First we hear about Lou Reed and Metallica hitting a recording studio together. Then we learn that the resulting 10-song album, Lulu (Warner/Universal), centres on the story of the young, abused ballet dancer, the protagonist of German expressionist writer Frank Wedekind's plays Earth Spirit and Pandora's Box. Then we get a preview track, The View, on which speed metallers Metallica go ultra-sludgy to match Reed's laconic vocal delivery. It's repetitive and awful, and James Hetfield takes a vocal turn near the end, hollering, "I am the table!" Is it a joke or just a pretentious wrong turn for both iconic acts? Either way, fascination's got us eager for its release on October 31.