Uniform released a powerful and harrowing video for "The Killing Of America," the NYC duo's second single off Wake In Fright, out yesterday on Sacred Bones. Its timing could not be more poignant—the video, which gives a hauntingly straight-forward look at the realities of gun violence, arrives on the day of President Trump's inauguration and casts yet another eerie shadow on the nation.
The video's concept was influenced by Isao Hashimoto's piece on nuclear weapons titled "1945 - 1998"— a simple map of the United States with a relentless ticker that counts off the never ending series of mass shootings the country has experienced. "Our video intends to present basic figures surrounding a complicated subject," says Uniform in a press release. "We do not wish to moralize and we offer no answers. Instead, we ask the viewer to use this data as an aid towards formulating their own conclusions."
NYC-based industrial noise duo Uniform is following up their 2015 debut LP Perfect World later this month with the release of Wake In Fright via Sacred Bones. Lyricist and vocalist Michael Berdan and multi-instrumentalist Ben Greenberg give a taste of what's to come with "The Killing of America," the latest menancing and blazing single from their sophomore album.
Uniform will embark on a west coast tour this February but not before kicking off the month with their record release show at Brooklyn Bazaar on February 9 with Black Marble. The two will then fly to Seattle for a performance at Barboza on February 16 and make their way down the coastline and to the southwest for their closing show at Phoenix's Lunchbox on February 25.
Listen to "The Killing of America" below and catch Wake In Fright in full on January 20 on Sacred Bones.
Wake In Frightis one of the scariest movies I’ve ever seen. Aside from its grotesque, controversial footage of hunted kangaroos, the film’s ever-present sense of dread and absurdity, a sense that permeates every fiber of Bundanyabba, the small mining town in Australia’s outback that becomes the film setting, is unlike any other. The “Yabba,” as it is endearingly referred to in the movie, mixes the futility of a movie like The Exterminating Angel with the brutality of something like Deliverance. As such, it’s the perfect title for Uniform’s upcoming LP. It’s no secret that vocalist Michael Berdan likes his movies dark, and his lyrics reflect that, as does Ben Greenberg’s seething guitar work and pummeling drum machine. “Tabloid,” the first single from Wake In Fright is the meanest thing the duo’s released, and also the most concise. It would be misleading to say the song is poppy, but it is more digestible—that is if you don’t mind digesting a death adder. Then again, if Top 40 dripped venom rather than dollar bills, this could hit the top of the pops.
If you spend more than a few minutes with either member of Uniform—Ben Greenberg or Michael Berdan—you’ll realize you’re talking to someone deeply empathetic and kind, willing to discuss either personal topics or consider which pie shop in Williamsburg is the best. But under their openness is a lashing restlessness, a quiet discomfort with being human and being slave to biological routines that becomes very loud when the two take a stage.
Perfect World, their band’s debut LP, saw Berdan’s scathing, analytical lyrics dwell on the significance of identity loss, being done wrong, consumption, and the fight against your own chemistry. Ghosthouse, the band’s upcoming 12” on Sacred Bones condenses all the viscera of Perfect World and kicks up both the throb-o-meter and the personal darkness. The title track, easily one of the band’s best songs, sees Berdan considering his lifelong battles with insomnia and depression, detailing dark hours as “the ghosts come out at night.” But there’s a big difference between giving into the ghosts, though, and shining a light on them—Berdan’s lyrics being clearly an instance of the latter, exposing his personalized dread, and moving past it.
When he’s not submerging himself in his own anxiety, Berdan’s watching someone else’s, kicking back with a horror movie. I’ve gotten some amazing recommendations from him—mind-melting shit likeThe Visitor, Bone Tomahawk, Wake in Fright, andFound. But what would you expect? Pairing Berdan’s knowledge and love of horror movies with his output in Uniform makes sense—after all, in a lot of ways, Uniform is a meditation on fear. We talked to Berdan about horror movies, and you can read his thoughts after the jump.
Industrial group Uniform just released their debut full-length, Perfect World, and just released video of them performing at WFMU’s Monty Hall last month. The duo, comprised of ex-Drunkdriver vocalist Mike Berdan and Ben Greenberg (who engineered the latest records from Anasazi and Institute, among many others), give a passionate performance of most of the new record (the first four of the six tracks, but out of sequence) before melting out into maniacal laughter, possessed failing, and crushing noise. Watch the whole thing above, via WFMU’s Vimeo page.
Perfect World is out now on 12XU in the US and Alter in the UK. Those of you in or around the NYC area can catch them on June 27th at their record release show at Trans-Pecos in Ridgewood, along with Rectal Hygienics, Unholy Two, Ligature, and Astral Knife.