Gwar’s Best Cover Songs
Gwar are best known for their demonic stage costumes and awesomely named projects (like the ‘Phallus in Wonderland’ movie) But after 20 years, the thrash-metal band has built up quite an arsenal of songs to go along with their expensive outfits and punny titles. In addition to releasing 13 albums over the past two decades, the Richmond rockers have also covered some classic cuts by other artists along the way. These are our favorites.
The Who‘s 1971 epic was part of a bigger piece written by Pete Townshend following the band’s breakthrough with ‘Tommy.’ Ambitious, sprawling and heavy, ‘Baba O’Riley’ is the sound of a great band expanding its territory. Gwar’s cover is pretty faithful, as far as these things go. And they really seem to get into the “teenage wasteland” part.
Gwar’s cover of Ween’s 1990 song ‘Birthday Boy’ doesn’t stray too far from the original version … unless you count the sandpaper mumbling subbing for vocals here. Considering Ween’s own bizarro approach to everything they do, this is probably the most affectionate and appropriate cut on our list of Gwar’s Best Cover Songs.
‘Carry On Wayward Son’
Kansas‘ bloated 1976 song is filled with all the things so many people hate about classic rock, including a dominating sense of self-importance. Gwar appropriately spit out the song’s a cappella opening with all the derision it deserves. But the music itself sticks pretty close to the original arrangement … until Gwar decide to kick it up a few gears.
‘Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car’
Billy Ocean’s No. 1 pop hit from 1988 is pretty much what you’d expect from a No. 1 pop hit from 1988: heavy on the synths, light on personality and kinda catchy. Gwar don’t bother with any of that in their raging cover, which bears so little resemblance to the original hit version that you need the chorus as a map. Stick around: The band plays its cover of ‘Baba O’Riley’ at the end.
Gwar pretty much take on Alice Cooper the way you’d expect them to: with enough reverence to cut through the stomping thrash arrangement they give it. They twist some of the words to, we assume, fit their own extracurricular activities, but for the most part, ‘School’s Out’ has always been about the attitude, and this cover has enough to spare.