Most of the late-80’s/early 90’s UK Thrash bands were overlooked/underrated in comparison to their US counterparts.
If you’re a fan of early Testament and Anthrax you can’t go wrong with this one.
Check the video of the actual LP!
Check the video of the actual LP!
SLAMMER: The Work Of Idle Hands
Impressive Thrash Metal that came out from the multinational company WEA Records, and is on a limited numbered edition. As good as anything Metallica were doing at the time. (89)
The UK thrash scene in the 80s always seemed to be a few paces behind what was going on in America, but that didn’t mean that top acts like Onslaught, Xentrix, Deathwish and D.A.M. were not churning out great albums, because they were. SLAMMER were no exception and their 1989 debut album, The Work Of Idle Hands, delivered some of the highest calibre thrash the scene had heard from both sides of the Atlantic.
Producer Mark Dodson (Judas Priest, Anthrax, Suicidal Tendencies) honed SLAMMERs razor sharp attack into this single shot of metallic brilliance and all who heard it thought SLAMMER had the best chance of any of the bands to break big. But, as heard far too regularly, piss poor promotion and other extenuating circumstances all proved fatal to the bands chances at glory.
The album has been out of print for nearly 20 years and fetching high dollar collector prices online, but SLAMMER has remained a cult favorite with die-hard thrash fans.
FOR FANS OF: METALLICA, TESTAMENT, XENTRIX and UNCLE SLAM
POINTS OF INTEREST: + PRODUCED BY MARK DODSON (JUDAS PRIEST, ANTHRAX, SUICIDIAL TENDENCIES and METAL CHURCH) + OUT OF PRINT SINCE EARLY 90s + LIMITED EDITION
1. Tenement Zone
2. If Thine Eye
3. Johnnys Home
4. Razors Edge
6. Hunt You Down
7. Gods Prey
8. Fight Or Fall
9. No Excuses
10. Born For War
Slammers The Work Of Idle Hands… must be one of the most American sounding British thrash metal albums from the late eighties. This is partially due to the professional, dynamic production by Mark Dodson, who also produced some Anthrax and Suicidal Tendencies albums, but in addition Slammers style is very similar to most American bands of the time. On this début Slammer played smooth thrash metal and managed to raise some serious interest. The band appeared to be very capable and quite entertaining in its own way, whilst the production is top-notch.
Prepare to be hunted down! – 92%
Here we have the debut of Slammer, a British band that, much like Xentrix, had a very American sound. These guys fit right in amongst all those second tier Bay Area acts. Like many of those bands, Slammer aren’t the most original, but they are damn good at what they do. These guys can flat out thrash! All the guitar work is impressive, with solid riffs flying all over the place and screaming leads that can shred bones! The bass is vibrant and never buried, as sometimes happens. The drumming on this album is excellent. Very tight and precise. As for the vocals, Ive heard Paul Tunnicliffe called a James Hetfield clone. I strongly disagree. While they have a similar style, they really dont sound much alike. Anyway, his vocals sound nice and raspy with his lyrics just spit out with plenty of force.
The album kicks of with Tenement Zone. An excellent thrasher that hardly lets up on the throttle. When it kicks in, you know these guys are serious. The vocals are biting and the riffs just come ripping out of the speakers.
If Thine Eye is next, and it is probably my favorite track. The vocals absolutely rage, as Paul just cuts loose with as much venom as he can muster. It starts off with a mid-paced riff and drum beat, then proceeds to steamroll everything in its way. Some nice technical riffing here.
The oddly named Johnnys Home comes up next. Really cool riffs with a lot of hook here. The chorus has plenty of gang vocals that are typical thrash fare. There is a very cool acoustic part at around 2:19 or so in the song. This is followed by an absolutely blistering lead.
Razors Edge treats us to some pretty cool riff work that set the tone for the track. Nice little raging lyric in the chorus If I cant have you, then no one will! Fairly solid track.
Acoustic guitar work greets us with the beginning of Hellbound. Then, at just over half a minute in, a crushing riff just comes roaring at you and then song just begins to rage! Fairly mid-paced during the vocal lines, but during the bridge the band just rips.
Hunt You Down starts off with one of those faded in beginnings. This would be my second favorite. The track just crushes from start to finish. I love the gang vocals during the bridge Youll bePAID IN KIND! The vocals just come snarling from Pauls throat. Nice bass licks at around 2:30 into the song. Very catchy. Add in some double bass kick and a screaming solo. Nice touch.
Gods Prey is up next. It starts off slowly then rips with a nice thrash break before settling into a mid-paced feel for a while. Nice thrash break again around the chorus. I cant get enough of Pauls vocals. Full of spite and fury. The riffs are somewhat boring here and there, but it doesnt kill the track thankfully.
Probably the least memorable track is next, being Fight Or Fall. This one just doesnt have the hook that most of the other songs seem to have. Its not bad, it just doesnt seem to stick with you like the other songs do.
Aggressive riffing starts off No Excuses and believe me, it doesnt let up. This track is out to pound your skull in. Nice chorus too, done with gang shouts. THERE ARE NO EXCUSES!
Born For War closes things out. Starts off kinda so-so, but then theres this nice riff after about a half minute. After that, things just coming swarming. THRASH! Gotta love it. Definitely ending on a high note.
All in all, this is a very solid second tier album. Best tracks in my opinion are Tenement Zone, If Thine Eye and Hunt You Down. Its worth picking up if you can find it. Its pretty hard to find for being on one of Warner Bros. labels.