“It’s all so horrible, isn’t it? The nightmare of childhood and it only gets worse.” By the time Uniform’s Wake in Fright ends, its final track Light at the End (Effect) opening with the above words offered as assurance of our imminent decline, reflection seems pointless. As does movement. Or growth. Why not just quit if we’re all just going through the motions, aimless and in denial of our own insignificance and futility? But, this isn’t about the insignificance or futility of life and those who live it.
Though 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.
Uniform—the duo consisting of vocalist Michael Berdan and guitarist/programmer Ben Greenberg—started out obsessed with trying to make industrial order from punk chaos. Their debut, Perfect World, sounds like sinister master planning in its title alone; in some alternate universe even worse than ours, its cover would be a chic totalitarian symbol. In a short time, they’ve gotten angrier and let the chaos they tried to control run free.
Intentionally planned or not, the release date for the new album from New York City’s industrial duo Uniform coincides with the American presidential inauguration. The more apparent tormentors of Wake in Fright are personal struggles rather than social or political anxieties, but in this age of noise the distinction between them increasingly blurs. The greater setting, too, is hard to ignore.
Following their 2015 debut full-length, Perfect World, New York-based industrial/noise rock duo Uniform signed to Sacred Bones for the release of 2016's Ghosthouse EP, which set the stage for their second album, Wake in Fright. Released in January of 2017 as Donald Trump was being sworn into office as President of the United States of America, the album reflects the paranoia, confusion, and sheer horror rampant throughout the nation. Uniform take their already caustic sound to its extreme, sampling actual explosions and gunshots for the album's drum tracks.