Hey That’s What I Call Sludge!
Do you remember the days “when chicks were hot and guys looked like hot chicks?” Back in the ’80s, did you live for Saturday nights so you could stay home and watch Headbangers’ Ball on MTV? If you jones for music from the immortal era of big hair, guitar solos and spandex, look no further than this fantastic compilation from the good folks at metal-sludge.com. Hey That’s What I Call Sludge! is an all-killer-no-filler 24-track collection of new recordings that will rock your fucking socks off. Many of these songs – from artists as diverse as Quiet Riot’s Kevin Dubrow, Firehouse, Lit and Murderdolls’ lead screamer, Wednesday 13 – are done in the classic style of ’80s metal. There are a few exceptions, however. Jizzy Pearl serves up his own bluesy metal amalgam with a School-of-the-Sex-Pistols approach on “Do You Wanna Get High.” The Supersuckers’ white-hot “Some Day I Will Kill You” also sidesteps that guideline by continuing the bands’ signature flawless songwriting formula, best described as The Ramones meet Motorhead. I have no problem with that. SUM 41 also makes an appearance as their metal-worshipping alter egos, Pain For Pleasure, rocking out incognito on a Priest/Dio salute called “Reign In Pain.” Metal!
Much of this fine album, like the Metal-Sludge website itself, is highly self-referential and tongue in check, emphasized by a few between song comic interludes courtesy of hair metal cover band/comedy routine Metal Skool (formerly Metal Shop, also known as Danger Kitty!). There are also some good parodies offered here, like Tuff’s brutal ode to the rise and fall of Warrant lead singer Jani Lane (“Dear Jani Lane”). The Brightness (HA HA!) pulls off a cheeky gender reversal with their pomp-rock delivery of “Diamonds Are a Boy’s Best Friend.” Touche!
Among the best tracks are Killingbird’s stellar cover of Vain’s classic “Beat The Bullet” and The Thornbirds’ “Elephants and Tangerines,” which has an epic feel and memorable hooks on par with great songs like “New Thing” by Enuff Z’Nuff, “Up All Night” by Slaughter and Dokken’s “Breaking The Chains.” Excellent, excellent stuff. I also really enjoy Funny Money’s “Good Boy Gone Bad,” which sounds very much like late-period Twisted Sister, after they stopped wearing make up and started singing power ballads like “Hot Love.” Notable new groups making their debut on Hey That’s What I Call Sludge! include Gloryhole UK (“Misery”), featuring the drumming talents of Mike “The Sack” Fasano and Buckcherry guitarist Keith Nelson. For anyone who misses Buckcherry as much as I do, this song alone is worth the price of the CD.
Completely devoid of any lame nu-metal or whiney brat-rock, Hey That’s What I Call Sludge! isn’t just more songs about “fat chicks and Hell.” It’s a total blast from start to finish, and a first rate collection of all the good rock you been missing since Vince Neil started to look like John Lovitz.