I thought that by the time this popped up, the AV Club would have debuted the video of GWAR covering the Pet Shop Boys “West End Girls.” Maybe because that was leaked prior to the release of the video, they’re delaying it (or securing it as the finale for this season of AV Club’s UNDERCOVER series, where bands go in to cover other people’s songs.) GWAR has won the “Which band did you think was the best” vote, two years in a row. Their first trip saw the band render Kansas’s “Carry On My Wayward Son” as a metal haymaker, following it up the next year with a version of Billy Ocean’s “Get Out Of My Dreams (And Into My Car)” that was divine in not only incorporating elements of “Baba O’Reilly” by The Who but actually making that ridiculous Billy Ocean song enjoyable.
So, as we wait, I’m write this out before the debut of GWAR doing “West End Girls.” This will be the second time GWAR has appeared at the AV Club with a new bandmember in tow. “Carry On My Wayward Son” was the informal debut of Pustulus Maximus, the character that replaced Flattus Maximus, who was retired with the untimely passing of GWAR guitarist Corey Smoot.
This time, GWAR appears with two new members, replacing another recently lost member. Two people replacing one seems a lot, but this time, the band lost their lead singer, founding member and overall face of GWAR – Dave “Oderus Urungus” Brockie. Brockie died due to a heroin overdose in March.
And that fucking sucks.
The future of GWAR was uncertain until this summer’s GWAR-B-Q and subsequent appearances at RIOT FEST. News came out earlier that former GWAR member Mike Bishop, who first portrayed bassist Beefcake The Mighty, would take over for vocals. It’s Bishop who sang “Cool Place To Park,” “Eat Steel,” and “Fight” on past GWAR records. He has returned to the group as Blöthar the Bezerker. He’s joined by Vulvatron, a co-vocalist who is the first female member of GWAR since Slymenstra Hymen left in 2000.
GWAR isn’t unfamiliar with cover songs. On, in my opinion, one of their best albums, the group did justice to “School’s Out” by horror rock icon Alice Cooper.
Alice Cooper. What’s there left to say about Alice Cooper? I really like WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE. The guy might now be a Christian Republican, but he still puts on a great show. Personally, I’d go to a GWAR show before an Alice Cooper one, mainly because I could afford GWAR. Plus, the blood. Gotta love the blood. But both Alice Cooper and GWAR are pioneers of shock and roll, with an emphasis on showmanship backed by quality music.
So. Which one do you like better?