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Hey, That's What I Call Sludge, Vol. 1 
By Marie Braden

Metal Sludge, well known for its unstinting, fearless parody of the excesses of Eighties metal, has finally released its initial CD offering, Hey, That's What I Call Sludge, Vol. 1. Interspersed throughout the collection are skits by the Metal Sludge All-Stars, better known as Sunset Strip regulars Metal Skool, and their humour, while occasionally sophomoric, embodies the spirit of this disc. Even those who fondly remember the Spandex days of yore are likely to be amused by this collection, even if the joke is sometimes lost on them. 

Lead-off song "Reign in Pain" by Sum 41 side project Pleasure for Pain, while obviously ironic, is enough to make anyone who lived through the Eighties cringe in reminiscence. Not because the song is bad, as it is appealing in a fiendishly arch manner, but because it brings up frightening reminders of a time when this sort of music was performed in earnest, and the teeming hordes ate it up like an "egg fried on some hot chick's tight little ass". Lit's contribution ("No Turning Back") is a catchy  tune that evokes the good memories of extended guitar solos while still retaining the best parts of today's pop-punk pantheon. Bowling for Soup fit far more in that tradition, without any nod to nostalgia, in the amusing "The Bitch Song", with its harsh lyrics yoked to a sunny up-tempo melody.

40 Ft. Ringo are a band well-known to "Sludgeaholics" and "Sludgettes" (not to mention "Sludge Piggies"), due to being a frequent target of Sludge's ire, if only for the fact that it is the current project of *NAMES* from Trixter, a band frequently mentioned as the last nail in the coffin of pop metal, due to their unvarnished commercial calculations. "Inside Your Heart" sounds as if it were recorded back at the birth pangs of grunge, and it would not be surprising to find out that it was actually an old Trixter tune. A later track on the CD, "I Can't Resist You" by Kevin Dubrow and Little Women, makes no bones about being something old made new again, as it is from sessions in 1990.

Tuff, fronted by Sludge posterboy Stevie Rachelle, contribute the hilarious parody "Dear Jani Lane"--a litany of inside jokes at the expense of the erstwhile Warrant frontman, which will be a delight to anyone who has continued to follow their career since they dropped from MTV's heavy rotation. Also included is a track by former Warrant guitarist Billy Morris, "Killingtime", which bears absolutely NO resemblance to those songs that people remember. A driving rocker, its main flaw is a pounding, relentless need to go for the obvious rhymes and guitar figures.  Drill 187's "187" and the Wildhearts track are fairly pedestrian offerings, especially when placed against the squealing beauty of Jizzy Pearl's "Do You Wanna Get High?", a standout track from his recent JUST A BOY solo CD.

The dark mood is lifted by the Brightness' gender-revamped version of the classic show tune "Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend" and Murderdolls vocalist Wednesday 13's bracing "Your Mother Sucks Cocks in Hell" with its Jerry Lee Lewis keyboard theatrics. Other songs on the CD include offerings from (yet another former member of Warrant) Mike Fasano's band GloryHole UK, London Calling (featuring Jamie Rowe, whose "7-11 Isn't Too Far Away" mined the Warrant parody genre far before Tuff), Supersuckers, the Thornbirds, Firehouse, LA favorites Killingbird, and Steve Whiteman of Kix's current band Funny Money.

If you are a fan of Sludge, this disc will seem like an affirmation of those countless hours spent at the Gossip Board and roaming the streets in Sludge swag looking for elusive captures. Even those who are not keen on Metal Sludge may just find this to be a worthy addition to their collection-the Metal Sludge All-Star skits alone are worth the price of admission, and the songs are a worthy overview of new sounds in the Sunset Strip spirit. As the closing track impishly puts it-"Death to All but Metal!"

CD Info 

Hey, That's What I Call Sludge, Vol. 1
1. Metal Skool "Rainbows & Witches" (skit)
2. Pain For Pleasure "Reign In Pain"
3. Lit "No Turning Back"
4. Bowling For Soup "The Bitch Song"
5. 40 Ft. Ringo "Inside Your Head"
6. Tuff "Dear Jani Lane"
7. Drill 187 "187"
8. The Wildhearts "You've Got To Get Through..."
9. The Thornbirds "Elephants & Tangerines"
10. Supersuckers "Someday I Will Kill You"
11. Metal Skool "LSD" (skit)
12. Jizzy Pearl "Do You Wanna Get High?"
13. The Brightness "Diamond's Are A Boy's Best Friend"
14. London Calling "Chasing The Satellites"
15. Killingbird "Beat The Bullet"
16. Firehouse "Crash"
17. Metal Skool "Making Up" (skit)
18. Funny Money "Good Boy Gone Bad"
19. Glory Hole U.K. "Misery"
20. Billy Morris "Killingtime"
21. Wednesday 13 "Your Mother Sucks Cocks In Hell"
22. Kevin DuBrow & Little Women - 1990 "I Can't Resist You"
23. Metal Skool "Heavy s***" (skit)
24. Metal Skool "Death To All But Metal"
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