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Sunday Old School: Metal Duck

If there's one thing the English has a history of doing well, it's taking the piss out of things. Pretty much anything is fair game to be ridiculed in Britain, from politicians to sports and even comedy itself (as brilliantly displayed by Not The Nine O'Clock News in their Life Of Brian/Fawlty Towers sketch.) Likewise, there's been a long record of British musicians whose coming together was to make people laugh more than it was to showcase musicianship and song writing, from the Barron Knights to The Divine Comedy to Kunt and the Gang, Britain has always liked to see the funny side of music. Of course, metal music is no exception and today we'll be looking at a short lived group from the north of England who may not have become one of Britain's best thrash exports, but delivered plenty of laughter, Metal Duck.

Metal Duck was formed in the city of Manchester in 1987 by drummer David Burton, guitar player Fozzy and a vocalist who went by the name, "Arse." The three recorded their first demo, "Quackcore" that same year, showcasing a thrash metal sound typical of the time, but included some humourous intros and a particularly memorable song title, "The March of the Metal Duck to the Ponds of Hell." This was to be their only recording with "Arse," or indeed as a trio, as they replaced their vocalist with Paul "Huttie" and recruited a bass player named Keith after the release of the demo.

In 1989, Metal Duck teamed up with another of British metal's great jokers, Lawnmower Deth for a split album, "Mower Liberation Front / Quack 'Em All." The two groups almost seemed in competition to outdo each other when it came to song titles, with the Lawnmower Deth side containing such names as, "I Got the Clap and My Knob Fell Off" and "Lawnmower's Rampage in the Jungle," while Metal Duck presented the songs, "Cheese Puff Death Squad" and " Oo Er, I've Got a Sore Throat." Once more, this would be their only release with a sole vocalist, as Huttie parted company with Metal Duck soon after and former Electro Hippies man Andy Barnard was brought in as vocalist/guitarist.

Merely months after their split release with Lawnmower Deth, Metal Duck recorded a second demo, "Drunk and a Flirt," which again featured tongue in cheek song titles and a crude front cover. It certainly didn't go unnoticed and the following year RKT Records, who had released their split album, released the group's first and only full length record, "Auto Ducko Destructo Mondo."

The album received a mostly positive response from British thrash fans who enjoyed the solid tke on the genre with a silly twist, including a sequel to an earlier song, "Rod, Jane and Freddy's Total Noise Anihilated," which referenced the hugely popular childrens television show, "Rainbow," samples of which could also be heard on another album track, "Mean, Green and Pink." The album cover itself was also a laugh, featuring numerous pop culture references such as the Starship Enterprise, Robocop and R2-D2 among others, all at the mercy of a cannon wielding metallic duck and Lawnmower Deth's mascot, Cob.

Sadly, this was to be the final quack from Metal Duck, who decided to call it a day soon afterwards. Unlike other veterans of the British thrash scene like Onslaught, Sabbat and Acid Reign, there has yet to be a reunion of any kind from these Anatidae adoring agents of metal, though one can always hope. Whatever the case, they leave behind a small treasure for thrash metal fans who are willing to dig deep enough into the genre's history to find a few surprises.

Metal Duck - "Quackcore (Full demo)"

Metal Duck - "Oo Er, I've Got a Sore Throat"

Metal Duck - "Duckulla Assault"

Metal Duck - "Drunk and a Flirt"

Metal Duck - "Rod, Jane And Freddy's Total Noise Anihilated"

Metal Duck - "Mean, Green and Pink"

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com for four years and has been a metal fan for ten years, going so far as to travel abroad for metal shows.

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