Sometime during my first year at art school in Dover, NJ (maybe around 1989 or so), one of my roommates told me his friend Sid was coming over to the building we all lived in for a visit. It turned out to be Sid Sludge from my hometown heroes Mental Abuse. He was the nicest guy ever, and funny as shit. When he left, my buddy asked him where he was parked. Turned out his car broke down in the middle of the Lincoln Tunnel, so he just left it there, walked out of the tunnel, and jumped on a bus. That sealed it for me. This guy was the epitome of punk. I hope he's still out there somewhere, doing crazy shit. I've heard rumors of his death for years, hopefully it's not true. Anyway, here's the collection. Enjoy.
A Tribute to Sid Sludge
Every Thursday night back in the late '80s, Pat Duncan would play at least one Mental Abuse song on his radio show on WFMU. It was always from a live set recorded at CBGB in 1985. Years later i was able to get a copy of the Streets of Filth LP, which was a great album but paled in comparison to the energy of the live versions of the songs i would hear on Pat's show. Sometime during the mid '90s, i was lucky enough to get a copy of the entire live CBGB set, which i still listen to, and think is one of the best live hardcore sets i've ever heard. It's rare that a live set is better than the band's records, but in this case it's a definite. They just nailed it on this one. Every song is perfectly executed, and the music is faster and much more intense than on the LP. I've included the set in it's entirety here (the first 11 tracks of this collection), hopefully you enjoy it as much as i do. For me it's essential listening.
Mental Abuse info i found online, i'm not sure how accurate it is:
Sid Sludge - vocals
Dave Jones - drums
Andy Kelb - guitars
Mike Lucas - bass
Paul Dieter - guitars
Mental Abuse were founded in August of 1982. Sid and Paul started the band, then Dave (who is the ex-Agnostic Front drummer) joined them. They went through 4 guitarists and shortly after that they broke up - from August 83’ to November 83’. They then reformed with Andy on guitar (the lineup now incuded Mike Porath “Spike” on bass). Spike recorded with M.A. on the “Streets Of Filth” LP, then decided to split, and was replaced by Mike (since has passed away).
Paul (guitar) switched to bass, Dave also left the band, and was replaced by Billy Psycho (from the NY band The Psychos with Billy Milano M.O.D. - S.O.D., etc.).
Some of the places M.A. played included: A7, The Loft, Delmonties, Anthrax, Pogo’s, The Showplace, The Dirt Club, CBGB’s, party’s, party’s, and High School “Battle Of The Bands”.The Danceteria (NY), Club Hell, and opened for C.O.C. in someone’s basement in Poughkeepsie, NY…
Aside from their “Streets Of Filth” LP (Urinal Records), Mental Abuse had tracks on the “Message To America” comp (Urinal Records).
I can't find any info on Outgroup online. They used to have a website but it was taken down a while back. I'm pretty sure the band (during the 1983 sessions) was the same lineup as Mental Abuse. Sid sang one of the band's 3 demos, the "Bleecker Street Studio Demos", recorded in the Fall of 1983 (while Mental Abuse was disbanded). Included here is the entire 21 song demo, taken from the "Out Completely" CDR, which also includes the band's other demos without Sid. This demo is full of raw, fast (and about as un-PC as you can get) punk rock anthems. The song Get Away is a NJ classic, covered by many bands, including Outgroup-related bands like Mental Abuse and Clenched Fist. Also on this demo you'll hear early versions of Mental Abuse songs and the blueprints for songs they would revise and record years later for the Streets of Filth album.
If anyone has any info on Outgroup, or any Sid Sludge stories to share, please leave a comment.
I had a Mental Abuse collection on the blog about a year ago and was asked to remove it (still not sure from who). There should be no problems this time, as i'm not posting anything that was officially released, like the LP or comp tracks. And i'm pretty sure the Outgroup CDR is impossible to find since the website was removed, so everything should be OK. And after all, it's just good old, long out of print, '80s NJ punk rock. Let the fans enjoy it.
Thanks to Cade Perrin for the great Sid Sludge pic.