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Playbill

The style is the substance of GWAR's insipid performance art set to metal.

If it's true that performers who like to play evil characters are really some of the best-adjusted people, then the members of GWAR are probably church-going, Little League-coaching PTA members. The band's shtick has something to do with being aliens intent on destroying the Earth, but it's really an excuse for these art-school grads from Virginia to wear amazingly complex foam and papier-mâché costumes, giant boots and ridiculous headgear. We're talking Mad Max/Viking warrior shoulder pads, helmets, metal spikes and Japanime-inspired face paints. That they play music is really beside the point. This is performance art set to bad thrash metal. The live spectacle includes splashing audiences with body fluids, a giant fake maggot and simulated sex — strictly for those who like wrestling, sci-fi and Howard Stern. Not only has GWAR been on Jerry Springer, the band is integral to the plot of the Beavis and Butt-head video game. What's amazing is that it has managed to survive for seven records — the latest being We Kill Everything — when only the live show matters. Somewhere, Alice Cooper must be smiling.(David Simutis)

GWAR performs Thursday, July 29, at the Aerial Theater, 520 Texas, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $17.50. Call (713) 629-3700.


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