The ghoulish costumes and masks, the freaky-deaky stage show, the spewing geysers of blood and bodily fluids, the molten metallic grindcore -- all of it started with GWAR. Well, okay, it probably all started with Kiss and Alice Cooper, but GWAR brought rock-horror showmanship to new highs (or lows) and paved the way for monster moshers like Slipknot. But unlike that self-flagellating ensemble, GWAR (which stands for God What an Awful Racket) has maintained a black-comedic streak that runs through its musical heart. Though the band has a fairly sporadic recording schedule, it remains a touring machine, which makes perfect sense given that GWAR records are really just vehicles for the band's unforgettable concerts. Bring a raincoat, and check your indie-rock snobbery at the door.


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