Uncle Slam is a band with ties to Suicidal
Tendencies, having originally featured founding Suicidal drummer Amery Smith who was later replaced by another Suicidal drummer, R.J. Herrera and also has featured bassists Louiche Mayorga and Angelo
Espino (Reverend, Hirax, Once Dead).
Uncle Slam - Say Uncle (Tribunal) 1988
1. Weirdo Man (2:42)
2. The Ugly Dude (2:32)
3. Judgement Day (2:17)
4. Micro Logic (2:36)
5. Contaminated (2:01)
6. Up From Beneath (5:02)
7. Executioner (3:27)
8. The Prophecy (2:34)
9. Say Uncle (2:30)
10. Immolation (2:52)
11. Eve Of The End (2:47)
12. Come Alive (3:24)
Originally formed in 1984 under the name The Brood, Uncle Slam spent years storming the nightclubs of California before finally releasing their debu album in 1900 on Caroline Records. The band sound was a blending of their love for both heavy metal and punk. The band's debut is rightly compared to early Suicidal Tendencies, and rightly so. Their sound is very similar to that of Suicidal and the band even featured former Suicidal Tendencies drummer, Amery Smith. Even the artwork has a similar vibe, being done by artist Michael Seiff, who also did front covers of "Join the Army" by Suicidal Tendencies. Regardless of the similarities, there is no denying the infectious nature of the crossover thrash metal that the band captured on tape.
Most of the songs are short and are pure thrash metal, though the album doesn't run together as the band also knew how to vary tempos and write memorable hooks. A song like "Contaminated" is a vicious, up-tempo thrash metal song, while "The Ugly Dude" is more mid-paced and has a bit more groove, though is no less heavy. Album opener "Weirdo Man" is also built around a bit of a groove, but has sudden bursts of speed and intensity. The album features one funk-based, rap-metal song. While this style of mixing rap and metal would become a trend in just a few short years, it wasn't yet a trend in the 80's, though it was gaining some momentum thanks to the popularity of the unions of Anthrax with Public Enemy and Aerosmith with Run DMC.
Production duties for "Say Uncle" were handled by Randy Burns who as responsible for some of the metal scene’s most impressive releases to date like Seven Churches (Possessed), Peace Sells…But Who’s Buying (Megadeth), Darkness Descends (Dark Angel) and Scream Bloody Gore (Death).
For whatever reason, and despite CDs becoming very popular in 1988, "Say Uncle" was never officially released on CD (except in Japan). Finally in 2010 Tribunal Records had this thrash metal gem remastered and officially released on CD. The CD pressing is limited to only 2,000 copies. Also includes a six page insert with a short bio by Matthew Rudzinski.
Uncle Slam - Will Work For Food (Restless) 1993
From Beyond" (3:03)
2. "Left For Dead" (3:23)
3. "Roadkill" (2:56)
4. "Hangin' In The Hood" (4:03)
5. "Dominant Submission" (4:16)
6. "Face The Light" (4:01)
7. "Will Work For Food" (3:48)
8. "Cold Fire" (3:46)
9. "Dazed & Confused" (3:07)
10. "Finger First" (3:57)
11. "It Can Happen" (4:15)
"Will Work For Food" was my first exposure to Calfornia thrashers Uncle Slam. "Will Work for Food" is actually Slam's sophomore album and came nearly five years after the release of their debut. It was also their last recording with drummer Amery Smith. The band has ties to Suicidal Tendencies but before I even knew that bit of information I thought that Uncle Slam sounded a bit like Suicidal Tendencies. Uncle Slam play speedy thrash, with plenty of punk and hardcore influences. The standout cut here is the completely original speed-metal cover of Led Zeppelin's "Dazed And Confused". However, the entire disc is solid and should please any thrash metal fan.
Uncle Slam - When God Dies (Medusa) 1995
1. "When God Dies" (3:44)
2. "My Mother's Son" (4:02)
3. "Procreation" (4:34)
4. "Smoke 'em if You Got 'em" (4:28)
5. "An Offering to a Deity" (7:18)
6. "Age of Aggression" (4:11)
7. "End of the Line" (4:53)
8. "The Lightless Sky" (4:35)
9. "Summer in Space" (4:12)
10. "Bombs Away" (5:19)
completely ignore the trends in 1995 and record a trippy thrash metal album with
plenty of punk leanings, not unlike the band's earlier two albums. This one, however,
adds some experimental elements, like the reggae part in the title track,
and the melodic nature of "An Offering to a Deity." Once again the Suicidal
Tendencies comparisons are apparent, especially in the vocals.