Montréal's Deja Voodoo pretty much came together fully formed: two men, four strings, a few drums, and no cymbals. This configuration was pretty much for practical purposes; vocalist/guitarist Gerard Van Herk claimed that he's only got four fingers to play with and the extra strings just "get in the way," and Tony Dewald's minimal drum set made the thing easy to load onto the Greyhound for one of the band's famous bus tours across Canada. So Van Herk cranked the guitar up and Dewald flailed at the skins like a maniac to compensate, and the resulting manic rootsy sound was dubbed "sludgebilly." This, their first record, hits pretty much all the touchstones of any other Deja Voodoo record (though perhaps with a bit less confidence than on subsequent releases): monsters, food, alienation, love, death, and more food and monsters. It's all done with a slightly cartoonish sheen to it, so you'll never take the material too seriously. It's just an awful lot of fun, and a great warm-up for future records. Of special note are the sludgy reworkings of Wire's "Strange" and Merle Travis' classic country song "16 Tons."