Anyone who's ever caught the metal docudrama Decline of Western Civilization Part II, or a Dio gig, knows how inadvertently self-parodying headbangers can be. But for a genre that gave us leather codpieces and odes to trolls, metalheads are seldom big on having a laugh at their own expense. (For proof, take a look at the mounds of hate mail we get, every time we goof on Manowar's loincloths.)
One place that takes rockers unmercifully to task -- while still giving them respect when it's due -- is the side-splitting website Metalsludge.com. Up and running for five years, the site has become famous for its weekly 20 Questions interviews, where mostly former hair-metallers subject themselves to ball-busting interrogations. (Sample question for rocker Andrew W.K.: "Have you been to a record store that hasn't had your CD in the used bin?") With gossip galore and enough smart-ass wisecracking to suggest The Daily Show turned to 11, Metal Sludge has become the best site of its kind.
Now it's also a road show, headlined by L.A. goth glamsters Faster Pussycat -- one of the few '80s bands to remain somewhat vital, with hook-laden Max Factor rock underlain with punk panache. Also on the bill are the oversexed leather wolves Pretty Boy Floyd and Day-Glo popsters Enuff Z'Nuff, who sound like Cheap Trick on 'roids.