Another birthday rolls around and a forty third year begins. Unlike all the excitement of the last three years where I’ve ended up galavanting over the UK and Spain for gigs, this week I find myself off work awaiting the proposed arrival of a builder to modernise our bathroom. Living the dream right there!
Since my last post I’ve ventured out to a pair of shows. On Friday I saw local New Wave of British Heavy Metal legends Demon at a new local venue – the first time I’ve ever seen them. The following day was a trip north to see Californian power violence band Infest. What should have been their first and only UK show eventually ended up being their third all in the same venue, and by all accounts frontman Joe Denunzio was a bit worse for wear, possibly due to spirits, compared to the previous night and that day’s matinee show. But it was still a band I never expected to see on a British stage.
As I’m housebound and dog sitting this week I’m hoping to get a full week of posts in, and as I was immersed in a Facebook thread regarding a future book on UK thrash metal lets have a week of, er, UK thrash metal (but probably a thrash metal laiden week in general).
Compared to America and Germany it wasn’t the biggest or best scene, but we had some good bands and the suggestions for the book rekindled memories of demo tape bands that I haven’t heard for more than two decades and showed there were many more groups out there who didn’t get that slice of luck.
First up I’ll begin with the semi controversial Slammer, the Bradford band that many scenesters and journalists felt had no real connection to the trash metal scene and just jumped on its coattails. Having released their demo Controlled Khaos in 1987, their debut album The Work of Idle Hands surfaced two years later on major label giants Warner Brothers.
It was an era where all the majors seemed to want to sign thrash metal bands in the wake of what was occurring state side. I’m sure their WEA connection helped with shows and tours with the likes on Pantera, Crimson Glory, Celtic Frost and Motörhead, but when the label was brought out they were amongst the casualties and kicked to the curb. A few extended plays followed and a final album on the independent label Heavy Metal Records rounded off their career in 1992.
Maybe that album title (Nightmare Scenario) was influenced by the trials and tribulations of their short time on the major label, but the sound they had on that debut was never recaptured, and in comparison it came over much more bland.
Slammer were a band I managed to catch once when their (final?) UK tour rolled into the local Freetown venue.
Now that the book project has been taken over by respected journalist Ian Glasper, they have now put their thoughts on to a recording device in what is seen as a bit of a coup for the book. Since their split they have really distanced themselves from the “scene”. It’ll be interesting to read their interview in the aforementioned book when it surfaces. With the current buzz for these bands it’s s shame that they seem adamant there will be no nostalgia trip for Slammer.