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UNIFORM

Uniform

Shame

    What if the antihero in your favorite film or book had no chance to repent, reconcile, or redeem himself ? There’s no victim to rescue. There’s no evil to thwart. There’s no tyranny to turnover. Instead of saving the day against his bet-ter judgment, he just walks a Sisyphean circle of existential malaise doomed to repeat yesterday’s vices without the promise of a better tomorrow. Rather than tell this story on the screen or on the page, Uniform tell it on their fourth full-length album, Shame. The trio – Michael Berdan (vocals), Ben Greenberg (guitar, production), and Mike Sharp (drums) – strain struggle through an industrialized mill of grating guitars, warped electronics, war-torn percussion, and demonically catchy vocalizations.“Thematically, the album is like a classic hard-boiled paperback novel without a case,” says Berdan. “It focuses on the static state of an antihero as he mulls over his life in the interim between major events, just existing in the world. At the time we were making the record, I was reading books by Raymond Chandler, James Ellroy, and Dashiell Hammet and strangely found myself identifying with the internal dialogues of characters like Sam Spade and Philip Marlowe.”The lead-up to this moment proved just as intriguing as any of those characters’ exploits. Born in 2013, Uniform bulldozed a path to the forefront of under-ground music.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Delco (4:36)
    2. The Shadow Of God’s Hand (3:54)
    3. Life In Remission (4:26)
    4. Shame (4:02)
    5. All We’ve Ever Wanted (3:59)
    6. Dispatches From The Gutter (1:54)
    7. This Won’t End Well (3:41)
    8. I Am The Cancer (7:51)

    “The idea for UNIFORM CLARITY came from UNIFORM DISTORTION,” says James, “an album of intentional chaos/dirt: literal and figurative distortion of lyrics and sound meant to echo and hopefully shed some light on the twisted times and distortion of the truth in which we now live. UNIFORM CLARITY is meant to illuminate the other side – raw and real, but very clear, much like in the early days of recording where all you could hear was the truth because there were no ways to manipulate recordings in the studio. Working with Shawn Everett, we created a document style recording of these songs- just vocals, guitar and the space itself- no special FX. A crystal clear illustration of the flawed beauty of what a song starts off as or sometimes remains- a thought. a seed. a light from the womb of the universe brought to life down here on earth."

    TRACK LISTING

    1 Just A Fool
    2 You Get To Rome
    3 Out Of Time
    4 Throwback
    5 No Secrets
    6 Yes To Everything
    7 No Use Waiting
    8 All In Your Head
    9 Better Late Than Never
    10 Over And Over
    11 Too Good To Be True
    12 It Will Work Out
    13 Flash In The Pan

    Uniform

    The Long Walk

      Following the release of critically acclaimed LP Wake in Fright, which had two songs featured in the new season of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks, it was time for Uniform vocalist Michael Berdan and instrumentalist Ben Greenberg to return to the studio. The duo decided to up the ante and add a third member to help perfect their vicious post-industrial dystopian cyber-punk. After some deliberation, Greenberg called upon drummer Greg Fox (Liturgy, Zs) to help round out the sound they were looking for. Using a mix of triggered samples and real drums along with layered synths and good old electric guitar, the trio arrived at what would become The Long Walk after only a few short days in the studio.

      From the opening whirr of the title track, it’s clear that the band is onto something special. Recorded in Strange Weather studios in the first part of 2018, The Long Walk is eight new tracks by the duo of Greenberg and Berdan, incorporating Fox’s skills behind the drum kit to add an entirely new dimension to the signature Uniform sound. Ditching sequenced tracks, Greenberg opted for single takes to highlight the Frankenstein-like guitar-bass-synth hybrid that oozes throughout the recording. Meanwhile, crushing guitar thunder is punched up by Fox’s masterful drumming while Berdan’s cries from the nether feel more desperate and morose than ever. This is Uniform at its most bleak, emotional, and powerful.

      Lyrically, The Long Walk deals with paradoxes in spirituality and organized religion. Berdan went to Catholic school for most of his primary education. Fear of Biblical hell and damnation felt tangible. As Berdan grew and matured emotionally, he began to reject Catholicism bit by bit. In the recent past, Berdan found himself slowly reconnecting with his background, observing how the faith that he found so repressive served as a great source of comfort and strength for so many. Yet therein lay the contradiction that drove him from religion in the first place — many of the human traditions of the church also dealt in repression, intolerance, and bigotry. Could one observe the rituals and practice of a faith while acknowledging and rejecting its ugliest elements?


      TRACK LISTING

      1. The Walk (5:31)
      2. Inhuman Condition (4:16)
      3. Found (3:51)
      4. Transubstantiation (4:36)
      5. Alone In The Dark (3:47)
      6. Headless Eyes (3:58)
      7. Anointing Of The Sick (4:47)
      8. Peaceable Kingdom (6:49)

      Jim James third studio album ‘Uniform Distortion’ follows on from his previous success from being frontman of My Morning Jacket.Uniform Distortion was produced by Jim James and Kevin Ratterman at Louisville, KY’s La La Land, with Ratterman also serving as recording engineer. All songs were written by James, who is backed on the album by bassist Seth Kauffman (Floating Action) and longtime touring drummer Dave Givan, with backing vocals provided throughout by Dear Lemon Trees’ Leslie Stevens, Jamie Drake and Kathleen Grace. “The name of my new record is Uniform Distortion because I feel like there is this blanket distortion on society/media and the way we gather our ‘news and important information. More and more of us are feeling lost and looking for new ways out of this distortion and back to the truth…and finding hope in places like the desert where I write this now...finding hope in the land and in the water and in old books offering new ideas and most importantly in each other and love.” says James. Uniform Distortion is James’ finest work to date filled with compassion and brimming with meaningful ideology. 

      STAFF COMMENTS

      Andy says: Jim James does things differently on his solo records and this one's no exception. Raw, playful and rocking, but still with melodies galore, which other massive alt-rock stars keep things this fresh!

      TRACK LISTING

      1. Just A Fool
      2. You Get To Rome
      3. Out Of Time
      4. Throwback
      5. No Secrets
      6. Yes To Everything
      7. No Use Waiting
      8. All In Your Head
      9. Better Late Than Never
      10. Over And Over
      11. Too Good To Be True

      Uniform

      Ghosthouse

        Uniform formed in New York City in 2013 when old friends Ben Greenberg (ex-The Men, Hubble, and the producer/engineer responsible for much of the Sacred Bones catalog) and Michael Berdan (ex-Drunkdriver, York Factory Complaint) reconnected and realized that they had evolved to a similar place musically. Wanting as intimate an experience as possible, they decided to keep the project a two-man show, eschewing a live rhythm section for programmed drums and low-end synths, augmented with Greenberg playing guitar and Berdan handling vocals. The collaboration quickly yielded a raw 12", followed by a full-length, Perfect World. The Ghosthouse12", is the first Uniform release on Sacred Bones Records, and it will be followed by a full-length in early 2017.

        Ghosthouse shares a basic configuration with the previous Uniform releases, but the tools have evolved far beyond their initial drum machine and bass synth setup. These songs have grown from a broader palette of sounds — shots, explosions, implosions, impacts, ricochets, collapse; the sounds of conflict, war, and destruction that we witness every day. The result is the most sonically confrontational Uniform material to date, and Berdan’s lyrics, largely inspired by his lifelong battle with insomnia and depression, match them for relentlessness.

        The three songs on Ghosthouseshow the incisiveness that Greenberg and Berdan now have at their command. The title track addresses the feeling of lying awake at night and wondering if it’s still possible to make peace with an estranged friend after their death. “Waiting Period,” a riff on the Hubert Selby Jr. novel of the same name, is the internal dialogue of a man waiting for his handgun application to clear so he can kill himself. The “Symptom of the Universe” cover pays mostly faithful homage to Black Sabbath, but trades the original’s “summer skies of love” for something far bleaker. These tracks reveal the incredible range that’s possible within the Uniform musical template, and they provide a fascinating glimpse of what’s to come.


        TRACK LISTING

        1. Ghosthouse (7:25)
        2. Waiting Period (5:47)
        3. Symptom Of The Universe (5:44)

        ILO

        ILO

          Jazzy, downtempo tracks with twists of dub, ambient, techno and blues from this Icelandic fella, who has previously remixed the likes of Sigur Ros and Mum.


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