Uniform Wake in Fright
Published Jan 23, 2017Though it emerged out of singer Michael Berdan's personal struggles, it's hard not to draw a line from the current socio-political climate in the United States to the chaotic industrial clang of Uniform. Made up of Berdan and former Ben Greenberg, a former member of Brooklyn shape-shifters the Men, the duo focus their noise on their sophomore effort, to deadly effect. Uncompromising, yet oddly accessible (in a relative sense) Wake in Fright is an early candidate for sleeper pick of the year.
At times, the whole thing feels like it might fall into disarray, but the record's strength is the duo's ability to wring structure and, dare I say, tunefulness, out of the murk. "The Killing of America" is a highlight, as is the EBM groove of "The Lost."
Like Prurient's Bermuda Drain, Wake in Fright defies easy classification while drawing on hallmarks from a panoply of aggressive styles. At its core is Berdan's metal riffing, though that, as well as his harrowing vocals, are generally pushed to the back of the mix in favour of general noise and drums that run the gamut from industrial motorik to grindcore blast beats. There are flashes of influences — Ministry's late '80s, early '90s run is a clear antecedent — but the pair never succumb to mimicry or idolatry. This is Berdan's pain, writ large and loud for all to hear. (Sacred Bones)