"Usurpers of the Tradition" (Hairball 8; 2005)

Reviewed by R. Scott Bolton

If you're bored with nu-metal, classic rock pop punk and hardcore and you're looking for something new, you might want to try Uncle Fucker, self-proclaimed purveyors of the "Thrash Punk Bluegrass."

True to that description, Uncle Fucker's "Usurpers of the Tradition" is 14 tracks of varying rock'n'roll tunes that range from pure bluegrass to Southern-fried punk rock to nearly Slayer-like death ... um, bluegrass. Each of the songs is heavily guitar and banjo driven and, although that may sound like a weird combination, it works surprisingly well. (Okay, it's pretty weird, too, but that's a positive thing.)

"Usurpers of the Tradition" has its sound firmly grounded in bluegrass, but it's the heavy metal / punk guitars loaded on top that gives it a unique sound. Imagine The Soggy Bottom Boys (the singing group George Clooney led in the film "Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou?") but picture one of the members having a punk rock / heavy metal history and you'll get a vague idea of what Uncle Fucker's all about. In fact, the final track, "Abilene," could have been recorded by the Soggy Bottom Boys. 

A lot of fun to listen to, but definitely not for everyone, Uncle Fucker's "Usurpers of the Tradition" comes dangerously close to playing like a novelty record. It'll be interesting to see what the band does in the future. In the meantime, however, it's difficult not to like a band that includes mixed drink recipes in their CD insert and has the audacity to name themselves after a infamous South Park character. 

There are really too many players to mention here, but you can read all about them at http://www.unclefucker.net

Rating Guide:

  A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright 2005 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04 Sep 2023 15:33:16 -0400.