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Wake in Fright

by Uniform

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rikm thumbnail
rikm There's a solid musicianship here, a sense of tightness in performance and technical control, and it's all very impressive. I expected as much having seen their live performance with SRSQ last summer, and I'm happy that they're able to transfer their intensity between stage and studio and back again.

Heavy stuff that comes highly recommended.
ᴬᴬᴿᴼᴺⅉ.  thumbnail
ᴬᴬᴿᴼᴺⅉ. Oh my god harder than hard Favorite track: The Killing of America.
Edward Haddon
Edward Haddon thumbnail
Edward Haddon I only discovered this band yesterday and have had it on constant repeat. Suffocating production with snarling guitars and vocals supported by war-tipped drums and samples. Right up my street! Favorite track: Habit.
Alex Brown
Alex Brown thumbnail
Alex Brown One of the nosiest releases of the year so far, really digging it. Favorite track: The Killing of America.
NGC 1569
NGC 1569 thumbnail
NGC 1569 While I'm brushing my teeth every morning. Favorite track: Bootlicker.
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Tabloid 03:15
Habit 04:30
The Lost 04:49
Bootlicker 05:03


Wake in Fright, the second full-length by the New York City duo Uniform, is a harrowing exploration of self-medication, painted in the colors of war. Following the Ghosthouse 12", whose A-side Pitchfork called “their most relentless track yet,” vocalist Michael Berdan and guitarist/producer Ben Greenberg return with a new batch of even more punishing songs that incorporate elements of industrial music, thrash metal, harsh noise, and power electronics.

“This record is primarily about psychic transition,” Berdan explained. “The distress that these songs attempt to illustrate comes from a place of stagnation and monotony. This is what happens when old ways of thinking become exhausted and old ways of coping prove ineffective. Something must change or it will break.”

The characters Berdan brings to life in his lyrics quit using but have ruinous relapses (“Habit”) or struggle as their resolve crumbles (“Bootlicker”); they use alcohol to ease their insomnia but and are helpless when they get sober and stop sleeping again (“Night of Fear”); they’re existential misanthropes trapped in dead-end lives (“The Lost”). While the titles have been largely culled from the world of horror, thematically these songs have more in common with the works of Hubert Selby, Jr than Lucio Fulci. These are stories about people at the end of their proverbial ropes. Their old medicines are no longer effective and their old ways of living cause them nothing but confusion and despair.  They are paralyzed by fear, regret, and self-doubt. This is either the darkness before the dawn or eternal night.

Greenberg sets these stories to menacing guitar and samples of literal sounds of war — the kick drums are bombs going off, the snares are gunshots. He drew the record’s immense sample library from action movies, Foley sound packs, field recordings, and more, and the result is devastating. The guitar is also as crucial as ever, and now as indebted Slayer as it is to Big Black. Greenberg conjures up massive riffs and shredding solos, pushing the band deeper into the metal world whose borderlands they’ve long stalked. Where the inner monologues of Berdan’s characters and Greenberg’s martial sonic palette collide, Wake in Fright finds its wrecking-ball power.

“We are surrounded by war and the whole world is burning and it doesn't seem like there are any appropriate reactions or responses left anymore,” Greenberg elaborated. “This music is our response to and our reflection of the overwhelming violence, chaos, hate, and destruction that confronts us and everyone else in the world every day of our lives. When we play, I don't feel powerless anymore. I hope this record can help others transcend their anger and frustration.”


released January 20, 2017


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Uniform New York, New York

Through an industrialized mill of grating guitars, warped electronics, war-torn percussion, & demonically catchy vocals, Uniform have bulldozed a path to the forefront of underground music. Michael Berdan (vocals, synths), Ben Greenberg (guitar, production), & Mike Sharp (drums) solidify their place as purveyors of industrial noise and champions of, & victors in, pushing boundaries. ... more

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