GWAR (an acronym for God What an Awful Racket) is thrash metal's answer to the more mainstream satire of Spinal Tap. Gory, sexually perverse, and scatological in the extreme, GWAR was formed at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond as an experiment in marketing strategy by several musicians, art students, and dancers. The group claims to consist of all-powerful interplanetary warriors, descended from aliens stranded in Antarctica and initially created from the lowest filth in the universe, who have come to Earth to sexually enslave and/or slaughter the human race.
All members perform under aliases; the main group consists of Oderus Urungus (vocals, born David Brockie), Balsac the Jaws of Death (guitar, born Michael Derks), Flattus Maximus (guitar, born Peter Lee), Beefcake the Mighty (bass, born Michael Bishop), and Jizmak the Gusher (drums, born Brad Roberts). Auxiliary characters include Techno-Destructo (occasional vocals, born Hunter Jackson), Slymenstra Hymen (born Danyelle Stampe), The Sexecutioner (born Charles Varga), and Sleazy P. Martini (manager, born Don Drakulich). The group performs in bizarre costumes made of latex and papier-mache, and their stage show features fake pagan rituals, corpses spewing washable bodily fluids on the audience, and sometimes a mechanical giant maggot. Not surprisingly, authorities in several locations have not taken kindly to the group -- Charlotte, North Carolina fined Urungus on an obscenity charge and banned them for a year, while police in Athens, Georgia shut down a concert in 1993.
With the help of the ACLU, GWAR sued and settled out of court, donating their award to charity. GWAR is best appreciated with its visual aspects, which are far more creative than their music; indeed, the group received a somewhat stunning Grammy nomination in 1993 for its long-form home video Phallus in Wonderland. ~ Steve Huey, All Music Guide