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Wake in Fright

by Uniform

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rikm
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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.
ᴬᴬᴿᴼᴺⅉ.  thumbnail
ᴬᴬᴿᴼᴺⅉ. Oh my god harder than hard Favorite track: The Killing of America.
Edward Haddon
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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
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Alex Brown One of the nosiest releases of the year so far, really digging it. Favorite track: The Killing of America.
NGC 1569
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NGC 1569 While I'm brushing my teeth every morning. Favorite track: Bootlicker.
Camryn Marquez
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Camryn Marquez Uniform have broken down and made aural the mechanisms that trigger trauma and horror. When the streets run rampant with economic disparity, failure of representation within the political sphere, inadequate political & social infrastructure and ideology, what should art sound like? We should trade drum kits for artillery rounds and attempt to break that fucking guitar with every strike. Hand the boys their gin and rifle and stop telling them about the good they'll do with them under a blue sky and for the honor of some country and piece of cloth. Favorite track: Bootlicker.
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Tabloid 03:15
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Habit 04:30
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The Lost 04:49
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Bootlicker 05:03
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about

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.”

credits

released January 20, 2017

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about

Uniform New York, New York

Uniform is Michael Berdan (vocals), Ben Greenberg (guitar), and Mike Sharp (drums). Their new album 'Shame' is out now.

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