Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Uncle Muscle: Say Uncle

Say Uncle may be your new favorite summer spin.

J. Hubner

Whatzup Features Writer

Published June 1, 2022

The Fort Wayne trio Uncle Muscle are a power pop force to be reckoned with. 

Armed with the one-two-three punch of three dudes who can all sing, write, and play, Uncle Muscle lean into a mixture of the garage rock abandon of mid-90s Sloan, the power pop highs of Red Kross and Cheap Trick, and the rock and soul of NRBQ. The trio met at Sweetwater’s Rock Camp as teens and formed the B45s. Now, they are ready to conquer the indie rock world at large.

On their full-length debut Say Uncle, Kellen Baker (guitar/vocals), Colin Taylor (bass/vocals), and Sam Clay (drums/vocals) waste no time getting to the good stuff. Every track is a buzzing, hook-laden earworm. The 12 tracks are coated in enough sugar that they could be your new favorite breakfast cereal, that is, if you chase your cereal with a beer and a shot of whiskey. Say Uncle may be your new favorite summer spin. 

There’s something magical, maybe even whimsical, about opener “Primal.” I can almost imagine The Banana Splits or The Monkees running around in super-speed on a playground as this song is playing. It locks into the spirit of ’60s pop, while also hinting at a touch of melancholy ’70s. It’s in and out in just over two minutes. What else do you need? On groovy track “I Do,” there’s some seriously jumpy, flexible bass going on. It’s like Chris Squire sitting in on a Raspberries track. 

“Say It to You” is like Herman’s Hermits with a bit more meat on the bones, while “Get Home Safely” is a jazzy little number that combines New Orleans hot jazz with pop standards of the ’40s. These guys are definitely flexing their musical muscles here. 

“All I Can Do” has the raspy Lennon vocalization of early Beatles and the mid-90s power pop revival of Fountains Of Wayne and Superdrag. 

What else is there to say? Uncle Muscle doesn’t waste a single moment of their 34-minute runtime. Say Uncle lays down power-pop harmonies, fuzzy guitar tones, and a jazz-like rhythm section. It doesn’t let up until you say, well … uncle. 

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