Ludlow's new release drips with 7 inches of sludge 


If you're 35 and were into underground/indie rock in the late '80s and early '90s, then you probably remember at least lending an ear to the subgenre that Steve Albini (or some other "derd niffer") branded "pigfucker."

The Midwest was a prime geographical focus for these raucous, uncouth bands on labels like Amphetamine Reptile, Touch & Go, Skin Graft and Trance Syndicate, but there were examples as far away as Seattle, Los Angeles and Australia. They usually yelled about murder, disease and drug abuse, glorifying the decadent decay of an ignorant, swill-soaked culture over a bass-heavy sludge feast. Kids in the suburbs heard whispers about bands called The Melvins and The Jesus Lizard, but most recordings never made any above-ground impact.

The men of Ludlow (ex-members of Pay Toilets, The 1985, Dirty Faces, and apparently Estrus garage-punkers Sugar Shack) not only remember that era -- they want to relive it. In that sense, the local trio of guitarist Jeff Schreckengost, bassist Dan Tomko and drummer Chris Matranga are an "original tribute" band.

But they serve their purpose well. Dripping with earnest irony, this four-song vinyl EP makes a case for their leadership of the inevitable pigfucker revival. B-sides "Convulsion" and "Hurt" lay out their manifesto ("whiskey every morning just to keep me straight / cocaine every night just so I can fly away"), while on the flip, "Rohypnol" supposedly hearkens to the experience of popping roofies and staying up all night listening to the Cows and the God Bullies.

So you might want to gather a few choice substances together before tossing this on your turntable and cranking the volume. Although, by the time any real interest in this genre resurfaces, the members of the original bands might well be doing lines of Viagra instead.

Ludlow 7-inch release with Styles for Modern Living and Anita Fix. 9 p.m. Fri., Sep. 7. Howler's Coyote Cafe, 4509 Liberty Ave, Bloomfield. $5. 412-682-0320

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