I have a soft spot for local private press releases, so picking up this copy of Uncle Sam’s four-song Welcome To America the other day over at Seattle’s Daybreak Records was a no-brainer. Better yet, it’s hard rock/metal and from 1984, so it’s totally in my wheelhouse.
The theme here is patriotism, through and through, from a time when patriotism wasn’t used as a political wedge like it is today. Pretty much every element of the album is America, from the name of the band (Uncle Same), the name of the album (Welcome To America), the eagle on the cover, to each and everyone one of the song titles: “Welcome To America”, “Tradition”, “Rise Up Proud Eagle”, and “Forever Free”. It’s even in the liner notes – Dedicated to the American People, our Great Nation, the United States of America, the 1984 Summer Games and World Peace. And, of course, the band members are shown on the jacket reverse with an American flag behind them. The ultimate All-American album.
Triumphant guitar riffs support patriotic lyrics (make sure if you are buying a copy that it includes the lyric sheet!). Musically this is right in the mainstream of mid-1980s hard rock and hair metal, right down to the inclusion of a ballad (“Rise Up Proud Eagle”). The key here is the sincerity. There isn’t a shred of irony – this is music and lyrics brought together to communicate a very specific message, one that would have stood apart in a period of rock/metal lyrics that were mostly about girls, rocking, and decadence.