Uniform – ‘Shame’ | Album Review

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Uniform’s new album Shame is out on September 11th via Sacred Bones.

Uniform, New York-based industrial noise heavy head fuck machines, open their new album Shame, released through Sacred Bones, with an arse clenching, driven, personal purge of a track, ‘Delco’. This gives a great prelude to the oncoming slurry that will bury your head in filth. Much like the addition of amped guitars and live drums on previous album The Long Walk, there’s a tightened grip, adding the cracked and jagged nails to the hand across your throat that Uniform already possessed and have harnessed, expertly, on Shame.

The vocals gush with urgency through the landscape of noise, distortion, feedback and dark ‘n nasty industrial soundscapes. Micheal Berden (vocals) purges. Exorcises inner demons, battles the myriad of misconception of self and smelts the reckoning that follows into this more traditionally heavy album. ‘Shame’ has more personal bite and grip lyrically as Berdan has been able to unload his mind sick onto a canvass that is ready to receive it. “If I wanted any kind of reprieve, I had to let go of the narrative that the demons in the back of my head had been constantly whispering to me. For years I held onto my lyrics like personal diary entries. Now is the time for a different approach.” Oh yeah. This makes me excited. Purge at me Michael, SHOW ME THE NASTIES. Also thank you.

This really is a headphone experience to get the full HD experience of what Ben Greenberg (guitars/production) and Randall Dunn (Mastering) of Circular Ruin Studio are trying to birth at you. The addition of Randall Dunn is a new thing for Uniform and gives the previous sole responsibility of expelling the desired sound of Greenberg a new set of ears on the work. Rich textures and jarring effects pan around your head like a fast developing madness. Blending an underlay of vocal echos, whispers and howls with synth and noise, bonding the experience into a unity that is haunting, intelligent and quite beautiful. The industrial crescendo on ‘Life in Remission’, after a 2 minute brainstorm of blast beats from new drummer Mike Sharp, tear the song down from a thrashy assault into a terrifying battlefield of noise. It sounds like a war.

The title track ‘Shame’ reads like a confession. Lyrically, Michael Berden paints a picture of a desperate man wrestling with himself and the wrongs he’s done. After 3 minutes of purge and imagery the fist of the song comes bursting through the ragged pattern work of the confession box, with a blood knuckled snare, and just beats you to death. It’s terrific.

‘Dispatches of the Gutter’ is an almost Pantera shaped song that really does stick out, not sitting with the musical narrative of the album of expanding on a heavy riff or idea by adding the spices of filth that transform it into something more. Not by any means that the song is bad, it’s just a short and sweet heavy number. I just find it difficult to put that against the huge, behemoths of ‘This Won’t End Well’ and ‘I Am The Cancer’.

‘I Am The Cancer’ is really the standout track for me. A violent, blast beat driven barrage from a band that are becoming the industry standard for this genre of experimentation and noise. The cheeky little thrash nod that just makes me smile when put starkly against the most disgusting return to dark, doomy, noise fuelled horror. Michael Berdan mic drops the whole experience with a plainly spoken and exhausted “And God, will not love you, forever.” There’s a hidden beauty in this album, and I Am The Cancer reads like the eulogy to its life.

Pre-Order Shame.

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