Sunday, 9 November 2008

Uncle Sam - Letters From London

Every Christmas in Kerrang! all the writers would be asked to supply a list of their top 20 albums of the year. Ray Zell would rarely manage more than 10, and so discerning were his tastes that you could pretty much guarantee that the 7 or 8 albums he felt worth mentioning were ones that should be in your own collection.

One band he always raved about were Uncle Sam. Led by a milkman (seriously), Uncle Sam were very much the definition of a cult band, and Letters From London is the album everyone should hear, if not own (their second of three, all out of print but they can be picked on Ebay without breaking the bank). It's odd that it's never been reissued - after all if there's enough of a market for Soho Roses and Gunfire Dance to reissue their past recordings on CD then there must be one for Uncle Sam.


Michael said...

I keep seeing this record mentioned, but rarely with any description of what they sound like. You mention Soho Roses and Gunfire Dance - is that analogous?

DGW said...

Hi Michael - I thought I'd lost you! Hope you're well.

I think no-one ever says what the album sounds like as it doesn't sound like anything else as such, but that's not to suggest that it's a truly original album (which it definitely isn't). It's different to both Soho Roses (to me, UK pop-punk, a la Buzzcocks) or Gunfire Dance (Iggy meets US garage rock) but I'd generally expect someone who liked any two of the three to like the other.

Uncle Sam are perhaps a bit more basic than either of Soho Roses or Gunfire Dance, favouring hard, punky riffs (veering on thrashing out at times) over the more intricate playing the other two favour. On Letters from London Uncle Sam focus lyrically on sex and little else (whether in the office on 'Red Shirt' or infidilty on the title track).

I'll start a thread on Glitzinet and see what the concensus is.

Michael said...

Cool, I'll check out the thread.

Actually, I composed a long comment on your "records I still listen to" thread, but it didn't post, for some reason, and I just never went back and redid it. I may go back to that when I have a spare moment to be thoughtful.

Anonymous said...

thought i was the one person
to remember the fantastic uncle sam!

DGW said...

Heh heh ... once you scratch the surface you find there's a little underground movement!