"Uncle Chuck: Doin' It Their Way"

by Patrick Ondrus

Sometimes in the rock 'n roll world things can seem pretty bleak. It seems like either you run into really crappy bands with great attitudes or great bands with an attitudes that make you want to puke. Thank God that every once in a while a writer like me happens to meet a great band with a great attitude. Uncle Chuck, from Lansing, MI, is just such a band.

Founded in March, 1993, by bassist Tony Alicea and guitarist Chris Hall, U.C. has since developed into one of the strongest bands in the area. With the release of their second self-produced CD, DOS, this band has shown the drive and the determination to make it in the big leagues. They’re not in a hurry to break big, if it would interfere with the output of the band. DOS was over six months in the making, and the patience bore fruit. Quite simply, Uncle Chuck has come out with what is one of the most energetic, entertaining CDs of 1997! "It’s something that we really wanted to call our own," Hall says, "because we put a lot of work into writing the music, a lot of time into it, and just as much [time] into recording it and producing it, and I think we came out with something that’s pretty good. A lot of bands don’t spend a lot of time, and we wanted this to be our project, our lifelong project." This is definitely the kind of CD that will bear a legacy.

The current line-up, consisting of the aforementioned members, drummer John Hineline, and vocalist Matt "Ray Ray" Monroe, has been shaking up the scene with their hard hitting funky metal sound. Drawing from diverse influences, this quartet has developed a unique musical stamp and a strong band stage presence that’s been driving audiences into moshing frenzies. Describing the fans of Uncle Chuck, Chris put it this way: "They’re usually pretty crazy. We have, ya know, a few real loyals, ya know, and they’re just crazy! You’d have to be crazy to want to jump in a pit all the time!" Well, jump they definitely do, at least when they hear this band roar!

Having opened for such national acts as The Hunger, and having gained headlining status in most of the local clubs, this band has grown into one of the best live acts around. Their live energy is consistently being compared to Rage Against The Machine or Tool, but in this writer's opinion, their energy is developing more into the frenzy that Pantera has been known to evoke! I think the world is going to be hearing a lot more Uncle Chuck. This is one band that knows where it’s going and won’t stop ‘til it gets there.

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