the little grey men. GWAR has landed with a new weapon of chaos and devastation, manifested in their first ever audio-only live experience. Hide your daughters and your world leaders because things are about to get messy. Culling songs from most of the bands releases, Live from Mt. Fuji finds the intergalactic three ring circus come Thai sex show in full swing. This is not for the faint of heart, the politically correct, or the easily offended, GWAR eradicates taste with carefully planned tactical strikes and blood and puss spewing carpet bombing campaigns alike. Holding true to the GWAR experience, no one who tries out this record is getting away without getting a little on them.

Of obvious issue with this release is the fact that GWAR as a live act is a heavily visual experience. While they can go toe to toe with most metal bands for intense playing and hold their own, those who have witnessed the freak show may come away a little disappointed in their imaginations ability to recreate the evisceration of Osama Bin Laden or the Pope. Ultimately though, the lack of visual accompaniment acts as something of a mixed blessing. While it lacks the utter hilarity of say, "Phallus in Wonderland", it does give listeners an opportunity to hear what a good band GWAR is. The solos of Balsac the Jaws of Death slay in places and the riffing dominates the mix over the jocular lyrics of lead beast, Oderus Urungus. Of course, the singer's between-song banter is intact and interludes with Laci Peterson and the aforementioned Bin Laden may elicit guilty belly laughs. Listen to this while driving at your own risk. Things like these are what got GWAR banned from playing in their hometown of Richmond, Virginia (and God knows how many other God-fearing towns) for years uncounted. Some of the jokes are slightly more subtle, but no less offensive. For example, three songs into their set, GWAR sinks it's pointed space fangs into their hit, "Bring Back the Bomb", which extols the virtue of the nuclear bomb and all that it can do. Bear in mind that this concert was recorded live in Japan. Indeed.

I suppose anyone expecting a kinder, gentler GWAR was in for some disappointment anyway, but there is no doubt, GWAR as always is GWAR. The "hits" are here in force. Whether it's "Ham on the Bone", "Crush, Kill, Destroy" or the pulverizing, "Bile Driver" GWAR pull no latex foam rubber covered punches. Live from Mt. Fuji is definitely a far cry from actually attending a GWAR spectacle, but as a live metal album by a band working on twenty years touring experience, it remains a satisfying listen. Theatric rock is always best served live, but the very best at it can make any medium work. Alice Cooper was the master in the seventies, releasing stellar albums and putting on even better concerts. Since Cooper's is the tradition from which GWAR is most derived, it only makes sense that they would follow suit. Yes, this is a big joke, but one with a really great band behind it. Still, one hopes that they release a DVD of this someday, if only to see GWAR versus the Reaganator. So, allow GWAR mastery over your pitiful domain and buy this album. And I swear I'm not being coerced by giant space monster warriors named Oderus into saying that. GWAR Lives!

CD Info and Links

GWAR - Live From Mt. Fuji

Label:DRT Entertainment, 2005

Track Listing:
1. Bring Back The Bomb
2. Salaminizer
3. Ham On The Bone
4. Immortal Corruptor
5. Womb Wtih A View
6. Have You Seen Me?
7. Krosstika
8. Horror Of Yg
9. Crush, Kill, Destroy
10. Crack In The Egg
11. Biledriver
12. Sick Of You

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